Meeka Quan DiLorenzo is the Associate Principal Cello of The Seattle Symphony orchestra. “We perform weekly, downtown, at Benaroya Hall. Our programs range from classical, contemporary, popular culture and, sometimes, we even screen movies and play the live soundtrack.” Learn about Meeka Quan DiLorenzo…
Hometown: San Francisco Bay Area
First job: Associate Principal Cello, The Utah Symphony
Favorite ways to spend your free time in WA: I absolutely love summertime in the PNW. I’m a bit of a lake junkie. Anything I can swim in or paddleboard on is a great time. I particularly love Lake Kachess. I’m usually up there once a week, weather permitting.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: I consider my long-standing relationships to be my most cherished “accomplishment,” if you could call it that. I’m a mother to a 15-year-old son, a wife of 16-plus years and a friend. These wonderful people make up my chosen family.
Someone who inspires me and why: I’m inspired by many artists. It’s hard to name one person, in particular. The soloists who come through the symphony week after week are, of course, inspiring, as masters of their instrument at the pinnacle of their careers. Watching their ability, commitment and passion for music is always a treat to see up close. I’m also inspired by writers, especially other women of color who have been brave enough to commit their experience to the page. The memoirs of Tarana Burke, Qian Julie Wang and Grace Cho gave me particular comfort last year.
Advice for someone pursuing a career path in professional classical music: Find a great teacher. The teacher-student relationship is paramount to all else in this field. Find a teacher who supports you, who encourages you and whose students’ playing you admire.
Favorite quote: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou
Something people would be surprised to know about you: My mother was blind from birth and used a seeing eye dog. Whenever I’m out in the world, I often look at things through the lens of her disability. Is this building accessible? Are there sidewalks in this neighborhood? How many steps are there? How would a blind person navigate this space? Even though I am sighted, being raised by a woman who couldn’t see was hugely impactful, especially as a child. I frequently navigated her physical safety, and so I am especially aware of what makes a physical space accessible (or not) to those with disabilities.
What makes someone fabulous? A killer sense of humor.
Photo credit: Carlin Ma Media