Amy Ward Butler

Principal Cello

Year you joined the ECSO: 2019

I started with piano. Not for me. Then violin. Not for me. Then cello. That was it! I loved my first teacher, Mary Wortreich. She sent me to her teacher, Orlando Cole. After two years I went to Eastman where my teachers were Steven Doane and Paul Katz. Great influences. I’m lucky that I got to play in the Baltimore Symph, the Kennedy Center, NJ Symph, Philadelphia Orch, Mostly Mozart, Papermill Playhouse, Phantom on Broadway, Reading Symph, National Symph and now ECSO! Looking forward to great things here. My best wishes to all. 

Hidden talent(s):I’m a really good cook. And I love playing games. (I usually win!) I’m also a dog and cat whisperer.

Favorite musical memory: Playing Copland Symphony No. 3 with Leonard Bernstein at Tanglewood. Or maybe it was in Japan, on tour with the Baltimore Symph and Yo-yo Ma. After the Elgar concerto, he’d come sit with me for Rachmaninov Symph #2.

Favorite Motto or Quote:First, it’s important to practice slowly. Then very slowly. Then finally, slowly. -Saint-Saens

Favorite Composer:Bach, Mahler, Mozart, Prokofiev, Puccini, Strauss, Stravinsky

What/Who inspired you to take up your instrument:Hearing Rostropovich’s recording of the Dvorak Concerto with Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic.