Carole Keller came to the
Chicago Symphony Orchestra in April 2000 via the National Arts Center Orchestra
in Canada and the Minnesota Orchestra. She began working as an orchestra
librarian while pursuing a college degree in cello performance. As she was more
focused on playing cello at the time, she didn’t realize until years later that
being a librarian in an orchestra was her calling in life.
Born and raised in Winona,
Minnesota, Keller was part of a very musical family. She and her siblings all
took piano lessons as well as lessons on another instrument of choice. With her
two older sisters playing the violin and her older brother playing the viola,
it seemed the only logical choice, at age 9, to begin the cello, completing the
family quartet. She went on to St. Olaf College with intentions of majoring in
both music and mathematics. It didn’t take long before she was focusing
exclusively on music. Even her campus work-study program was in music, as the
librarian for the orchestra and the chamber orchestra.
After college, Keller moved
to the Twin Cities where she inevitably found herself working on staff with the
Minnesota Orchestra. It was there that she got her start as a professional
orchestra librarian. She stayed with the Minnesota Orchestra for nine years,
beginning as a library assistant and eventually becoming Assistant Principal
Librarian. In 1997, she accepted the position of Principal Librarian in the
National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, where she worked until returning to
her Midwest roots, joining the CSO in April 2000.
During her spare time,
Keller enjoys a wide variety of activities from sports to traveling to
puttering at home and baking for family, friends and colleagues. Ask any stage
hand and they will tell you that her carrot cake is the best! One of her travel
highlights was a month-long journey to Australia and New Zealand. Indoor or
outdoor, summer or winter, she is always eager to get on the courts … tennis
anyone? And during the summer months, Keller is an avid baseball fan following
her beloved Minnesota Twins. Sorry Sox fans, moving to Chicago hasn’t converted
this life-long fan.