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.