Kathryn Nettleman joined the Minnesota Orchestra in the fall of 2009. Prior to moving to Minneapolis, she worked as principal bass of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra under Music Director Edo de Waart. Earlier in her career as a freelance musician based in Chicago, Kate performed regularly in the bass sections of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. She served as principal bass of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and assistant principal in the Elgin Symphony Orchestra for five years. Previously she had also been a member of the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra in Florida. Kate has performed as a concerto soloist and recitalist numerous times in locations as varied as Bloomington, Minnesota; Madison, Wisconsin; and Hong Kong, China.
Kate studied music at The Juilliard School with esteemed bass professor Homer Mensch, and then attended graduate school at the Yale University School of Music as a student of Donald Palma. She received full tuition scholarships at both schools. Afterward, she held a fellowship in the New World Symphony under Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas from 1999-2001.
Kate has enjoyed teaching bass students since she was a high school student in New Jersey, and she currently maintains a private studio in the twin cities. She regularly coaches the orchestra bass section at the University of Minnesota. In her spare time she enjoys volunteering activities, yoga, running, gardening, and vegetarian cooking. She and her husband, bassist Charles Block, live a mile south of Orchestra Hall and enjoy time spent among friends and neighbors and with the dogs they have fostered into adoption through local animal rescue group Safe Hands.