Hans Hoffer

Hans Hoffer, Cello
chair sponsored by Nancy Loeffler

Burlingame, CA
playing with NSS since 2001

What made you want to be a musician?

I didn’t have a choice! My parents (mom a violinist, dad a bassoonist) met as students at Eastman, and my older sister is an oboist, so music is very much a family affair. I didn’t even get to pick my instrument- as I recall, one morning I woke up, there was a cello in my room, and my mom said “today is your first cello lesson.” I wanted to be a clarinetist but everyone else decided the family should be balanced with two strings and two winds.

Favorite genre of music?

Classical, of course! That and hip hop.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not rehearsing or performing?

I read whenever I get a chance, and play tennis as often as possible.

What’s it like to perform onstage with an orchestra?

Assuming the orchestra is playing well it’s great. There are pieces, Beethoven 9 for example, that I never enjoyed listening to until I’d performed them. You get a totally different experience when you’re inside a huge musical structure than when your listening to it in its totality. Again, that’s assuming everything’s going well. If it’s not- dynamics are off, the group’s not together, or whatever, I’m driven into a killing rage.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

Look both ways before crossing the street!