Musician Makes a Gift and Receives Income for Life

Patricia Grignet NottPatricia Grignet Nott grew up in Alexandria, Kentucky, when the population was 227. In her early years, she desperately wanted to study music, but there were not many opportunities for music education in her hometown's rural school system.

She didn't really have exposure to classical music until high school when she joined the band.

"The band director suggested the oboe. I didn't know what an oboe was until he found one in the school closet and gave it to me to try," she says.

She eventually enrolled in the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, soon to become the newly merged College-Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra principal oboist Marcel Dandois. During her last two years of high school, she became a CSO subscriber and regularly attended the Friday afternoon concerts.

Her first professional job was in Canada with the CBC Radio Orchestra. When an oboe position opened up at the CSO, she jumped at the opportunity and auditioned for then Music Director Max Rudolf. She won the audition and was a member of the orchestra from 1960 to 1964. During her time with the CSO, she continued to develop a love for chamber music, partly due to the influence of the LaSalle String Quartet resident ensemble at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music at the time. James Levine studied scores with members of the quartet and sometimes played concerts with them.

"I have known Jimmy since his legs weren't long enough to reach the pedals of the piano," Patricia says.

While in the CSO, she and a few of her colleagues organized small chamber concerts, but the demand for chamber music was low among audiences.

"I talked to Maestro Rudolf about that. I wanted to go east and try to have success with chamber music. He encouraged me to pursue my dream," she says.

A New Challenge
Patricia left the CSO, and went on to attend graduate school at Yale University. In New York City, she played music, taught and attended music festivals to expand her artistic collaborations. Eventually she became a member of the resident chamber ensemble at the Kennedy Center. There she worked for 25 years with then Artistic Director Leon Fleischer.

Patricia spent the last 10 years of her career as dean of Michael Tilson Thomas' orchestral fellowship program, the New World Symphony. (The CSO currently boasts a number of New World alumni in its ranks.) She retired in 2006 and decided to move back to Cincinnati, where she has resumed being a CSO subscriber.

"I've had the extreme good fortune of being able to pursue what I love as a professional and earn enough of a living to survive. So, I slept on floors a few times, but if you really love what you do, you will make it work," she says.

In her free time, she enjoys surrounding herself with music of all genres and traveling.

"I try to go to interesting and unusual places where I can be exposed to other cultures," Patricia says.

In addition to her subscription, Patricia recently made a financial contribution to the orchestra in the form of a charitable gift annuity.

"Music organizations have been so important to me, so I would like to share with them into the future. With the CSO, I made a contribution of appreciated stock to create a CGA. I really encourage people to look at that vehicle, which helps the orchestra while giving me needed retirement income. I'm glad that such an opportunity exists. I am not—nor have I ever been—anything approaching wealthy, yet it was possible to do this. It's a win-win situation," she says.

To learn more about a gift that allows you to support the CSO's future and receive income for life, contact Ron Cropper at 513-744-3365 or rcropper@cincinnatisymphony.org.