Meet the Musicians

Meet the Musicians

Get to know the amazing musicians of the Memphis Symphony!

Marian Shaffer

Marian Shaffer

Principal, The Ruth Marie Moore Cobb Chair

Colleges attended: Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, Hochschule fur Musik in Cologne, Germany (Fulbright Scholarship), University of Memphis
Most influential musical teachers: Mimi Allen, Linda Wilson, Marjorie Tyre, Lucile Lawrence, Hans Joachim Zingel
First Season with the MSO: 1973
Teaching Positions: Vanderbilt University since 1996, Hutchison School since 1973, University of Memphis since 1978, Sewanee Summer Music Festival since 1980
As a Chamber Musician: Sewanee Summer Music Festival, Vanderbilt University, University of Memphis, and Memphis Chamber Music Society.
Appeared as a soloist with: Five times with the Memphis Symphony, four times with the Sewanee Festival Orchestra, Vanderbilt Symphony Orchestra, Kingsport Symphony
Notable achievements: I have enjoyed performing with other musical organizations as well as the Memphis Symphony. I have traveled to Anchorage, Alaska twice to play with Anchorage Opera, Shreveport Opera, Springfield (Illinois) Orchestra, Jackson (Mississippi) Symphony, and IRIS Orchestra. Also, I have traveled to Recife, Brazil twice to perform in the Festival Virtuosi

 

FUN FACTS!


Describe your family: Our two daughters grew up playing piano and harp. We had a harp trio and performed throughout the Mid South with percussion additions by Frank! Now Julia teaches at the Covington Integrated Arts Academy and plays second harp in the Memphis Symphony with me. Mimi is an OB/GYN resident at UC San Diego and is married to Sebastien Habert, a helicopter pilot from France.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go: I would love to go on one of the National Geographic cruises to Antarctica or just about anywhere on a Windjammer cruise.
Favorite hobby: Traveling
What inspired you to make music your career: I always knew. As a child in Hernando, Mississippi my parents brought me to musical events in Memphis. I especially loved the symphony and the touring operas that the Metropolitan Opera presented every year.
Interesting Fact about yourself: In addition to music, I majored in English and German in college.
More About Me: I grew up with cows, sheep, and chickens. My job from age 10 through high school was to “work” the hundreds of eggs every day -- weighing them, candling and grading them, and putting them in cartons. I was even on the championship poultry judging team for the state of Mississippi in 1968!