Contrabass Conversations regular collaborator John Grillo recently sent me a link to this story about Nancy Donaruma, a 59 year old New York Philharmonic cellist who is quitting the orchestra to become a full-time paramedic:
After 31 years in the top-tier orchestra, playing with conductors including Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta and Lorin Maazel, the 59-year-old cellist will go from a hefty six-figure annual income to a “low five-figure” salary.
That’s the price she’s willing to pay to fulfill her lifetime fascination with medicine.
“I’ve always had an interest in how the human body works — and doesn’t,” she said. “And I do like taking care of people.”
Donaruma says her physical skill as a cellist — manual dexterity and quick, supple fingers — “is good for starting IVs and feeling pulses.”
Other overlapping qualities are the ability “to be very focused and do something in an immediate fashion — and not to make any mistakes.”
Read the complete story here.