Janet Witharm, cellist, is a member of Symphony San Jose and serves as the Principal Cellist for West Bay Opera and the Music in the Mountains Festival orchestra since the festival’s inception, where she has been featured as a soloist and chamber music performer. An active free-lance artist, Witharm has performed with the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Skywalker Symphony Recording Orchestra, Mendocino Music Festival, among many others. Much of her career has revolved around her passion for playing and teaching chamber music.
Witharm has a private cello teaching studio in Palo Alto, coaches various youth orchestras in the Bay Area, and Co-Chairs the San Jose Orchestra committee, where she serves as advocate for her colleagues. As a graduate of the New School of Music in Philadelphia, PA, she studied with Orlando Cole of the Curtis String Quartet. She worked extensively with Michael Grebanier, Principal Cellist of the San Francisco Symphony, to whom she credits her concept of sound. She was awarded 6 consecutive summers as a Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival where she studied with David Finckel, former cellist for the Emerson String Quartet and Co-Director of Chamber Music at Lincoln Center in New York City. Under Finckel, she contributed to the initial development of the educational chamber music program for the Music@Menlo Chamber Music Festival.
She currently lives in Palo Alto, where she enjoys taking trips to the beach with her miniature schnauzer, Winston. She has two children, who have both gone on to pursue music through higher education. Her greatest joy is playing chamber music with them!