How is it possible for someone to follow two parallel, dissimilar, and successful careers? Katherine Cash, now of Tokyo, is a professional violinist in demand for concert tours, television appearances and recordings. She is also founder and president of her own company NeuRobotics in the service sector.
She said, “Both are the same thing, communicating, working with teams, establishing strong points, putting a good combination together. Born forms are connection.”
When she was out in the world, Cash finalized her outlook. “To be a professional, give back to the community,” she said, “Find out what the community needs, and do something to fit those needs. You have to have multiple aspects.”
Originally from Montreal, Cash feels indebted to her family for her musical and language gifts. She cherishes the memories of time spent with her father, an amateur cellist, and of stories of her grandmother, who sang for the tsar of Russia.
Cash began her violin practice when she was 6, and went on steadfastly to grow in confidence and self-determination.
As a student at the Montreal Conservatory she won the string category of the Quebec National Music Competition.
She completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Juilliard School in New York City and became artist-in-residence at the University of Western Carolina. She made her debut appearance in Toronto.
While she was living in New York, as concert master, Cash performed with the city’s Symphonic Ensemble and the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra. As a chamber musician and as a soloist she toured the USSR, the Americas, Europe and Japan.
After she turned 30 with her remarkable energies still surging, Cash spread her net and qualified as a general securities registered representative.
In New York, she took positions with Japanese financial institutions and came to Japan in 1990. She was then a senior representative for what is now the Bank of America.
“I thought it important for my son to become bilingual,” Cash said. “In Japan, he was immersed in Japanese.” One of his secrets for learning the language lay in his boyhood love of cartoons, that he pounced on and with delight worked his way through. Now he is a young adult in Toronto, a classical singer and guitarist.
For her own part Cash said, “I enjoy living in a society where peace is one of its objectives.”
She widened her second career experience working in different banks in Tokyo, and 10 years ago set up NeuRobotics. This year she received an MBA from the University of California.
At the same time, as a serious musician Cash focused on popular Western and Asian music. She received the Min’on Artist’s Award. With well-known Japanese performers she toured Japan and her love of musical shows continued. As concert master, she has played for several Japanese musicals, and for Japanese versions of popular American musicals.
She said, “In New York, I was invited to perform as concert master at the revival of ‘Fiddler on the Roof. ‘ ” In 2004, when she learned that Tokyo International Players was putting on “Fiddler on the Roof,” she came forward with her violin to enhance the performances.
Now she is musical director for the upcoming TIP musical production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s evergreen “The Pirates of Penzance.” She sees her role as motivating the people on stage, just as she sees her role in business as motivating her team in the office.
“I want to bring out each person’s beautiful points, each interesting aspect,” she said. “I try to create and foster relationships, to make everybody feel comfortable, and to encourage everyone to make suggestions for constant improvement.
Being musical director brings me to a higher vantage point in the musical world. I hope I can let a lot of people into the happiness of loving musicals. The Juilliard mission taught me that it was my duty to give back, and I want to help teenagers with their incredible energy. To give back involves a huge effort, a huge time commitment, but I believe passionately in what I am doing. Mine is a professional ethic.”
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