Renee Ann Pflughaupt
Principal Librarian

Hometown: Lincoln, Nebraska
Member of the Nashville Symphony since 2022

Why did you choose your instrument?
Music librarianship chose me. In fact, music librarianship chooses most of us librarians -- and usually catches us unawares. Was it the fascination with pencils & pens? The bottomless curiosity with different editions & publication histories? The utter magic of bringing music to life through ink and paper? Often, it’s all of this and more.

Do you play any other instruments?

Like most music librarians, I began my musical life as a performer -- in my case, I am also a clarinetist & pianist. (I also took some lessons on viola – we don’t talk about that, however!)

When did you know you wanted to pursue music as a career?

I first found myself doing library work in addition to working as an operations and personnel manager for a small symphony. Before I knew it, I had the bug. I constantly worked to carve out more and more time to devote to music preparation and learning more about the craft. After attending a MOLA (Major Orchestra Librarians' Association) conference, I was a lost cause. I had found my people and my calling.

Where did you go to school and what degree(s) did you get?

I studied clarinet performance at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I also have a degree in journalism -- I always knew I had an editor's eye, but now use it towards music preparation!

Who has inspired you most as a musician?

I have always been amazed and inspired by the quiet fortitude of my fellow librarians in the field. I have also been greatly inspired by my fellow colleagues, conductors, and friends who continue to have a deep love of the repertoire and the way that it connects us to one other.
Who is your favorite composer, and what is your favorite piece by them?

This seems to change daily! Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Vixen will be an eternal favorite of mine, though. I’m certain it still ranks #1 on my most-played list on Spotify.

What is the best piece you have performed in your career?

I like to think that the best piece is yet to come.

Where were you prior to your employment at the Nashville Symphony?

I was most recently head librarian with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans.

What excites you most about performing with the Nashville Symphony?

The number of premieres and recordings is truly exciting! Being part of an orchestra with such a rich recording history & adding to the repertoire is truly gratifying.

How many instruments do you own, or have you owned over your lifetime? 

If we are talking about pencils: Too. Many. To. Count. However, I still have my clarinets (and viola!) at home.What was the first concert you went to? 

What was the first concert you went to?

My first concert was a local production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. I still have a serious infatuation and love affair with opera – the combination of libretto, staging, and music is irresistible.

What is your favorite genre of music that isn't classical? Do you have a favorite artist?

I am typically a decade behind the curve when it comes to popular music. However, I have really been rocking out to Sylvan Esso recently – their latest album is fantastic!

What is your favorite part of Nashville so far?

Nashville has a sense of community and togetherness that I really love. East Nashville has especially been welcoming for me – that, and the gem that is Nashville’s downtown public library.

What hobbies do you enjoy?

I am a CrossFitter. I haven’t settled on a gym here in Nashville yet but hope to do so soon!

Do you like sports? What is your favorite sports team?

The closest I ever came to following sports was soccer. USWNT all the way!

Favorite movie or TV show? 

I have a soft spot for The Princess Bride. But if we’re being perfectly honest, I much more so enjoy video games. Ask me about The Legend of Zelda or Final Fantasy; you will never hear the end of it.

What is your favorite book?

Somewhere in between Gödel, Escher, Bach, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the Tao Te Ching.

Favorite restaurant or type of food?

I am all over the map when it comes to food! Korean, Indian, Ethiopian, Japanese, French… my only requirement is that it has to be *good.*