While all the other kids were learning addition in first grade, Kivie Cahn-Lipman was running around the classroom singing that he was a yeti. His kindly teacher said he was very musical, so Kivie was allowed his choice of instruments along with the therapy. He told his parents he wanted to play the drums, so they asked him what instrument he REALLY wanted to play. "The tuba," he replied, and they handed him a violin. The violin teacher was all "you have to respect the violin before you can touch the violin," but in their third lesson Kivie picked his nose and wiped it on the violin, and then that teacher went away and Kivie's parents gave him a cello. And when he picked his nose and wiped it on the cello, the new teacher was like "ewww gross don't do that, here's a tissue, clean that up and let's play music," and that seemed like a good idea.

Eventually Kivie went to Oberlin and then Juilliard, and after awhile each school gave him a fancy document written in Latin that hopefully indicates that he graduated. He finished up his education at the University of Cincinnati, and he's a doctor now. Not that kind of doctor. Since its foundation in 2001, Kivie has been a cellist with the International Contemporary Ensemble (and don't call it ICE anymore), and he still tours all over the world performing with them. He taught at Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, and The College of New Jersey, and he's now on the faculty of the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University. Whatever you think you know about Youngstown is probably true, but it also has a really pretty park and a surprisingly good artisanal hot dog shop.

Kivie started his own Baroque ensemble called ACRONYM (www.acronymensemble.com), and he finds seventeenth-century music in old manuscripts and transcribes it, and they give the first performances of it in hundreds of years; they've got nine CDs of modern premieres released and more on the way. He also plays viola da gamba for some reason and performs and records with LeStrange Viols. Kivie's 2014 solo recording of J.S. Bach's cello suites got a nice blurb in a trade publication called The Strad, but he's way more proud of the warm personal letter praising the disc which he received from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Kivie's mom also claims to like the recording, but she thinks that some of the tempos are too fast. You can find it on sale wherever you can still find music on sale, and the discs make great coasters.

Also, a recent review in the New York Times noted that "his long, flowing hair often covered his face as he played." Seriously, the New York Times printed that. Kivie mostly stopped picking his nose in 1985.