No Strings Attached: Aesthetic, community of Mountain Park struck a chord with professional violinist

A violinist with the acclaimed Philadelphia Orchestra, Anna Marie Petersen and her husband, Bill, general counsel for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, were searching for a vacation home when they discovered The Cliffs. “When our son, Matthew, was little, we had a place at Kiawah for 10 years, which we loved,” she says. But as their son grew older and got involved in high school activities, they found they weren’t using their Kiawah home much, and ended up selling it. Now that Matthew is about to graduate from college, the couple have realized how much they miss having a place to escape their busy lives in Philadelphia.

As a golfer, Anna Marie was seeking a community with a golf course, and The Cliffs definitely fit that bill. “We looked all over, and The Cliffs had all the things we wanted. I love the mountains, I love the hiking and biking, I love the natural scenery and how close The Cliffs is to so many state parks,” she shares. “I like the fact that if you want privacy, you can have it, but if you want to be social, you can have that too.” They fell in love with the aesthetic and the residential feel of The Cliffs at Mountain Park, and purchased a lot there in January.

No matter where she lives, Anna Marie’s life will always be filled with music — it’s a part of her DNA. “In my family, music was constantly in the house. That was just part of participating in the family,” she explains. Her father, a professor of violin, moved his family from Korea to the U.S. in order to teach at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. “My father basically created a family string quartet: my oldest brother is a cellist; another brother played violin, and I played violin and viola. And we all had to play piano.”

The Baltimore-born musician started playing piano and violin at an early age, and switched to the viola when she was 13.  “At that point I knew I wanted to make a career of music,” she says. She made her solo recital debut in Seoul, South Korea, in 1988, and went on to study at the Curtis Institute of Music. Since 1992, for 29 seasons, she has been playing and touring the world with The Philadelphia Orchestra.

When Anna Marie isn’t engaged in concerts and world travels, she looks forward to having a house at Mountain Park to enjoy with her family. “We are in the process of putting our design together,” she says. “We’re proceeding with the building process so we can have [our house] as soon as possible. We love the fact that The Cliffs has the Preferred Builder Program. That gives us a sense of security, knowing we’ll be in Philadelphia while our home is being built in South Carolina.”

She’s already on the email list for all the social activities at The Cliffs. “I’m really excited about the hiking and biking programs, and I’d be happy to participate in a lot of the organized activities,” notes Anna Marie. Although they don’t know anyone in Mountain Park yet, they’re anxious to experience the sense of community there.

Once construction on the house is completed, Anna Marie hopes to spend a month in the summer there, and possibly winter holidays too — any excuse to escape snow in the North. She and Bill plan to retire eventually at their Mountain Park home. As the accomplished musician admits, “I’ll be one of those crazy people playing golf almost every day.”

This story was featured in Cliffs Living Magazine. To read more stories like this one and learn more about The Cliffs, subscribe here.

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