Karen Pommerich recently relocated to the Asheville area from Jacksonville, Florida. An experienced performer, she spent 16 years as a member of the 1st violin section of the Jacksonville Symphony, has served as Principal 2nd Violin of the Sarasota Opera and has freelanced with numerous orchestras in the southeastern United States. Since arriving in North Carolina she has been working with local ensembles including the Asheville Symphony, Asheville Lyric Opera, and Charlotte Symphony, as well as continuing her long-time association with the IRIS Orchestra in Germantown, TN, and the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder. An avid chamber musician, Karen has considerable experience both as a violinist and violist, performing in a variety of ensembles over the years.
Alongside performing, Karen has been teaching private violin and viola lessons for 20 years and has been a chamber music coach and string sectional coach for the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Prelude Chamber Music Camp, and two arts magnet schools in Jacksonville. She also teaches music theory and has been a guest clinician in other states. Her students have ranged in age from preschoolers to senior adults, and in level of playing from beginners to advanced violinists in the early stages of their careers in music.
Karen earned her Master’s degree in Violin Performance from Florida State University, where she studied violin with Eliot Chapo and viola with Pamela Ryan. Her Bachelor of Arts degree is from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minnesota, where her teachers were Robert Zelnick, formerly of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and renowned pedagogue Mary West. Additionally, Karen’s experience as a fellow at the Bach Aria Institute, and as a student at the National Repertory Orchestra, Kent/Blossom Music Festival and Chautauqua Music Festival were formative.
Karen has a keen interest in the vast potential of music as a healing art. For fourteen years she participated in Jacksonville’s Body & Soul program, which brought her into rooms of nursing home, hospital and hospice patients as a solo performer. These meaningful encounters have inspired her to continue to explore the relationship between music and well-being.
Want to take violin or viola lessons with Karen? To register now, click here.
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