Clarisse Atcherson, Violin
Clarisse Atcherson grew up in Iowa City, Iowa, where she began studying violin at age five and playing in an orchestra at age seven. She studied with her first teacher, Doris Preucil, until age 18.
Ms. Atcherson went on to the Eastman School of Music, where she graduated summa cum lauda and valedictorian. Her violin teacher there was Charles Castleman, director of the Quartet Program, a summer camp for intensive chamber music study. Other teachers include Abram Loft, Sylvia Rosenberg, Eugene Lehner, Joseph Silverstein and members of the Juilliard, Cleveland and Guarneri Quartets.
For her master’s degree Ms. Atcherson attended Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, specifically to study with renowned teacher-trainer John Kendall. She said that studying pedagogy with Kendall was life-changing: “When I learned to teach interpretation, shifting, vibrato, bow stroke, etc., it was as if I saw the light. Everything about violin playing became deeper and more clear to me.” While at SIUE, Ms. Atcherson won the concerto competition, receiving the Graduate Performance award and was nominated to Phi Kappa Phi.
Clarisse Atcherson reflects that summer festivals have been a strong part of her development. While in college she played in Spoleto, Italy, and Heidelberg, West Germany, and since moving to Oregon she has performed in the Sunriver and Cascade music festivals.
Ms. Atcherson also has taught at various summer music institutes including at Stanford, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Korea and in Oregon and Washington.
Since joining the Oregon Symphony in 1985, Ms. Atcherson has taught violin at the Community Music Center and at home. “Teaching is both challenging and rewarding. I am always learning new things and deepening my understanding of music and humanity.” She says she finds balance between performing and teaching: “To do one without the other would feel incomplete,” she said.
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