Violin & Viola Faculty
Karen Pommerich is an active chamber musician and orchestral performer. Locally, she is a violinist with Asheville’s Opal String Quartet and a violist in the Asheville Symphony. She also performs frequently with the Charlotte Symphony and is a member of IRIS Orchestra (Germantown, Tennessee) and the Colorado Music Festival (Boulder). Previously she played full-time for 16 seasons in the 1st violin section of the Jacksonville Symphony, and she has served as Principal 2nd Violin of the Sarasota Opera and Tallahassee Symphony. As a soloist, she has been featured with the Jacksonville Symphony, the Dubuque Symphony, and the National Repertory Orchestra.
Alongside performing, Karen has been teaching private violin and viola lessons for over 25 years. She has taught a wonderful variety of students, from preschoolers to senior adults, ranging from beginners to advanced violinists in the early stages of their performing careers. She also enjoys coaching chamber music and orchestral string sectionals and teaching music theory.
Karen received her Master’s degree in Violin Performance from Florida State University, where her teachers were Eliot Chapo (violin) and Pamela Ryan (viola), and her Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, studying violin with Mary West and Robert Zelnick. 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 power of music as a healing art. For fourteen years she participated in Body & Soul: The Art of Healing in Jacksonville, Florida, where she was honored to perform for nursing home, hospital, and hospice patients. These meaningful encounters have inspired her to continue to explore the relationship between music and well-being.