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Cornelia L. Heard

Valere Potter Chair at the Blair School of Music; Professor of Violin; Chair of the Strings Department

Cornelia Heard holds the Valere Blair Potter Chair at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, where she is professor of violin and chair of the string department. She has served on the artist faculty and as co-director of the chamber music program at the Aspen Music Festival and School since 2005. As a member of the Blair String Quartet, she has toured extensively throughout the United States, presented Beethoven and Bartok cycles and recorded for the Naxos, Innova, Warner Bros., New World and Pantheon labels. In January 2018, she participated in the Youth Music Culture Festival in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.

Heard has performed on concert series at the Library of Congress and at New York’s 92nd Street Y, as well as at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Merkin Hall and Carnegie Recital Hall, and has performed extensively on public radio. A dedicated chamber musician and teacher, she has served as artist-in-residence at the Aspen and Sedona Music Festivals, and also on the faculty of the Sewanee Music Festival from 1985-99 and the Killington Festival from 2002-04. Other summer festival appearances have included Chamber Music Northwest, Skaneateles, Colorado, Kapalua, Roycroft, Music Mountain, and Maverick Concerts, as well as performances in Italy, Ecuador and Iceland.

Heard has been an adjudicator for regional and national competitions and has served as a panelist for the Creation and Presentation Grant Programs for the National Endowment for the Arts. She has given master classes throughout the United States, and her students have won and been prizewinners in regional, national and international competitions. She was recently invited to teach and perform at the annual Festival International of Music in Loja, Ecuador.

Heard earned Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School, as well as a Bachelor of Arts from Sarah Lawrence College. She studied violin with Dorothy DeLay and chamber music with Robert Mann, Earl Carlyss and Samuel Rhodes, of the Juilliard Quartet. Other chamber music coaches include Felix Galimir, Ruth Laredo, Michael Rudiakov, Jan DeGaetani and members of the Cleveland Quartet. She lives in Nashville.


Blair String Quartet