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Kathryn C. Plummer

Professor of Viola

Kathryn Plummer, viola recitalist and chamber musician, is Professor of Viola at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School. As a soloist, she has performed at the National Gallery of Art, Alice Tully Hall, on National Public Radio, and at several International Viola Congresses, presenting the world premiere of Alan Shulman’s Variations for Viola, Harp and Strings at the XIV International Viola Congress. She has appeared as soloist with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, the Festival der Zukunft Orchestra (Switzerland), the Anchorage Symphony Festival Orchestra, the Peninsula Festival Orchestra, the Aspen Festival Student Orchestra and the Indiana University Orchestra.

As a former violist with the Blair String Quartet, she presented several world premieres and gave a New York debut in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. For more than two decades, Plummer performed with the Festival der Zukunft and also performed frequently with the Sitka (Alaska) Summer Festival and the festival’s Winter and Fall Classics. Other appearances have been with the Smithsonian Chamber Players, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, the Sedona Music Festival, the Notre Dame Chamber Players, the St. Cere Festival (France), the Craftsbury Chamber Players and with the Trio de Barcelona (Spain).

Over the span of her long career critics have praised her for her artistry. New York Times: “an especially vibrant and sonorous viola.” The Anchorage Times: “played with eloquence and persuasive authority.” The Strad: “a highlight of the Congress.” Cincinnati Enquirer: “she played with lovely artistry.” Musical America: “stellar.”

In addition to her active performing career, Plummer has taught at the Aspen Music Festival, Rocky Ridge Music Center and the Curs Internacional de Musica de Vic (Spain). Formerly Associate Professor of Viola at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, she began her career as assistant principal violist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and during six consecutive summers was principal violist of the Aspen Chamber Orchestra. She was principal violist with the Peninsula Festival Orchestra, and in 1996 she served as interim principal violist with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.

A frequent adjudicator and guest clinician throughout the United States, Plummer has served many years as a national board member of the American Viola Society and served from 2011-13 as the viola forum editor with the American String Teachers Association. She was educated at Indiana University and the Juilliard School, and her mentors include violists David Dawson, Walter Trampler, William Primrose, Samuel Rhodes, Martha Katz and pianist György Sebők.