Graduating from the Eastman School of Music with a Bachelor’s degree in Viola Performance in 2004, violist Kirsten Swanson spent 2005-2007 as Assistant Principal and section violist with the Charlotte Symphony. She completed her Masters Degree with Roger Tapping at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA in 2009. An extensive orchestral musician since high school, Kirsten has played with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony, Vermont Symphony, and Aspen Festival and Chamber Orchestras, to name a few. Chamber music being her first love, Kirsten co-founded the Atticus String Quartet, a semi-professional quartet based in Eastern North Carolina. She was a regular on the Honor’s Chamber Recitals during college and was even featured on Eastman’s promotional cd distributed across the world. She has collaborated with such artists as Jon Nakamatsu, Garth Knox, and members of the JACK and the Pacifica String Quartets. An avid fan of contemporary music, Kirsten has premiered new works by Eastman and World composers and has worked with many living composers as a member of Ossia and Musica Nova, new music ensembles at Eastman and with HGNM, the new music group at Harvard University. Music has taken Kirsten across the United States and Europe as a violist in festivals such as the Garth Newel Chamber Festival, Kneisel Hall, the American Institute of Musical Studies Festival Orchestra in Graz, Austria, Master Classes at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, Master Classes in San Sebastian, Spain, and, as a New Horizons Fellow, the Aspen Music Festival in Aspen, Colorado. Kirsten spends her summers in Italy as the violist with the Holter Ensemble. Currently, Kirsten is the adjunct viola professor at the University of North Carolina -Charlotte, where she also plays with the Madison Park String Quartet. She is studying for her DMA with Scott Rawls at UNCG and plays full time with the North Carolina Symphony.