ASO String Academy Director
American violinist Katherine Williamson joined the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in 2013 and assumed the Assistant Concertmaster post in the fall of 2019. Williamson started her tenure with the Orchestra as an Arts Partner with the Rockefeller String Quartet. With the quartet, she was able to work throughout the state, performing classical music for countless school children, playing in the oncology ward of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, and presenting numerous recitals to a variety of audiences across the state of Arkansas. In addition to her work with the Arkansas Symphony, she also frequently serves as Principal Second Violin of the Conway Symphony Orchestra.
Music has taken Ms. Williamson from the rolling hills of the Meadowmount School of Music in New York, to the mountains of Breckenridge, and to the Konzerthaus stage in Berlin, Germany. She has played as a semifinalist with the New World Symphony, been an associate member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra, and an extra with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. A native of Saint Paul, Minnesota, she still maintains musical connections to her home state as a freelance violinist with the Minnesota Orchestra and, until 2019, as a section violinist for the Mill City Summer Opera.
Director of the ASO’s ASO String Academy since the summer of 2019, Williamson is deeply passionate about music education and public service. She studied violin pedagogy with Dr. Brenda Brenner at Indiana University and with Ms. Christie Felsing at the Suzuki Institute at Ithaca College. Ms. Williamson is a registered Suzuki instructor, has maintained a successful private studio for the past seven years, and was on the violin faculty for UCA’s Community Music School from 2015 - 2017. Beginning in the summer of 2017, she taught for the ASO String Academy under the direction of fellow IU graduate and the Academy’s Founding Director, Dr. Tze-Ying Wu.
In addition to instructing violin lessons, Ms. Williamson is very dedicated to bringing chamber music to the young musicians of Central Arkansas. Since 2017, she has been on the violin faculty for the Faulkner Chamber Music Festival and, since 2018, has served on the Chamber Music Society of Little Rock Board. Williamson also served on the ASO’s Player’s Committee as President for two years from 2016 - 2018. Named “Classical Innovator” by the Arkansas Times in 2018, she believes that all Arkansans should have access to inspiration through the power of world-class classical music. She is committed to this goal through her role both as an educator and performer.
Williamson earned a Bachelor of Music with Distinction from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University in 2012, where she studied privately with Mark Kaplan and orchestral studies with Jorja Fleezanis and Alexander Kerr. She currently resides in downtown Little Rock with her rescue dog, Bernie the beagle.