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...leads a vibrant musical career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral performer, recording artist and teacher...

Maria Sampen, Professor of Violin at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA, enjoys a vibrant musical career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral performer, recording artist and teacher.  In demand as a performer of both standard repertoire and new experimental works, her engagements include concertos, concerts and masterclasses in Europe, Asia, Canada and all over the United States.


Dr. Sampen has commissioned and premiered recent concertos for violin and orchestra by composers David Glenn, Marilyn Shrude and Robert Hutchinson.  Additionally, she has commissioned and premiered over 20 chamber works, including music by Marcos Balter, Andrew Mead, Robert Morris, Nico Muhly and Forrest Pierce.


Sampen’s recent performance schedule includes solo recitals and masterclasses at the Sichuan Conservatory in Chengdu, China.  Her 2015 schedule also included performances of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante and the premiere of David Glenn’s “Romantic Rhapsody on Themes of Mozart” with the Walla Walla Symphony, performances with the Turtle Island Quartet in Seattle and as a featured chamber musician at the Icicle Creek Summer Chamber Music Institute and the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival.


Dr. Sampen teaches a talented studio of violinists at the University of Puget Sound where she coaches chamber music, directs the New Music Ensemble and chairs the string department. She has also served on the faculty at the Brevard Music Festival and the Icicle Creek Chamber Music Institute. Sampen’s students have won major awards with the MTNA Competition, the Tacoma Philharmonic Solo Competition, the American String Teacher Washington State Competition, and the Rockin’ Fiddle Challenge.


Sampen has been featured as a soloist on KING FM in Seattle and other public radio stations throughout the country. She has released recordings on AMP Records, Block M Records and Perspectives in New Music/Open Space. Sampen is currently preparing recordings of Georges Enesco’s Sonata No. Béla Bartók’s Sonata No. 2, and Marilyn Shrude’s “Memorie di Luoghi.”


Dr. Sampen performed and studied at the Mozarteum Sommerakademie, the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Carnegie Hall Professional Training Workingshop, the Aspen Festival, Tanglewood and the Musicorda Festival.  She holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Rice University and was also a fellow at Aspen and the Tanglewood Music Festival. Her major teachers include Paul Kantor, Kenneth Goldsmith and Paul Makara. In addition to her work as a soloist, Sampen concertizes frequently with her new music group, Brave New Works, as well as the IRIS Orchestra of Tennessee, and the Puget Sound Piano Trio.

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