Genevieve Smelser, Violin

Genevieve Smelser began her Suzuki violin studies at age three in DeKalb, Illinois, and grew up playing in many ensembles and programs in the Chicagoland area including the Midwest Young Artists, the IMEA All-State Honors Orchestra, and the Chicago Suzuki Institute.

In 2017, she earned her Bachelor’s degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music in Violin Performance, studying with Stephen Rose, and was a recipient of the Anna Y. Tringas award for Violin Excellence. At CIM, Genevieve won the 2015 Concerto Competition and performed Brahm’s Violin Concerto with the CIM orchestra. Additionally, her string quartet, Onyx, participated in the Intensive Quartet Seminar, studying under the Cavani Quartet and working with members of the Cleveland, Juilliard, and Jupiter Quartets. In 2019, she completed her Master’s degree at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, studying with Paul Kantor. While at Rice, Genevieve won the 2019 Concerto Competition and performed Dmitri Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Shepherd Symphony Orchestra.

After her conservatory studies, Genevieve was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, where she served as concertmaster, and trained under principal members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Along with performing, Genevieve mentored young Chicago Public School musicians. Also during this time, Genevieve returned to her roots and began studying to become a Suzuki teacher, training with her mother, Ann Montzka-Smelser. Genevieve comes from a very musical family and has two Aunts, a mother, and grandmother in the Suzuki world.

Genevieve likes to balance teaching and performing, and has recently performed internationally with the Verbier Festival Orchestra and Écoles d’Arts de Fontainebleau. Over the past few years, Genevieve has attended several other festivals including the Meadowmount School of Music as a teaching assistant to Gerardo Ribeiro, the Perlman Music Program’s Chamber Music Workshop, the Music Academy of the West, and the Aspen Music Festival. Beyond performing and teaching, Genevieve is passionate about exploring the connection between music and body through yoga and meditation.