Emily Ondracek-Peterson


Praised by The New York Times for her “elegant solowork,” and by Strad magazine for her “dazzling passagework,” Dr. Emily Ondracek-Peterson’s multifaceted pursuits embody the scope, versatility, and ability required for a successful music career in the twenty-first century. As a rising star of violin performance and arts advocacy, Dr. Ondracek-Peterson moves effortlessly through multiple areas of focus: performance, teaching, writing, scholarship, administration, and entrepreneurship.

Emily Ondracek-Peterson, violinist
photo by Erik Christian Peterson

Dr. Ondracek-Peterson is a native of Chicago and began playing the violin at the age of 4. When sixteen she gave her solo debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, playing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Concertos. Dr. Ondracek has performed solo and chamber music performances at all of the major venues in New York City including Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center with the New York Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, the Guggenheim, MoMA, {le} poisson rouge, the Apollo Theatre, Bargemusic, Merkin Hall, Alvin Ailey Dance Center, Trinity Wall Street, Steinway Hall, and Symphony Space. She has also performed at festivals such as the Aspen, Sarasota, Italy’s Festival de Due Mondi, and the Cleveland Orchestra’s Blossom Summer Music Festival, where she was presented the Joseph Gingold Award for most outstanding instrumentalist.

As first violinist of the acclaimed Voxare String Quartet, Dr. Ondracek-Peterson has been awarded Chamber Music America’s ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. She has also performed and recorded with the Talea Ensemble; the Wordless Orchestra with Johnny Greenwood (Radiohead); Axiom; Classical Jam; the Japanese band, Mono. Taking pride in contemporary-music advocacy, she has worked with composers both young and established, including Pulitzer Prize-winning composers Ned Rorem and David Del Tredici, both of which has requested recordings of their works. Dr. Ondracek-Peterson has studied chamber music with Robert Mann, founder of the Juilliard String Quartet, David Harrington of the Kronos Quartet, and members of the Juilliard, Kronos, American, and Vermeer Quartets.

Education plays a large role in Dr. Ondracek’s professional activities. Currently Dr. Ondracek-Peterson is the director of string studies and full-time professor of violin at the Metropolitan State University of Denver and is on faculty at Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Ondracek has held residencies at Dartmouth College, the University of Leeds (UK), University of Virginia, and others. She is a two-time Morse Fellow and was a New York Philharmonic Teaching Artist, bringing creative music instruction to a wide range of K-12 schools including those in Harlem and the Bronx. Currently, she sits on the Educational Board of the Colorado Symphony. Dr. Ondracek is certified as a Suzuki instructor and teaches at Suzuki institutes and workshops throughout the country.

Dr. Ondracek received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The Juilliard School, where she studied with Masao Kawasaki under a Morse Scholarship. At Teachers College, Columbia University, Dr. Ondracek received her doctorate in Music and Music Education; her research into the careers of classically-trained musicians culminated in a 500-page doctoral thesis.


A Video Archive of Accomplished Ideas in Music