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Joanne Opgenorth

First Violin

Joanne Opgenorth joined the Orchestra’s first violin section in 2002, after serving seven seasons as a first violinist in the Washington National Opera Orchestra in Washington, D.C. She has collaborated with Orchestra musicians and guest artists, playing chamber music in the Minnesota Orchestra Chamber Music, Nightcap and Sommerfest series, and in KinderKonzerts and Common Chords outreach chamber music concerts. 

Opgenorth is a first prize winner in the Eckhardt-Gramatte Competition of Canada and the recipient of several Canada Council awards. She has appeared as soloist with the Edmonton Symphony and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestras, and has toured Canada in recital. She has played chamber music concerts in Spain, Switzerland, and throughout the eastern United States and Puerto Rico with various ensembles, including Continuum—a new music ensemble based in New York—and the Morrison String Quartet based in Washington, D.C. She is a founding member of the Isles Ensemble, a chamber music group that performs at Lake of the Isles Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. Her performances have been broadcast on Canada’s CBC Radio, WQXR New York and Minnesota Public Radio.

Besides playing the violin, Opgenorth also enjoys teaching. She started teaching privately at 14 years old, and has taught at the Vancouver Conservatory and at Rutgers University as a doctoral fellow. She has also coached youth orchestra violin sections and chamber music ensembles including the Iceland Symphony Youth Orchestra, the National Philharmonic Summer Institute orchestra and ensembles, and has guest coached the University of Minnesota Symphony Orchestra and the Minnesota Youth Symphony.

Opgenorth grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, where she studied with Yasuko Tanaka Eastman, Jack Krajicek, and Ranald Shean. She received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School. Her principal teachers were John Loban, Lorand Fenyves, Joseph Fuchs, Paul Zukofsky and Arnold Steinhardt.  She participated in summer festivals at the Banff Centre and at the Hochshule Motzarteum in Salzburg, Austria, where she studied with David Zafer, Michel Schwalbe, Jean Fournier, Jaap Scroder and Ruggiero Ricci.