Kevin Amidon
  • Instrument First Violins

Kevin Amidon cannot remember a time in his life when he did not play the violin.  He began in 1974 at age three, and studied with Kathryn Siegel, Eleanor Allen, and Shigetoshi Yamada.  He also began viola studies at the age of six.  He has performed ever since as a soloist, chamber musician, and symphonic and opera player around the world.  Particular performance highlights include the first-ever concert tour in 1983 of the People’s Republic of China by American and Japanese students of the Suzuki Method; participation with the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra in the conducting seminar of the Salzburg Mozarteum music school with Michael Gielen in 1989; a concert tour of Eastern Europe with the Princeton University Orchestra in 1996; and performances with members of the Berlin Philharmonic in Germany and Italy in 2003 and 2004.  He currently performs regularly in Iowa with the Des Moines Symphony and as concertmaster of the Central Iowa Symphony, and in Michigan with the Traverse Symphony Orchestra.

Music is nonetheless not his primary vocation.  He studied German, history, musicology, art history, and economics in Ann Arbor, Princeton, Freiburg im Breisgau, Frankfurt am Main, and Berlin, and earned his Ph.D. in German Studies at Princeton University in 2001 with a thesis on the German opera economy of the 1920s.  He currently holds the position of Associate Professor of German Studies and is an Affiliate Faculty of Woman’s and Gender Studies at Iowa State University.  He teaches and publishes regularly about history, music, science, and literature in the German-speaking world of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Member of the Orchestra since


Most memorable experience with the Orchestra

Performing Shostakovich's Violin Concerto no. 1 with Midori.

How I got started playing my instrument

I began at age 3. I simply can't remember a time when it hasn't been a major part of my life.

Favorite composer

Varies by the day. Often Mozart, often Mahler, often Brahms.

Favorite solo piece

Bach's Chaconne from Sonata in D Minor for Solo Violin

Other than classical music _____ is on my iPod

Alternative bands I've recorded with, including The Nadas and The Envy Corps