A native of Des Moines, violinist Hanna Wolle has quickly established herself as a dynamic performer, chamber musician, and orchestral player in the Des Moines area.
After beginning her musical studies at age four, Hanna quickly emerged as a talented violinist, winning several competitions across the state of Iowa. In 2005, she won a First Violin spot with the Des Moines Symphony as a junior in high school, and rejoined the Symphony and the First Violin section in 2017 after moving back to Des Moines. In addition to performing with the Symphony, Hanna performs with her string quartet, Quartet 515, and the Des Moines Dueling Fiddles. Through various musical engagements, Hanna enjoys maintaining an active performing career in the area.
Hanna graduated from the University of Iowa with degrees in Economics and Chinese, and currently works at the Principal Financial Group. In 2017, Hanna was recognized as a finalist for the Juice YP Creative of the Year award, and was honored as a 2017 Business Record Forty Under 40 recipient.
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.
BA – Luther College
Leah Kolner was born and raised in Ames, Iowa. She earned a bachelor’s degree in violin performance from Luther College in Decorah. She started Suzuki violin lessons at the age of four and also took many other music lessons throughout her early education including piano, oboe and voice. In high school, she was a three-year member of the Iowa All-State program in both the orchestral and vocal divisions. After graduating from Ames High School, she attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where she studied violin with Dr. Virginia Strauss. In January 2003, she studied in Vienna with the Luther College Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Daniel Baldwin.
MM – University of Akron
BM – University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music
Danna Pins received a bachelor of music degree in violin performance from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music and a master of music degree in violin performance from the University of Akron.
She has studied with Allen Ohmes, David Russell, Won Bin Yim, Alan Bodman, and Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio. Danna Pins has had extensive training in Suzuki pedagogy and teaches with the Des Moines Area Suzuki Institute.
Violinist Linda Pfund Swanson began her career as First Violinist of the Pioneer Quartet of the Des Moines Symphony. With the quartet, she performed recitals throughout Iowa, which were sponsored by the Iowa Arts Council and the Des Moines Symphony. In addition to traditional concerts, the quartet performed in over one hundred of Iowa’s public schools and with the Iowa Communication Network, held interactive educational programs in Iowa’s classrooms. Radio broadcasts of the quartet have aired on Iowa Public Radio, and PKN radio in Danbury, Connecticut, with members of the Manhattan String Quartet. Since 1993, Mrs. Swanson has continued to perform in the First Violin Section of the Des Moines Symphony. In addition to her position with the symphony, Mrs. Swanson joined the first violin section of Des Moines Metro Opera, in which she played until 2007. While with the quartet, Mrs. Swanson was invited to serve as Guest Concertmaster of the Boise Philharmonic as a finalist for the Concertmaster position and Langroise Trio Fellow of Albertson College. Mrs.Swanson also joined the 40th season of the Britt Music Festival and performed under the baton of James DePreist as Acting Principal Second Violin.
Following her position with the Pioneer Quartet, Mrs. Swanson joined the faculty of Graceland University, which was possible through an endowment given by Dwight and Ruth Vredenburg. As an artist, Mrs. Swanson performed Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the University Orchestra, performed with the Vredenburg Trio, and collaborated with visiting professor Yosif Radianov of Sofia, Bulgaria.. In 2002 and 2005, Mrs. Swanson served on the Faculty of Drake University as Teaching Artist of the Violin. She has also instructed students at the Drake Community School of Music, Central College Music Connection, Peabody Conservatory Preparatory Division, and University of Northern Colorado String Project. Mrs. Swanson has given master classes at The University of Northern Iowa, Albertson College of Idaho, Central College, Drake University, and University of Northern Colorado.
Mrs. Swanson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Violin Performance from University of Northern Colorado. While attending the university, she was awarded Outstanding Freshman Scholar and the Angie Southard Performance Award. As a soloist, she performed Mendelssohn Concerto in E Minor with the University Orchestra at the Music Educators National Conference in Colorado Springs. Winning a Concerto competition, Mrs. Swanson also performed Vivaldi’s Winter as a soloist with the orchestra on a tour of South Korea. The concerts were broadcasted on Korean Radio and Television. After arriving back in Colorado, she traveled to Kingsville, Texas as string finalist in the Kingsville International Competition. In Colorado, she auditioned for the 1990 National Repertory Orchestra and was accepted for the nine-week season. During the festival, Mrs. Swanson was offered a position in the Colorado Springs Symphony. She began her Master’s Degree in Violin Performance from Peabody in 1991, studying with Baltimore Symphony Concertmaster, Herbert Greenberg. Her chamber music instructor was Earl Carlyss from the Julliard Quartet. In the summers, she participated in National Orchestral Institute, Sarasota Music Festival, and Blossom Music Festivals. Mrs. Swanson performed in master classes for concertmasters; William Preucil, Martin Chalifour, Daniel Majeske, Joseph Silverstein and Norman Carol. At Blossom, she had the privilege of performing Dvorak‘s New World Symphony in the Cleveland Orchestra with stand partner, Associate Concertmaster- Martin Chalifour.
Recently, Mrs. Swanson traveled to Idaho to Collaborate with Lutanist, Lucas Harris and members of University of Idaho on a performance of Nauwach’s Teutscher Villanellen for the Idaho Bach Festival. Additionally , she was honored to assist Jennifer Wohlenhaus on her Faculty Oboe Recital at Drake University.
Seaeun Lee has a bachelor of music degree in violin performance from Ewha University, Seoul, Korea and a master of art degree in violin performance and education from Iowa State University.
After starting violin lessons at the age of three, Sara Goplin took time away from music after high school. After trying several different careers, she realized what she really loved was music and picked the violin back up. She has played with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Symphony, the Boston Conservatory Symphony, and recorded with a bluegrass/gospel band in Boston. She teaches privately and currently sits as Principal Second violin with the Central Iowa Symphony. She joined the Des Moines Symphony as a sub in 2010, and as a contracted player in 2011.
Julie Fox Henson is the Assistant Concertmaster of the Des Moines Symphony, in addition to performing as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the area. Ms. Henson enjoys a successful teaching studio in the Ames/Des Moines area, and was voted the 2010 Leopold LaFosse Studio Teacher of the Year by the Iowa String Teachers Association. Since the summer of 2001, she has been a member of the Belin String Quartet, which had started as a summer concert series inDes Moines and now also performs concerts and educational programs throughout the year. Ms. Henson performed throughout the U.S. and parts of Europe and South America from 1982 to 1992 as first violinist of the Montclaire String Quartet. The ensemble won first place in the Coleman and Monterey Chamber Music Competitions in California, and a prize at the Evian String Quartet Competition in France.