Instruction in Violin, Celtic Fiddle Improvisation

Classical Violin

Katherine completed her High School education at the Interlochen Arts Academy, went on to get a Bachelor of Music in Classical Performance at the Peabody Conservatory and did further study at the Academy of Music in Vienna, Austria.

She spent over 20 years as a working professional musician in Vienna, Austria, playing in the orchestra of the Wiener Kammeroper, and in the Sinfonia Piccola des Theaters der Landeshauptstadt St. Pölten, she toured Austria and other central European countries as a member of Trio Melisande and with Quartett Yggdrasil Wien.

"If I were giving a prize for the most sensational chamber music concert of the year 1993, I'd bestow it on Quartett Yggdrasil for their concert in the Stadtinitiative … In short: Four simply magnificent musicians performed four simply brilliant works and gave the listeners a concert experience that was delightful in every detail. And since the mood in the hall was so good, they closed with the Polka from Shostakovitch's Age of Gold."
Christian Heindl - Wiener Zeitung

Celtic Fiddle

For over a dozen years Katherine made annual pilgrimages to Scotland in the summers to learn Scottish Fiddle, principally with Alasdair Fraser, but also with Ian MacFarlane, Buddy MacMaster, Alan Henderson, Karen Steven and other prominent exponents of the Scottish style.

On the fiddle Katherine is also an active performer, she did many concerts and festivals while living in Austria with Peony and Stone Circle as well as performing often with guitarist Thomas Herzl. In Michigan she performs with Blue Caledonia and with guitarist Dave Cocagne

"Katherine Dunham… a very fine teacher and engaging performer, she has put an immense amount of love, care and thought into the intricacies of the Scottish fiddle and is able to express her ideas in a beautiful and exciting manner."
Alasdair Fraser


In 2003 Katherine left her adopted home in Austria to pursue a Masters degree in Improvisation from the University of Michigan, which she received in 2005. Her vision was to integrate classical and non-classical music making. Improvisation plays a prominent part in her work with Blue Caledonia.

"Katherine, is a violinist who completed her MM in Improvisation last term, and she brings an extraordinarily broad musical exposure to her work, informed particularly strongly by Celtic and other folk genres, and modern chamber music, and of course trans-stylistic approaches to large ensemble improvising. I am sure you will dig it."
Ed Sarath - Chair Dept. of Jazz and Improvisation at the University of Michigan


Katherine is a dedicated teacher and a life member of the American String Teachers Association. She has presented workshops on teaching improvisation at several ASTA national conferences. Currently Katherine teaches at the Clarkston Conservatory of Music and in her studio in Ann Arbor.

Katherine Dunham
(734) 929 9639

Clarkston Conservatory of Music
49 S. Main St., Clarkston Mi 48346
(248) 625-3640


"Yesterday's Modern - 20th Century Music for Violin and Piano"
Katherine Dunham, violin & James Wilhelmsen, piano
Sunday 26 April, 2015 at 7:30pm
at the Kerrytown Concert House
415 N. 4th Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Clarkston Conservatory Student Recitals
Saturday, 16 May 2015 at 1:00, 2:30 and 4:00pm
at Calvary Lutheran Church
6805 Bluegrass Drive, Clarkston MI 48346

Copyright 2015 Katherine Dunham