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Kate CinelliViolin, Viola, Suzuki Violin/Viola

Kate is a violist and violinist who grew up in northern Virginia. She returned to the area in November of 2019 and enjoyed playing with the National Cathedral Choral Society and the GRAMMY nominated Inscape Chamber Orchestra. Kate has completed long-term Suzuki violin training with the esteemed Ronda Cole. She earned bachelor’s degrees in viola performance and music education from the University of Maryland, College Park. There she studied with Daniel Foster, principal violist of the National Symphony Orchestra. She is also thankful to have worked with Daniel Foster’s grandfather, John Kendall, the pioneer of the Suzuki education method in the United States. John Kendall was the first outsider to visit Dr. Shinichi Suzuki in Japan, later brining the method to the United States. Kate earned a master’s degree in viola performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with the assistant principal violist of the Cleveland Orchestra Lynne Ramsey and Jeffrey Irvine. A life-long learner, Kate has continued her Suzuki studies with Kimberly Meir-Sims as well as William and Doris Preucil. She has also completed the teacher training program of fiddle master Mark O’Connor.

As a performer, Kate played in the viola sections of the Dayton Philharmonic, the Lexington Philharmonic and the Blue Ash Symphony in the Cincinnati area. She was also the principal violist of the Lebanon Symphony and assistant principal violist of the Ohio Valley Symphony. Kate was the director of a couple of major Suzuki programs in Cincinnati, notably the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Suzuki Preparatory program. She ran student workshops with clinicians Carrie Reuning-Hummel, Terry Turbin, and Ed Sprunger. She enjoys creating opportunities for students to perform in a variety of settings and in a variety of roles, as that is the complete life of a musician. It can be just as rewarding to perform for a pre-concert event for the National Symphony as it is to perform for residents of a nursing home.


Kate believes her role as a music educator is to foster the growth of the human being, with music being the tool through which a child gains understanding of the world. Violin is not a very forgiving instrument to learn, so through continued study we learn patience, self-respect, and a positive work ethic. Weekly, students listen to recordings of famous string players, recite poetry, sing (at a basic level), and tap out complex rhythms. All of this is done in a supportive environment created to meet the goals of the student and foster a respect for other musicians in a community of learners. Kate is excited to now begin teaching violin and viola students at the Opal Music Studio using either traditional or Suzuki methods.


In her free time, Kate enjoys rock climbing with her husband Travis, and a daily Ashtanga yoga practice, often involving her foster kittens from the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. She also volunteers for React DC, a group that helps refugees resettle into the DC area.


“I want to make good citizens. If a child hears fine music from the day of his birth and learns to play it himself, he develops sensitivity, discipline and endurance. He gets a beautiful heart.” Shinichi Suzuki

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