Alumni

Our Strings program has a long history of great students who have gone on to do great things after graduation. Here are just a few notable examples, and if you are an alum we’d love to hear about what you’re up to.

Cello

Ting-Ya Chiu, Master’s from NIU

  • DMA at University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
  • Assistant Professor at National Tsing Hua University and National Chengchi University

Katri Erwarmaa, NIU Graduate String Quartet Program with the Aula String Quartet

  • Faculty, University of Michigan Residential College
  • Founding Member, Brave New Works, The Muse String Trio
  • Recipient of the “Outstanding Contribution to Undergraduate Education” Award

Daniel Katz, NIU MM

  • Member, Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Rebecca Merblum, NIU Graduate String Quartet Program with the Azmari String Quartet

  • Member, Artaria String Quartet
  • Guest Artist, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Veronica Nettles, Performer’s Certificate from NIU

  • Faculty at DePaul Community School
  • Former cellist of the Kaia String Quartet

Kathie Schlaikjer

  • Cellist, Penderecki Quartet
  • In residence at Wilfred Laurier University, Canada

Viola

Codruta Ban

  • Owner, Music Performance Studio, Palatine, IL

Meghan Casper, Master of Music

  • Artist in Residence, University of Kentucky

Josep Colome, Master of Music

  • Member Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, Barcelona, Spain

Laura Eakman, Master of Music

  • DMA University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
  • Chair of String Division, Community School for the Performing Arts, Manhattan, Kansas

Sila Eser, Performer’s Certificate

  • Master of Music at Yale University
  • DMA University of New York at Stony Brook
  • Faculty at Bogazici University, Izmir, Turkey

Rares Giurgiu, Master of Music

  • Member, Rochester Symphony Orchestra

Ai Ishida, Master of Music

  • Member Kontras String Quartet until 2017
  • Faculty Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, Illinois

Camila Meirelles, Master of Music

  • Professor at Universidade Federal Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil

Craig Mumm, Master of Music

  • Associate Principal Violist, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New York

Sarah Rusin, Master of Music

  • Member, Rochester Symphony Orchestra

Rami Solomonov (1949-2018), Master of Music

  • Principal Violist, Lyric Opera Orchestra
  • Member Chicago String Quartet
  • Member, Chicago Chamber Musicians
  • Professor of Music, DePaul University, Chicago

Oya Ucarci, Master of Music

  • Viola Faculty, Akdeniz Universitesi Antalya Deviet Konservatuvan, Turkey

Louis Enrique Vargas, Performer’s Certificate

  • Member of the Euclid String Quartet
  • Lecturer in Music and Viola at Indiana University South Bend

String Quartets

  • Shanghai String Quartet
  • Avalon String Quartet
  • Arianna String Quartet
  • Aula String Quartet
  • Azmari String Quartet
  • Lipatti String Quartet
  • Enso String Quartet
  • KAIA String Quartet

Violin

Sibbi Bernhardsson, Master of Music

  • Member, Pacifica String Quartet 2000-2017
  • Professor of Music, Violin and Chamber Music at Oberlin Conservatory of Music

Hanna Bingham, Bachelor of Music, 2018

  • Master of Music, Northwestern

Monica Boboc, NIU Graduate String Quartet Program

  • Professor at Gardner-Webb University

Fiona Brickey, Master of Music and Performer’s Certificate

  • Member, Wichita Symphony Orchestra
  • Member, Peoria Symphony Orchestra

Lisa Burrell, Master of Music

  • DMA at University of Houston
  • Faculty, Lone Star College, Texas

Alin Cernaianu, Master of Music

  • Owner and Director, Northside Music Academy, Chicago

Naomi Culp, Master of Music

  • Member, Kaia String Quartet

David Ehrlich, Master of Music

  • Founding member, Audubon String Quartet
  • Outreach Fellow of Fine Arts at Virginia Tech University

Kara Eubanks, Master of Music

  • DMA at City University of New York
  • Director, Willamette Violin Academy, Eugene, Oregon

Garrett Fischbach, Master of Music

  • Member, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New York

Anna-Lena Haikola, NIU Graduate String Quartet Program

  • Principal second violinist, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra

Drostan Hall, Master of Music

  • Founder and Director of Hall School of Music, Wheaton, Illinois
  • Founder, artistic director, and conductor of Camerata Chicago

Nabaz Hama Rasheed, Master of Music

  • DMA at University of Kansas

Anthea Kreston, NIU Performer’s Certificate

  • Amelia Piano Trio
  • Member, Artemis String Quartet
  • Faculty, Curtis Institute

Calin Lupanu, NIU Graduate String Quartet Program

  • Professor, Gardner-Webb University

Christina Merblum, NIU Graduate String Quartet Program

  • Member, Camerata Bern, Switzerland

Victoria Moreira, Master of Music, NIU Graduate String Quartet Program

  • First Violin, Kaia String Quartet

Maureen Nelson, NIU Graduate String Quartet Program

  • Member Enso String Quartet until 2016
  • Member, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

Talia Pavia, Master of Music

  • Director, Talia Pavia String Academy
  • Associate Principal Second Violin, Camerata Chicago

Virpi Raisanen, NIU Graduate String Quartet Program

  • Acclaimed soprano and violinist

Kathie Schlaikjer

  • Cellist of Penderecki Quartet
  • In residence at Wilfred Laurier University in Canada

Tereza Stanislav, NIU Graduate String Quartet Program

  • Enso String Quartet
  • Assistant Concertmaster, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Sarah Thornblade, NIU Graduate String Quartet Program

  • Founding Member, Arianna String Quartet
  • Associate Principal Second Violin, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Ilana Waniuk, Performer’s Certificate (2010)

  • Founder and co-artistic director, Thin Edge New Music Collective
  • DMA student UC San Diego

Shuwen Ye

  • Won first violin Shanghai Symphony Orchestra audition while at NIU