Kathryn Dey

Principal, Erika and Chuck Riddiford Endowed Chair

Originally from Lake Mills, Wisconsin, violist Kathryn Dey is active as a soloist and chamber musician and has performed extensively throughout the United States and Europe.  Ms. Dey is a Surdna Foundation fellow and was awarded a grant from that organization to study and perform works for unaccompanied viola by Lillian Fuchs.  She performs regularly with organist David Turner as The Lila Duo and recent projects include performances at Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, VA and a series of recitals in France and Germany.  Together the duo founded the Haiti Music Project, an outreach program connecting musicians in the United States and Cange, Haiti.

Active as an educator, her teaching has been recognized by the American String Teacher Association, “Strings Magazine,” Music Teachers National Association, the American Viola Society, the South Carolina Alliance for Arts Education, and the South Carolina Music Educators Association.  Students from her studio are now performing and teaching around the world.  Ms. Dey has given workshops to teachers and students throughout South Carolina and helped build rural string programs in Jasper, Laurens, and Pickens Counties.  She is a frequent presenter at music teaching conferences and has been recognized nationally for her interdisciplinary work in fields of music, creative writing and acting.  Ms. Dey is on the faculty of the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts, the Eastman Summer Viola Workshop and the Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival.  She earned degrees in viola performance form the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a student of Sally Chisholm, and at the Eastman School of Music, where she served as a teaching assistant to John Graham.  Ms. Dey speaks fluent German, practices hatha yoga daily and together with husband cellist Robert O’Brien, has been renovating a historic home in downtown Greenville, SC for the past twelve years.