Violinist Maria Sampen enjoys a vibrant career as concerto soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and teacher. Equally at home with repertoire ranging from classical to avant-garde to popular styles, Dr. Sampen has delighted audiences with her eclectic programs, her passionate performance style and her highly expressive playing. She has performed in Europe, Asia, Canada and all over the United States.

Dr. Sampen’s solo and chamber music appearances have brought her to prominent venues including Carnegie Hall Weill Recital Hall, Symphony Space (NY), Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center, Town Hall (Seattle), the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Detroit Institute of Art. She has given recitals and masterclasses at universities throughout the country including the University of Michigan, Cornell, Eastman, the Boston Conservatory, the University of Oregon, the University of Minnesota, Bowling Green State University, Vanderbilt, and the University of Washington. Outside of the United States, she has been a guest soloist and master class clinician at the University of British Columbia, the Sichuan Conservatory in Chengdu, China and given performances in the Canary Islands (Spain), Scotland, Italy and Singapore. 

Dr. Sampen is a passionate supporter of contemporary music and has commissioned and premiered concertos for violin and orchestra by composers David Glenn, Marilyn Shrude and Robert Hutchinson. Sampen has released recordings on AMP Records, Block M Records, Perspectives in New Music/Open Space and Origin Records. Additionally, she has commissioned and premiered an impressive body of chamber works, collaborating with composers such as William Bolcom, William Albright, Bright Sheng, Marcos Balter, Andrew Mead, Robert Morris, Nico Muhly and Forrest Pierce.

In addition to her work as a soloist, Dr. Sampen concertizes frequently with her piano trio, the Puget Sound Piano Trio. She was a member of the new music group, Brave New Works from 2000-2020. In 2019, the University of Puget Sound awarded her the Kristine Bartanen Research Award for remarkable accomplishments in research and professional development. She is also a Sigma Alpha Iota Distinguished National Arts Associate. 

Dr. Sampen is Professor of Violin and Chair of the String Department at the University of Puget Sound. She has twice received the University of Puget Sound’s Thomas A. Davis Teaching Award for excellence in teaching. Her students are frequent winners of local concerto competitions and have also won top awards at the Music Teacher National Association Competition, the Tacoma Philharmonic Solo Competition, and the American String Teacher Washington State Competition. Dr. Sampen has also taught on the faculties of the Brevard Music Festival in North Carolina, the Interlochen Center for the Arts, the Icicle Creek Chamber Music Institute in Washington and the Hilton Head Chamber Music Festival in South Carolina. 

Dr. Sampen graduated with highest honors from the University of Michigan (Bachelor of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts) and Rice University (Masters of Music). Her major teachers include Paul Kantor, Kenneth Goldsmith and Paul Makara. She also performed and studied at the Mozarteum Sommerakademie, the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Musicorda Festival, the Carnegie Hall Professional Training Workshop, and as a fellow at both the Aspen and Tanglewood Music Festivals.

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