Ms. Sampen is a native of Bowling Green, Ohio. She enjoys a vibrant musical career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral performer, recording artist and teacher. She is in demand as a performer of new and experimental works and has premiered dozens of compositions by leading composers. She is violinist with Brave New Works (www.bravenewworks.org), a chamber ensemble devoted to the promotion and performance of contemporary music.
In addition to her busy performing schedule, Ms. Sampen is a dedicated teacher. She is currently Assistant Professor of Violin at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington where she maintains a studio of eighteen to twenty college violinists, coaches chamber music and is chair of the string department. In August 2005 she received the University of Puget Sound’s Thomas A. Davis Teaching Award for excellence in university teaching.
Ms. Sampen holds bachelor and doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan, where she was a student of Paul Kantor, and a master of music degree from Rice University, where she studied violin with Kenneth Goldsmith and chamber music with Paul Katz and Norman Fischer. She was winner of both the University of Michigan Concerto Competition and the Shepherd School of Music (Rice University) Concerto Competition.
Ms. Sampen has performed as soloist with numerous orchestras throughout the United States and has appeared as a chamber musician in Europe, Asia and North America.
Highlights include multiple performances of William Bolcom's Violin Concerto in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Texas and Colorado; an all-Schoenberg chamber music program with Pierre Boulez and members of the Ensemble Intercontemporaine at Carnegie Hall; and serving as concertmaster/solo violinist for productions of Bright Sheng's opera, Silver River, in Singapore. Ms. Sampen made her New York City debut at Lincoln Center's Bruno Walter Auditorium in June of 1996. She has been featured as a soloist on several radio broadcasts throughout the country including live appearances on KING FM in Seattle, and public radio stations in Michigan, Nevada, Indiana and Illinois.
Ms. Sampen has held fellowships at the Aspen Music Festival and the Tanglewood Music Festival. She has also performed and studied at the Mozarteum Sommerakademie in Salzburg, Austria, the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada and with the Dexter Quartet, as ensemble in residence at the Musicorda Festival in Massachusetts. Her 2005 summer and fall schedule included solo and chamber music performances at the Methow Music Festival in Winthrop, WA, the Institute and Festival for Contemporary Performance in New York City, and the Conductor’s Retreat at Medomak in Maine.