Boulder, Colorado native Carol Carlson grew up playing violin in the Boulder Suzuki Strings program and the Denver Young Artist's Orchestra.  Ms. Carlson holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Master of Music); the International Center for Music at Park University in Kansas City, Missouri (Artist Certificate); and Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri (Bachelor of Music in violin performance and Bachelor of Arts in political science and Spanish).  She spent the 2004-05 academic year attending the Universidad de Deusto as an exchange student and living in San Sebastian, Spain. 

An avid proponent of music education, Ms. Carlson co-founded, co-directs, and teaches in Music con Brio, a non-profit organization that provides affordable violin lessons and equipment after school and on-site at Emerson Elementary School in Madison.  The program currently serves students from five local schools; more than two thirds of its students qualify for free or reduced lunch.  Additionally, Ms. Carlson serves as teaching assistant for Professor Felicia Moye at UW-Madison; maintains a private violin, piano and vocal studio; and teaches humanities and general education classes at the Madison campus of the University of Phoenix.

Ms. Carlson is an enthusiastic performer and composer of new music.  In February 2012 she gave the premiere performance of her second composition commission, a collaborative work with UW-Madison dance faculty Marlene Skog entitled Village.  The review in the Madison Isthmus stated “[Village]is sexy and strong … musician and composer Carol Carlson is an ideal collaborator”.  The pair also collaborated on The Swan, which premiered in November 2010. 

Ms. Carlson is currently concertmaster of the pit orchestra at the Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts in Fairfield, IA, and regularly performs a member of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, the Pecatonica String Quartet, and Duo Mendota.  In the summer of 2010, Duo Mendota performed its first recital tour, giving concerts throughout Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa and Pennsylvania.  In October of the same year, Duo Mendota was invited to perform at Truman State University’s New Music Festival premiering Warren Gooch’s Concert Suite on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, written for them.  On the same concert, Ms. Carlson also performed Brad Fowler’s Angels and Demons, which was written for and dedicated to her. In March 2012, Ms. Carlson presented Living Composers, Live Performers, an interdisciplinary performance of both Concert Suite on A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Angels and Demons in collaboration with dancers and actors from UW-Madison.

Ms. Carlson is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Kappa Lambda, Pi Sigma Alpha, Golden Key International Honour Society, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and Sigma Alpha Iota.  She was the 2004 recipient of the Presser Award at Truman, which includes a $4000 scholarship and is given to a single outstanding music major. She also received the 2004 Music Department Service Award, and graduated magna cum laude with departmental honors in music.  A lifelong student of ballet, in 2001 she passed the Elementary Exam to become a full member of the Royal Academy of Dance.

Ms. Carlson resides in Madison with her husband, who is also a musician.  She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in violin performance with a minor in dance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studies with Felicia Moye.  Her previous teachers include Ben Sayevich and Dr. William Starr. 

<June 2021>

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