A radiant violinist that delivers extraordinary performances imbued with imagination and insight, Denise Dillenbeck is “simply first-rate.” (San Francisco Chronicle) Celebrated for her work as a soloist, Dillenbeck offers “gripping and technically accomplished [interpretations]… at once soulful and well-reasoned,” (The Oregonian) of both classic repertoire and breathtaking new masterworks. With her “long-lined phrases and unflagging focus,” (The Oregonian) Dillenbeck inspires and thrives in leadership roles as Concertmaster and within the region’s leading chamber ensembles. Through her board membership, volunteer work, and by modeling and mentoring empowered female roles, Dillenbeck enriches her communities with visionary thought leadership.
“A superlative violin soloist… [offering] subtlety, honesty and vulnerability, with a rarefied tone” (The Tacoma News Tribune) Dillenbeck’s recent and upcoming solo engagements include a tour of China with the American Festival Orchestra in addition to concerti by Bernstein, Saint-Saens, Sibelius, Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Prokofiev, Mendelssohn and Bach, with the Bellingham Symphony, Gettysburg Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonietta Nova, Boise Baroque Orchestra, Gonzaga Symphony, Yakima Symphony, York Symphony, Lake Union Civic Orchestra, Olympia Symphony, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, Washington-Idaho Symphony, Salem Chamber Orchestra, Tacoma Community College Orchestra, Central Washington University Orchestra, Lake Chelan Bach Festival Orchestra, and Northwest Sinfonietta. Her discography includes solo and chamber works on the Albion and KOCH International labels.
Dillenbeck leads the Yakima Symphony, York Symphony, Lake Chelan Bach Festival Orchestra and the Northwest Sinfonietta, offering “dynamic nuances and virtuosic aplomb” (The Oregonian) as concertmaster. She has also served in that role for orchestras in America, England and Germany, as well as associate concertmaster of the Tacoma Symphony. Her extensive orchestral background includes touring Europe and America with the Philadelphia Orchestra, membership in the Oregon Symphony, and performances with the Seattle Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Pennsylvania Ballet Theater and Philly Pops.
As a member of the Third Angle New Music Ensemble and Ethos Quartet, Dillenbeck capitalized on a rare combination of “skill and adventurousness… [that was] highly effective.” (The Oregonian) She has performed and coached chamber music as a part of concert series and festivals worldwide, such as the American Church of Paris, Siletz Bay Music Festival, Westminster Choir College, Bravo Summer String Institute, Max Aronoff Viola Institute, Charles Castleman's Quartet Program, and Icicle Creek Summer Academy. Additional appearances include the Oregon Bach Festival, Ernest Bloch Festival, Chautauqua Music Institute, Musicorda, and the International Congress of Strings.
A passionate and generous teacher, Dillenbeck’s college courses include a class on viewing world history and literature through the prism of Beethoven. As a teaching artist in the Philadelphia Orchestra's Community Partnership Program, she led elementary school students in experiential music learning and directed workshops on aesthetic education. Additional leadership roles include Dean of Charles Castleman's Quartet Program and Program Coordinator of the Philadelphia Orchestra's Strings International Music Festival. Eric Booth quotes Dillenbeck at length in his seminal book, “The Music Teaching Artist's Bible,” and her thoughtful, industry-responsive writing appears regularly in the Yakima Herald. Dillenbeck studied at the New England Conservatory, the University of Minnesota, and was a Fellow at the renowned Aspen Music Festival.