About Me

Music is a powerful force. It bypasses many of our regular functions and boundaries, and connects directly to our imaginations and feelings.


The beauty of music is undeniably enhanced by the context within which we encounter it. The accoustics of the room, the wine sparkling in our glass, the friendship of the person sitting next to us, all of these things can have a deep impact on our openness to a musical experience. Seeing into the backdrop of the music - hearing the scoop about the composers' lives and the waves of history washing through the music we are about to hear - is equally as potent.​

Hi, I'm Denise. I'm a violinist, performer, comunicator, teacher. I like to listen. I'm curious about the world, and I want to see and experience as much of it as I can.

I create multi-layered performance experiences that invite audiences to broaden their vision and open their hearts, by uniting music with elements of poetry, visual art, and historical context, and sometimes even food, wine, dance and more. Music moves me differently when I understand something about where it's coming from, and it is a joy to get to share that.


My experience speaking in university classrooms and pre-concert lectures has shown me how relevant classical music is to our changing culture, but the tradition is being lost. Not everyone grows up with a piano in their household, or even a general music class at school anymore. This music has it all - the allure of entertainment, and the sustenance of meaning. So it comes down to opening the door wide enough, making the invitation to engage with it compelling and welcoming enough, to entice listeners to become partners in the creative process. 


When that partnership is realized, magic happens. 



Denise Dillenbeck is a versatile musician, with a strong background in orchestral, chamber and solo playing. She has toured Europe and America with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and has played with the Seattle Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Pennsylvania Ballet Theater, Philly Pops, and many other orchestras across the U.S. She is currently concertmaster of the Yakima Symphony, York Symphony, Siletz Bay Music Festival Orchestra, Lake Chelan Bach Festival Orchestra and the Northwest Sinfonietta.  She was associate concertmaster of the Tacoma Symphony, and has served as concertmaster for orchestras across the states and in England and Germany. 


Denise performs chamber music with Sage Rendezvous, a group that programs colorful cabaret-style concerts, and she and her husband Mark Goodenberger play music for violin and percussion as DuoDG. As a former member of Third Angle New Music Ensemble, she gave world premiere performances of works by some of today's leading composers. She has performed and coached chamber music on concert series and at festivals around the country and abroad, such as the American Church of Paris, Westminster Choir College, Bravo Summer String Institute, Max Aronoff Viola Institute, Charles Castleman's Quartet Program, and Icicle Creek Summer Academy.


She is passionate about teaching, and has worked with dozens of violin students and young string quartets, and has also taught college courses on music, including a course 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 urban elementary school students in experiential music learning, and directed workshops on aesthetic education for classroom teachers and music educators. She is quoted at length in Eric Booth's book "The Music Teaching Artist's Bible".


As a soloist, Denise has collaborated with orchestras and conductors across the region. As a former member of the Oregon Symphony, she was a featured soloist for several concerts, with James DePreist and Murry Sidlin conducting. She has recently played concerti by Sibelius, Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Prokofiev, Mendelssohn and Bach, with the 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 has upcoming engagements with the Northwest Sinfonietta and Gettysburg Chamber Orchestra. She has recorded solo and chamber works for the Albion and KOCH International labels. 


Denise holds a Bachelor of Music from New England Conservatory, where she studied with James Buswell, and a Master of Music from the University of Minnesota, where she was Sally O'Reilly's teaching assistant and worked with Minnesota Orchestra concertmaster Jorja Fleezanis. She was a Fellow at Aspen, Dean of Charles Castleman's Quartet Program, program coordinator of the Philadelphia Orchestra's Strings International Music Festival, and has played for the Oregon Bach Festival, Ernest Bloch Festival, Chautauqua Music Institute, Musicorda, Siletz Bay Music Festival, and the International Congress of Strings. The San Francisco Chronicle hails her playing as "simply first-rate". 

© 2014 by Denise Dillenbeck. Proudly created with Wix.com

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