Svend Rønning

Professor of Music - Violin; Chair of Stringed Instruments

Svend Rønning

Office Location:Mary Baker Russell Music Center - Room 110

  • Professional
  • Biography


  • D.M.A., Yale University, 1997
  • M.M.A., Yale University, 1993
  • M.M., Yale University, 1991
  • B.M. summa cum laude, Violin Performance, Pacific Lutheran University, 1989

Areas of Emphasis or Expertise

  • Strings
  • Violin


Chair, Stringed Instruments; Applied Violin Lessons; Director String Kaleidoscope, Member Regency String Quartet


  • Karen Hille Phillips Regency Advancement Award Recipient 2015-2016, Pacific Lutheran University


Svend Rønning is Chair of the String Division at Pacific Lutheran University and where he is also Professor of Violin.

Dr. Rønning is a native of the Pacific Northwest and holds an undergraduate degree in violin performance, summa cum laude, from Pacific Lutheran University, which he earned in 1989.  He subsequently earned Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from Yale University.  His teachers include Syoko Aki, Sidney Harth, Jaap Schröder, and Ann Tremaine.He is of the most active violinists in the region, serving as Concertmaster of the Symphony Tacoma, violinist of the Regency String Quartet, violinist of the Puget Sound Consort as well as frequent soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and recording artist. Dr. Rønning is also Artistic Director of the Second City Chamber Series, Tacoma’s award winning producer of chamber music concerts and chamber music educational programs.Svend Rønning has served as Concertmaster of various orchestras including the Charlottesville Symphony, the San Jose Symphony, the Spoleto U.S.A. Chamber Orchestra, and the Tacoma Opera Orchestra. As soloist, he has appeared with numerous orchestras, including the Arctic Chamber Orchestra, the Charlottesville Symphony, the Everett Symphony, the Prague Radio Symphony, Orchestra Seattle, the Symphony Tacoma, and the Tacoma Youth Symphony. His repertoire includes most of the standard violin concertos as well as concertos by Alban Berg, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Jerry Kracht (written for him), Walter Ross (written for him) and Miklós Rózsa.Chamber music appearances include performances at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, the Mostly Nordic Chamber Series in Seattle, the Washington State Governor’s Mansion Chamber Series, the Methow Music Festival, and Chamber Concerts for the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina, Wintergreen Music Festival in Virginia, the Second City Chamber Series, and the Leo Kestenberg Musikschule in Berlin.

Other notable appearances and residencies have taken place at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Duke University, Ithaca College, Luther College, St. John’s University, the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Puget Sound, and Yale’s Merkin Hall concerts in New York City. During the 2018-2019 academic year, he will teach a section of the PLU-IHON course, “The Arts in Society: In the Footsteps of the Red Violin” at the University of Oxford as part of PLU’s International Honors curriculum.

As a teacher, Svend Rønning has served on the faculty of Pacific Lutheran University since 1999. Prior to this appointment, he served on the music faculty of the University of Virginia and has been pleased to train young musicians who have gone on to careers with significant orchestras including the Virginia Symphony, the Lexington Philharmonic, the Bellevue Philharmonic, and the Tacoma Symphony. Others enjoy careers in popular music, performing with a number of popular ensembles, among them the Seattle Rock Orchestra and the Dave Matthews Band. He has also been privileged to be part of the development of many fine music teachers who serve in public and private schools including the faculties of the Asbury College and Center Colleges in Kentucky as well as students who have distinguished themselves in public school districts throughout the country.