Svend Rønning

Professor of Music - Violin; Coordinator of String Studies

Svend Rønning

Office Location: Mary Baker Russell Music Center - 110

Office Hours: (On Campus) Mon - Fri: By Appointment

  • 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


  • Mellon Grant (2019) for course development in New Media (shared with multiple faculty)
  • Wang Center Award for development of International Education (2018)
  • Karen Hille Phillips Regency Advancement Award Recipient 2015-2016, Pacific Lutheran University
  • Regency Advancement Award Recipient 2006-2007, Pacific Lutheran University
  • PLU Innovative Teaching Grant (2003)
  • Richard Moe Award for Professional Development (2002)


Violinist Svend Rønning enjoys a varied career as an artistic director, chamber musician, concertmaster, educator, and soloist. He is Coordinator of String Studies at Pacific Lutheran University where he is Professor of Music and violinist in the Regency String Quartet. His prior teaching appointments have included faculty positions at the Eastern Music Festival, the Shenandoah Conservatory, and the University of Virginia. One of the most active performers in the Puget Sound, Dr. Rønning serves as Concertmaster of Symphony Tacoma, as well as performing frequently as soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and recording artist. He is also Artistic Director of the Second City Chamber Series, Tacoma’s award winning producer of chamber music concerts and chamber music educational programs. Additional activities have included period instrument performance with the Puget Sound Consort, Tacoma’s ensemble for early music.

Svend Rønning has appeared in venues around the world, including Aspen Music Festival, Eastern Music Festival, Harkness Park Summer Concerts, Jerusalem Winter Classics, Pacific Music Festival, Spoleto U.S.A. Music Festival, and Wintergreen Music Festival. He 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 Philharmonic, the Everett Symphony, the Olympia Symphony, the Prague Radio Symphony, Orchestra Seattle, Symphony Tacoma, the Tacoma Youth Symphony, and the Whatcom 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, 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, the Conservatorium of Music, Hobart, Australia, 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. Dr. Rønning has also taught at the University of Oxford as part of PLU’s IHON-Oxford study abroad program.

Dr. Rønning is a native of the Pacific Northwest and holds an undergraduate degree in violin performance from Pacific Lutheran University. He subsequently earned a Master of Music and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Yale University.

Dr. Rønning’s teachers include Syoko Aki, Sidney Harth, Jaap Schröder, and Ann Tremaine. His own students have gone on to other music programs at Indiana University, Boston University, the North Carolina School for the Arts, Western Washington University, the University of Virginia, the Manhattan School of Music, the University of Washington, and the Yale School of Music as well as a Fulbright Fellowship. Several students now occupy positions in such organizations as the Virginia Symphony, the Lexington Philharmonic, the Roanoke Symphony, and Symphony Tacoma as well as holding music faculty positions at Centre College and Ashbury College. Others enjoy careers in popular music, performing with a number of popular ensembles, among them the Seattle Rock Orchestra and the Dave Matthews Band. Many others teach Music in public and private schools around the country while many others are employed in diverse non-music careers from arts administration, film direction, film production, screenplay writing, law, medicine, and urban planning.