Ria Hodgson

Music Makers Director

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A passionate advocate for music education, Ria Hodgson is a Suzuki-certified violin and viola teacher and has studied string pedagogy with Rolando Freitag, Edward Kreitman, and Mimi Zweig. In addition to maintaining a private studio in Madison, she frequently coaches student chamber music ensembles and orchestra sectionals throughout the upper Midwest region. Ria has been a private teacher for WYSO Music Makers since 2017 and is excited to step into a more active role in the program as Music Makers Director in the 2021-22 season.

Ria began her study of the violin at age six and continued through her undergraduate degree at Arizona State University where she studied violin and viola. In 2015 she earned a Master’s degree in viola performance from DePaul University in Chicago, IL, and has since done postgrad study with Sally Chisholm at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

As a chamber and orchestral player, Ria has performed throughout the US and abroad, including appearances with the Superior String Alliance Chamber Players, The CHAI Collaborative Ensemble, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, among others. Recently, Ria traveled to Viterbo, Italy where she was co-principal of the Tuscia Opera Festival orchestra, as well as traveling to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg where she was a Guest Artist of the Vianden Music Festival. This season Ria will perform with the Rockford, Quad Cities, and Madison Symphony Orchestras and can be heard most frequently as the violist of the Tuuli Quartet, a touring ensemble that promotes the music of contemporary and classical composers in rural communities.

When not teaching or performing, Ria enjoys exploring the city of Madison and spending time with her husband, a bassist, and their two cats.