Violinist hoping to find the magic at Rocky’s small venue


Violinist Carrie Krause will be featured this Saturday in a concert at Rocky Mountain College.

Carrie Krause, a violinist who will be featured in a concert this Saturday at Rocky Mountain College, said her love of the violin began when she was just a child growing up in Fairbanks, Alaska.

“I first started playing violin when I was 3,” she said. “My mom was a violinist, and apparently I made it very clear that was what I wanted to do, too. My mother did an amazing job of making practicing fun, an adventure, with practice rewards of feeding carrots to horses and charms for a charm bracelet.

“And I only had to practice on the days I ate,” she joked.

Although she grew up in Alaska, Krause’s Montana roots run deep. Her great-grandparents homesteaded outside of Lavina, and her grandparents on her other side attended college at Montana State University in Bozeman. Her parents and sister attended the college as well.

“It seemed my fate to end up in beautiful Bozeman,” Krause said. She is currently the concertmaster of the Bozeman Symphony.

Krause has studied music at several prestigious institutions around the country. She was accepted into Carnegie Mellon University to study with Andres Cardenes, then picked up the Baroque violin while studying at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She recently went back to school to get a second master’s degree from the Juilliard School’s full-scholarship performance practice program.

Concert details

Violinist Carrie Krause will be featured this Saturday in Billings in a Baroque Music Montana program of piano trios called “Humor, Angst, and Desire—The Romantic Classicist.”

The concert, in which Krause will be joined by cellist Julia Cory and pianist Sarah Broomell,  will feature compositions from Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms. The concert will take place Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Prescott Hall at Rocky Mountain College campus.

Doors will open at 6:30 and refreshments will be served. Admission is through donations, and Rocky students can attend for free. Seats are limited so reservations are preferred and can be made by emailing or by calling 406-855-4506.

“I have to say, this was one of the best decisions of my life, giving credence to entrepreneurship, resources for research, an incredible environment of passionate people, and generally being a great challenge,” she said.

Krause specializes in Baroque music, which entails the use of three different bows and a violin unlike the usual violin. She also played the viola da gamba while in New York.

“It’s secretly my favorite instrument,” she said. She also plays the standard viola from time to time. She said she has a passion for many different types of music from around the world.

“I love early-17th-century German and Italian music the most for its freedom and mysticism, but also early-20th-century Russian music for its construction and amazing musical treatment of a harsh human reality, and Mozart for his youthful energy, beauty, and ornamentation,” she said. “The music of Bach has been a lifelong companion and definitely my desert island pick.”

She has also been inspired by many of her performing teachers. Besides Cardenes, she lists Julie Andrijeski and Monica Huggett. Her colleagues, including Adriane Post, John Lenti and Ingrid Matthews, have influenced her as well.

Krause enjoys performing at more intimate venues such as the one this Saturday, Prescott Hall on the RMC campus.

“My favorite part of playing music is the magic that happens when you get the right group of musicians performing in a small venue with the audience under your nose,” she said.

She’s excited for her upcoming performance because it will be a rather unusual concert.

“We’re using original sources to inform our musical decisions,” she explained. “There is new research available on what music was like in Mozart’s, Beethoven’s and Brahms’ day, and although we can’t know exactly what it sounded like, we know it was unbelievably different than how people play today. We hope to get close to the humor and inventiveness of Mozart, the long builds of tension and release in Beethoven, and the expressive harmonic language and flexible timing of Brahms.”

As concertmaster in Bozeman, Krause is the first violinist of the orchestra. She works as a sort of diplomat between the orchestra and conductor.

“The concertmaster leads the string section in string-specific matters of interpretation such as bow strokes, vibrato and choice of string,” she said. “I prepare the bowing markings so that we don’t have a sword fight on stage with bows all going in different directions.

“I support the conductor, and might help to clarify something he asks. For instance, if he asks for a passage to be richer, I might clarify to the violins to play a passage up on the G string with a slow, dense bow stroke and wide vibrato.”

Krause is happy to be settled down in Bozeman, or, as she calls it, “my Eden.” Besides music, she engages in many of the outdoor activities Montana has to offer, including skating, skiing, biking and backpacking. Like many Montanans, she loves hunting and fishing as well. Krause has also started running marathons.

“Early mornings with trail-running buddies are the best!” she said.

She’s gearing up for a couple of trail 50-kilometer events this summer. She already has had success running, placing first in her age group in the Springfield, Mo., marathon, and second in her age group in the Old Gabe 50K Trail race.

Despite her many interests, Krause always comes back to music.

“I loved academics, but music was something I just couldn’t stop doing. Now I’m so glad I live a life in music,” she said.

To aspiring musicians she gave the following advice: “Practice as much as you possibly can, with love, fascination, and discipline. Be true to yourself, what you love and value, and be open to influences that may ring true years down the road.”

For more information on Carrie Krause, click here to visit her website.

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