Ensemble Training Program
Annapolis Symphony Orchestra Violist
Susan Dapkunas was born and raised in Annapolis, beginning her love for the viola with classes in the early Instrumental Program of the Anne Arundel County Public Schools at age 10. Private lessons in the area eventually led to studies at the Peabody Preparatory in Baltimore during her high school years, working with members of the Baltimore Symphony. She was then accepted into Karen Tuttle’s studio at the Peabody Institute where she later earned her Bachelor’s degree in Viola Performance. She treasures her summer memories from Blue Hill, Maine, where she studied privately with Michael Tree and took ensemble lessons with Leslie Parnas and Raphael Hillyer.
Upon completion of her degree, Susan joined the Peace Corps to play in the National Symphony of Costa Rica and to help expand their national music school in San José. While there, she was also a member of Los Solistas de San José and had the opportunity of working with Alexander Schneider and Jaime Laredo in master class settings. Upon returning to the States, Susan continued to study with Karen Tuttle at Peabody and received her Masters of Music Education degree.
She subbed with the Baltimore Symphony, set up her own string studio and began teaching at The Key School in Annapolis using the Orff Schulwerk Approach after training at DePaul University and the University of New Mexico. She also enjoyed a summer playing in Mexico with La Orquesta de Minería de La Universidad.
Ms. Dapkunas freelances with many groups, including The Annapolis Chamber Orchestra and The Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra. She was a founding member of the Bay Strings (a local quartet), of which she is still a member. She is also delighted to be a member of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and to now have the opportunity to work with students from the Academy.