Sera Smolen, soloist, collaborator, chamber musician, improviser, orchestral musician and recording artist, is an active performer of numerous genres of music, including four centuries of classical music. She has premiered new music by numerous composers, and has collaborated with dancers, sculptors, painters and poets. She is a longstanding member of the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra. She composes and records original music with her husband, Tom Mank with whom she toured the Netherlands and Belgium for the seventh time in April 2014.
Smolen received her PhD in music education from the Union Institute in 2000. She currently teaches at Cornell University, in her Suzuki studio in Ithaca, NY. She has a deep understanding of how to present improvisation parallel with repertoire study. She is a frequent guest clinician in Europe, the US and Canada for workshops and teacher training seminars covering pedagogies of improvisation and composition for developing string players. She has taught at Mansfield University, Alfred University, the Kanack School in Rochester NY, and Hobart and William Smith College. She has been the assistant director of the New Directions Cello Festival for 20 years.
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