A Suzuki student from the beginning, Andrea Kleesattel began her cello career at the age of 6 with Ellen Shertzer in a fully subsidized program offered through the Cincinnati Public Schools. She continued her studies with Norman Johns of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and attended the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati where she studied with Lee Fiser. Upon graduation, she was offered a position in the Niles Quartet at the University of Kentucky where she completed her Master’s Degree with Benjamin Karp and played in the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra. While with the Niles Quartet, she attended the Banff Chamber Music Residency, the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar, soloed with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, and won the Macauley Chamber Music Competition in Louisville, Kentucky. Following her love of string quartet, she accepted an offer to join the Hunt Quartet at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed her doctorate with Uri Vardi while also playing in the Madison Symphony Orchestra. A successful audition for the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra took her to Japan, where she lived for three years as a full-time orchestral cellist.
Dr. Kleesattel has played numerous solo recitals in England and throughout America, and performed the Dvorak Cello Concerto with the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra as winner of their Concerto Competition. She has appeared in solo masterclasses with Lynn Harrell, Zuill Bailey, Bonnie Hampton, Timothy Eddy, Matthew Haimovitz, and Ralph Kirshbaum.
In addition to her career as a cellist, she has always been a passionate and dedicated advocate of both chamber music and education, and has served in multiple capacities to promote both. As a teacher, she built private studios in Cincinnati, Ohio, Lexington, Kentucky, Madison, Wisconsin, and New York City, where she taught students of all ages and abilities. In New York she was a faculty member at the Lucy Moses School at the Kaufman Music Center, Opportunity Music Project, and The School for Strings where she taught Early Childhood Music. During her time in New York she also joined the faculty of the Suzuki Music School of Westport, Connecticut. While in Lexington and Madison, she worked with the local youth orchestras where she coached sectionals and chamber ensembles. She also visited dozens of schools as part of the Madison Symphony Orchestra’s “Up Close and Music Program” and the Lexington Philharmonic’s outreach programs. She taught through the University of Kentucky String Project and was awarded the Brevard Music Center Teacher Award for her work with the high school orchestra cello section. While in New York City she taught in the El Sistema-inspired Harmony Project as both a classroom cello teacher and as a Faculty Mentor. She completed her Suzuki registration in Books 1-8 with Pamela Devenport at The School for Strings, and began Dalcroze training at the Lucy Moses and Diller-Quaille Schools with Michael Joviala, Cynthia Lilley, Leslie Upchurch, and Ruth Alperson in New York City.
As a chamber musician and organizer she founded and co-directed the local chapter of Classical Revolution in Madison, Wisconsin and ran an organization that connected University of Wisconsin music students to local high schools to coach chamber music. In Japan she established a new chamber music concert series for the members of the orchestra, and played chamber music performances with David Kim, Radek Baborak, and Jennifer Gilbert in the HPAC Chamber Music Concert Series. She was a founding member of the Kaleidoscope String Quartet, which attended a summer program where they worked with the Japan String Quartet and performed in Osaka’s Phoenix Hall. She also attended the Affinis Summer Chamber Music Festival in Yamagata, Japan where she played chamber music with Yosuke Kawasaki and Wolfram Koessel.
Another passion of Dr. Kleesattel’s is the relationship of the body to musical experience and learning. Her doctoral research explored several theories of practical embodied cognition and applies them to cello playing and teaching. Using the works of F. M. Alexander, Moshe Feldenkrais, Irmgaard Bartenieff, and choreographer Rudolph Laban, her work presents an approach to cello playing and teaching that brings greater awareness to the body and its full expressive capacity. She continues her exploration of movement and music through martial arts, dance, and Dalcroze pedagogy.
Dr. Kleesattel is excited to be a new resident of London, Ontario where she has moved with her husband who does research on music cognition at the University of Western Ontario.