Renee Skerik is the Chair of Strings, Instructor of Viola and Chamber Music, and Violist of the Interlochen String Trio at the Interlochen Arts Academy. An active member of the American Viola Society and the American String Teachers Association, She has presented at national conferences and served as the festival competition coordinator of the Inaugural American Viola Society Youth Competition. A highly sought educator, Skerik has worked with violists in masterclasses throughout the United States and South America, including recent masterclasses at the Oberlin Conservatory and Cleveland Institute of Music. Graduates of her Interlochen Arts Academy Viola matriculate to top conservatories and universities across the United States each year.
Formerly Professor of Viola at Texas Tech University School of Music and violist of the Botticelli String Quartet, she toured throughout the United States, Europe, Brazil, including performances at the 33rd International Viola Congress in Reykjavik, Iceland, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Prior to her positions in Texas and Interlochen she served as violist with the Artaria String Quartet, a Minnesota-based prize winning quartet of the McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians and recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Melliniel grant for performing artists.
During the summers Skerik serves on the faculties of the Interlochen Viola Institute, The Saint Paul Chamber Music Institute, and the Montecito International Music Festival. Previous festivals include: the Green Mountain Music Festival; The Quartet Program; Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival; Bravo!; Summer Chamber Music Institute; Stringwood Chamber Music Festival,; and, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. Her chamber music collaborations include performances with Cho-Liang Lin, Margaret Batjer, Yizhak Schotten, Janos Starker, Raphael Hillyer, Arnold Steinhardt, and Charles Castleman. Her principal teachers were Heidi Castleman, Yizhak Schotten, Korey Konkol, and David Holland.
The challenge of truly impacting and guiding a young violist appropriately, particular to their development, is the core of my teaching philosophy. I feel it is my responsibility to seek a diverse studio, should it be gender identity, race, or color. I feel that creating an environment where the consistent solitude of personal practice, combined with the education of the whole person, academically and within a community, to delivering artistic performances is my challenge and goal as a teacher. As importantly, I need to model the role of a working artist by consistent work towards the highest artistic standard as possible while also maintaining a healthy balance between life, teaching and performing.
- Tenured Associate Professor of Viola, Texas Tech University
- Suzuki certification; Books 1-4, Violin
- Principal Violist, Traverse City Symphony
- Principal Violist, Lubbock Symphony
- Violist, Dallas Chamber Orchestra
- McKnight Fellowship for Performing Artists recipient
- Faculty member, Carleton College, Northfield, MN
- Faculty member, MacPhail Center for the Arts, Minniapolis, MN
- Faculty member, Viterbo College, La Crosse, WI
- Faculty member, Boston University Tanglewood Institute
- Fellowship recipient, Aspen Music School
- Teaching Assistant for Heidi Castleman, Eastman School of Music
- Dean of Students and Faculty member, Castleman Quartet Program
B.M., Viola Performance - Eastman School of Music at University of Rochester
M.M., Viola Performance - University of Michigan