Carmen Abelson (she/her/hers) works throughout the Chicagoland and Midwest areas as a solo, chamber, and orchestral performer and music educator. A member and sometimes concertmaster of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago for three years, Abelson was a Civic Orchestra Fellow from 2017 through 2019. She also won positions with the West Michigan and Illinois Symphony Orchestras and is a core member of 5th Wave Ensemble, a collective dedicated to the performance of works by womxn and non-binary composers. Abelson is a teaching artist at The People’s Music School.
Abelson began studying the violin at age five through a visiting music program at her Chicago Public School. A member of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras from age nine through high school, she went on to pursue her passion for the violin at Rice University. While there, Abelson discovered a twin passion for music history and culture, and wrote her undergraduate thesis George Gershwin’s An American in Paris: Bridging the American Musical Gap in pursuance of a double-degree in violin performance and musicology. She went on to marry interests in history and period performance, musical culture and outreach, and collaborative performance throughout studies at Sam Houston State University (MM) and DePaul University (Performer’s Certificate).
Abelson currently lives in the Brighton Park neighborhood of Chicago with her roommate, four cats, and a dog. In addition to her professional work as a violinist, she performs as a member of “Susan and Sons” with her mother and sister and with the Bristol Busk ‘n’ Frolic at the Bristol Renaissance Faire. She also enjoys reading, writing, and does amateur tattoos. Abelson believes strongly in the power music has to connect and delight, and hopes to build a career full of musical exploration, collaboration, and dissemination across social and political lines.
Performer’s Certificate, Violin, Depaul University
M.M. Violin Performance, Sam Houston State University