Home      Calendar      About       Donate       Register       Pay Bill       E-News       Contact       Search

Chamber Music Connection - Jeanelle Thompson

Instrument/Department: Chamber Music Connection Coach, Violin
Joined Hochstein faculty in: 2024


Violinist Jeanelle Thompson, Principal Second Violin of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, has dedicated herself to symphonic music for nearly two decades. Her commitment to orchestral performance has taken her to many of the world’s most prestigious stages including Carnegie Hall, Chicago Symphony Hall, Elbphilharmonie, Musikverein, Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts, Philharmonie de Paris, Severance Hall and Suntory Hall.

Jeanelle’s love for orchestral music began at the age of 9 when she joined the community orchestra in her hometown of Safford, Arizona. Seven years later she made her solo debut with the Phoenix Symphony. Inspired by her early experiences onstage, Jeanelle went on to earn her undergraduate degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied with William Preucil and was awarded the Dr. Jerome Gross Prize in Violin. While in school she was a member of the Canton Symphony Orchestra and attended the Aspen Music Festival, Brevard Music Center, Perlman Music Program and the Verbier Festival.

Jeanelle has since performed as a substitute with the Cleveland Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra. She has appeared as guest concertmaster with the Bangor Symphony, Brevard Music Center orchestras, Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, Lexington Bach Festival and the Youngstown Symphony. As a music educator, Jeanelle served on the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Preparatory Chamber Music faculty from 2018-2022 and maintains a private studio.


More About Jeanelle Thompson

Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona

What inspires me: My colleagues, my students, and nature

Why the arts matter: Art allows people from every walk of life to come together to share in a common experience. I fell in love with orchestral playing because not only do musicians get to work together to bring music to life, audiences respond with an energy that we can feel and respond to from the stage. That shared energy is what connects us and it exists wherever art lives. Fortunately there is art in some form practically everywhere you look so there is always an opportunity to relate to someone you know or someone you’ve never met simply by looking at the same painting, going to the same concert, humming to the same song playing overhead as you shop for groceries. … It’s a very unique kind of connection but at the same time it’s all around us and accessible to everyone which, for me, makes this big world a little easier to navigate.

When I’m not at Hochstein, you can find me: Most likely with my cat, Teddy, who sleeps on my feet while I practice and hangs out with me in the kitchen while I cook (one of my favorite things to do!).

Favorite place(s) to travel: I love going to places I haven’t visited before but I also love visiting my family in Arizona and I dream of going back to Japan.

Favorite composer: My “desert island” composers are almost always Beethoven, Mahler, Schubert, and Haydn. Impossible to pick one!

What people would be surprised to know about me: I raised pigs when I was a kid!