ViolinKathryn Hatmaker

San Diego Symphony Orchestra violinist Kathryn (“Kate”) Hatmaker enjoys a varied career as performer, educator and entrepreneur. She is the cofounder and Executive Director of Art of Élan (, a San Diego chamber music organization committed to bringing classical music to diverse audiences, and has been a violinist with the Symphony since 2006. Ms. Hatmaker has played with a wide variety of American orchestras, including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the New World Symphony, and she has also performed at the Breckenridge Music Festival, the Vail International Dance Festival and La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest. In addition to teaching privately, she has served on the faculty at both the University of California-San Diego and at the Coronado School of the Arts. Ms. Hatmaker is also a frequent chamber music recitalist and guest clinician, and has been a featured soloist with numerous orchestras in North America. A passionate advocate for innovation in the arts, she has been invited to speak at Carnegie Mellon University, San Diego State University and Point Loma Nazarene University, among others. She completed her Master of Music degree at Carnegie Mellon University and her undergraduate training at both the University of Iowa and the Sorbonne University in Paris, France, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with high honors and degrees in both Political Science and French.


Q: What are some of your favorite composers/musical periods?

A: Bach (especially solo violin and piano works), Mahler, Debussy, Fauré, Brahms, Mozart, Shostakovich, Vaughan Williams, Copland

Q: What do you love most about San Diego (other than the weather)?

A: As much as people think of San Diego as an outdoor-activity kind of city, I'm continually impressed by the number of cultural things happening here! Obviously the Orchestra and the Opera play a large role in keeping San Diego "on the map" in the classical music world, but the number (and quality) of art museums, theater companies, dance companies and other off-the-beaten-path arts organizations astounds me! On the other hand, San Diego has not yet reached a cultural saturation point, like many other big cities, so it's exciting to also see the new organizations and projects that can take hold here, like the chamber music organization Art of Élan, which I created with flutist Demarre McGill. (

Q: What is your choice for dining in San Diego?

A: There are SO many places to choose from: Saffron, Cafe Chloe, Muzita Abyssinian Bistro, Pizzeria Bruno, Sab-E-Lee...the list is endless!

Q: The San Diego Symphony Orchestra is essential to San Diego because…?

A: It reminds people that great art and great music stem from great civilizations, and San Diego is just that!