San Diego native Wanda Law has a Master’s degree in Viola Performance. She studied at Northwestern University with Chicago Symphony violist Robert Swan and at the University of Nebraska with Robert Emile, former concertmaster of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. She returned to San Diego in 1985, studying with Michael Tseitlin and performing regularly with the SDSO as a substitute musician. She was a long-time member of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra in Orange County and a member of the San Diego Opera Orchestra. She has been a fulltime member of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra since 2006.

Wanda Law does double duty as fiddler and classical violist. Ms. Law has enjoyed playing Irish fiddle for over 20 years. She and her husband Ian, who plays Irish flute, are members of the Siamsa Gael Ceili Band, one of the area’s oldest traditional Irish music groups. 

In 1986 Ms. Law won the Grand National Irish Fiddle Championship in Los Angeles and that same year joined the staff of the Lark in the Morning traditional music and dance camp in Mendocino, where she continues to teach fiddle classes every summer. (Ms. Law also took up the French diatonic button accordion there, and was even featured on a recent Summer Pops concert on this instrument.) She appeared several times as fiddle soloist with the SDSO for their popular “Celtic Celebration” Winter Pops concerts. 


Q: How did you choose your instrument? 

A: My first instrument at age five was classical guitar and my father was my teacher. When I wanted to play in the school orchestra in 4th grade, I started violin. A year or two later I was a beginning violin student in youth orchestra for the first time. The string coach raved about what big hands I had and how great it would be for me to play viola. I didn’t really have big hands and the string coach really just needed more violas, but I have happily stuck with it. 

Q: What are three of your favorite movies? 

A: Tender MerciesBagdad Café, and Die Hard

Q: What is one of your favorite travel destinations? 

A: Sargentville, Maine

Q: Where might you find me occasionally on a Sunday night if I’m not performing with the Orchestra? 

A: At The Field, a restaurant/pub in downtown San Diego, playing fiddle at the Irish music session. 

Q: A non-musical accomplishment I am proud of is…?

A: My artwork, which includes textile creations, serigraphs, and, oddly enough, a duct-tape portrait 

Q: What is your most vivid San Diego Symphony Orchestra memory? 

A: Carol Channing (You had to be there…)