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Dr. Brian Buckstead

Professional title

Assistant Professor, Violin and Viola


Dr. Buckstead tours extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. He has appeared as soloist with numerous ensembles, including the Madison Symphony Orchestra, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and the Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra. Solo works performed include Carmen Fantasy by Sarasate, The Butterfly Lovers’ Violin Concerto by Chen Gang and He Zhanhao, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Havanaise by Saint-Saëns, the Concertino for Violin and Wind Octet by Robert Linn, and the violin concertos of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Philip Glass. Brian is the featured soloist on the CD Baroque Masterworks by the Beloit Janesville Symphony, playing Vivaldi's Four Seasons and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 4. His repertoire as a conductor is extensive and eclectic, having conducted works from Monteverdi to John Adams. Brian is also passionate about the education of young musicians. In addition to adjudicating local and national music competitions, he co-developed Bring Back the Music, an initiative to bring string instrument education to two underprivileged public schools in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Dr. Buckstead received his Bachelor of Music degree from St. Olaf College, and his Master and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, all in violin performance. His teachers have included Beatrix Lien, Charles Gray, Jennifer John, and David Perry. Brian previously held positions at Medicine Hat College in Alberta, Canada, Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota, Beloit College in Wisconsin, and Srinakharinwirot University in Bangkok, Thailand. Additional travels have brought him to Syria, where he had a chance to study and perform Arabic music, and to Indonesia to experience the Kecak.

Dr. Buckstead has thoroughly researched the teaching and philosophy of John Kendall, one of the world’s great string pedagogues and the pioneering developer of the Suzuki Method in the United States. His research culminated in the dissertation entitled A Maverick Pedagogue: The Teaching and Ideas of John Kendall.

Brian lives in Cloquet with his wife Numa Ali, and their new baby boy Oliver.