Dr. Penny Thompson Kruse, professor of violin at the College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University, has performed extensively as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician. Prior to her BGSU appointment in 2000, Kruse was on the faculty of William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, for eight years. For five seasons she was a member of the Kansas City Symphony, serving as associate concertmaster during the 1989-90 season.
Kruse has been featured as soloist with several orchestras in the Midwest, including the Bowling Green Philharmonia, Eastern Festival Orchestra, Hutchinson Chamber Orchestra, Independence Symphony, Kansas City Camerata, Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, Liberty Symphony, Lima Symphony, Northland Symphony, Overland Park Orchestra, Perrysburg Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia of Kansas City, and the Toledo International Youth Orchestra. Internationally, she has soloed in Hanoi with the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet Orchestra and the State Philharmonic of Sibiu in Romania. Her performance of Chen Yi's Chinese Folk Dance Suite, with the Bowling Green Philharmonia, is available on Albany Records. As first violinist of the Escher Quartet, she was an artist-in-residence at Music at Penn's Woods at Pennsylvania State University. Currently she performs with her husband, violist Steven Kruse as the Kruse Duo and with violinist Ioana Galu as Treble Trouble.
She has performed in numerous music festivals, including the Colorado, Peninsula, Spoleto and Grand Teton. As first violinist of the Escher Quartet, she was an artist-in-residence at Music at Penn's Woods at Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Kruse served on the violin faculty at the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina, for twenty years.and on the faculty at the Bay View Chamber Music Festival (Petosky, MI) in June 2015. As a member of the International Women's String Quartet, she performed at the 2002 National Women's Day in Hanoi, Vietnam, as well as presented master classes and recitals in Tainan, Taiwan and Hanoi. She has performed in the American Romanian Festival with concerts in the U.S. and in Timisoara, Romania, as well as the Romanian American Festival sponsored by the Foundation "Societatea de Concerte Bistrita,” giving concerts in Bistrita and Cluj, Romania. In March 2011, Kruse appeared with the Counterpoint Ensemble in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. In September 2013 and August 2015, she performed a recital and gave master classes at Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla (Mexico).
Kruse has also performed at numerous state, national, and international conferences including the 2000 College Music Society: Musical Intersections, the 2003 International Viola Congress in Germany, 2006 Percussive Arts International Conference, and was a panelist and clinician at the 2006 ASTA Conference. As a member of the Kruse Duo, she performed at the 37th International Viola Congress at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, in July 2009. In October 2011, the Kruse Duo premiered Bagatelles by Braxton Blake at the Viola Congress in Wurzburg, Germany. Dr. Kruse co-presented two sessions at the 2011 ASTA National Conference in Kansas City: "Exploring World Music through Sight-Reading Duets in Violin Lessons" with Laura Kobayashi and "Life after the 2nd Method Book? Taking Responsibility for the Technical Development of Your School Orchestra" with Alicia Tremmel and Steven Kruse. The Kruse Duo appeared with pianist Solungga Fang-Tzu Liu at the Primrose Festival in June 2014 held at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. She will be presenting at the 2018 ASTA Conference in Atlanta.
Trained at Northwestern and Yale Universities and earning a D.M.A. in violin performance from the University of Missouri—Kansas City, Conservatory of Music and Dance, Dr. Kruse has co-authored articles in American String Teacher, the Strad and Journal of the American Viola Society with her husband, Steven Kruse. In 2001, Dr. Kruse was named Professor of the Year by the BGSU students of Ashley/Batchelder Residence Halls. In 2008, she received the Pro Musica Award for Exceptional Service to the students of BGSU.
In addition to teaching at BGSU, Dr. Kruse teaches at the BGSU String Camp - Summer Music Institute. She also has several private students that she teaches at her home in Perrysburg, Ohio, and is an OMEA Adjudicator and an ASTACap Adjudicator. Her college and private students have won numerous local, state, and regional competitions. She ws an adjudicator for the 4th International Thailand String Competition 2015, performing and giving master classes there and in Singapore in Fall 2015.
Dr. Kruse is extremely interested in new directions in string pedagogy and new repertoire for the violin. In addition to attending annual ASTA and OMEA conferences, she attended the 2009 and 2013 Starling/DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies at the Juilliard School of Music and the 2009 Karen Tuttle Coordination Workshop at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 2013, she also attended Christian Howes' Creative String Workshop. Dr. Kruse's recitals frequently include works by American composers, women composers, and living composers. Her students have access to a 5-string electric violin with a looper and an effects pedal, benefiting from her research of repertoire for electric violin. On her YouTube Channel, she has started a new video interview series called PENNY: For Your Thoughts, as well as providing video tutorials for Ohio Regional Orchestra Violin Auditions.