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Kruse Duo

Acclaimed for their rich sound and oneness of interpretation, the Kruse Duo (Penny Thompson Kruse, violin and Steven Kruse, viola) has excited audiences on three continents over the past twenty-five years. Champions of new music by American composers, the Kruses are also at home with the standard repertoire of Mozart and Handel-Halvorsen. The Kruse Duo has appeared as soloists with numerous orchestras in the United States, Vietnam, and Romania. Recital venues include the Detroit Institute of Arts, The Huntington Library and Museum (San Marino, CA), Washington County Museum of Arts (Maryland), at universities in California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and West Virginia, and in Canada, Germany, Mexcio, Poland, Romania, South Africa, Taiwan, United Kingdom and Vietman. They have also performed at various state, national, and international professional conventions, including the Primrose International Competition and Festival, International Viola Congress, the American String Teachers Association, and the College Music Society. They premiered "Jakarta" by David Snow for Violin, Viola, and Percussion Ensemble at the 37th International Viola Congress at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. In 2011, the Kruse Duo premiered a new work by Braxton at the 39th International Viola Congress in Würzburg, Germany In fall 2012, they toured the U.S. and Europe, performing music by living American composers, romantic English works for violin, viola, and piano, as well as other standards from the violin/viola literature. In Fall 2015, the Kruses will perform and teach master classes at Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla (Mexico) and in Thailand and Singapore.

As educators, the Kruse Duo regularly gives workshops and master classes to secondary school and college students. They have also presented workshops at the National Conference of the American String Teachers Association, including “Bowing for Better Health” and “Life Beyond the Second Method Book: Taking Responsibility for the Technical Development of Your Orchestra.” Performing on matching instruments made by the famed Carl Becker family of Chicago, the Kruses are known for their unique blend and cohesiveness. 

Past Performances



Chamber Music Toledo (Toledo, OH)
Scripps-Pomona Concert Series (Claremont, CO)

​College Music Society 43rd Annual Meeting (Toronto, Canada)
College Music Society 45th Annual Meeting (Kansas City, MO)
Detroit Institute of Art: Brunch with Bach (Detroit, MI)
Eastern Music Festival (Greensboro, NC)
The Educational Alliance (New York, NY)
First Presbyterian Church 31st Concert Series (Findlay, OH)

Great Spaces Concert Series, Trinity Episcopal Church (Topeka, KS)

Hillsdale College (Hillsdale, MI)
The Huntington Library and Museum (San Marino, CA)  
Lima Symphony Orchestra (Lima, OH)
Ohio Music Educators Association Conference (Cincinnati, OH)
Perrysburg Symphony Orchestra (Perrysburg, OH)

Primrose International Competition and Festival (The Colburn School, Los Angeles)
Toledo International Youth Orchestra (Toledo, OH)
The University of Findlay: Bach’s Lunch (Findlay, OH)
Washington County Museum of Fine Arts (Hagerstown, MD)


Counterpoint Ensemble:  Midsummer Night’s Dream (Kaohsiung, Taiwan)
31st International Viola Congress (Kronberg, Germany)
37th International Viola Congress (Stellenbosch, South Africa)
39th International Viola Congress (Würzberg, Germany)
Ion Vidu Music High School (Timisoara, Romania)

​Municipal Arts Center (Tainan, Taiwan)
National Museum of Poland (Krakow, Poland)

​Palace of Culture (Tirgu Mures, Romania)
Romanian-American Festival sponsored by the Foundation "Societatea de

           Concerte Bistrita” (Bistrita and Cluj, Romania)

Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester, England)

​State Philharmonic of Sibiu (Sibiu, Romania)
Vietnam National Opera and Ballet Concert Hall (Hanoi, Vietnam)

Master Classes

Albion College (Albion, MI)
Baldwin Wallace Conservatory (Berea, OH)
Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, OH)
California Institute of the Arts (Valencia, CA)
Dah-Cherng Junior High School (Tainan, Taiwan)

Day for Strings (Bedford, MI)
Eastern Music Festival (Greensboro, NC)

Faculty of Music (Timisoara, Romania)

Hillsdale College (Hillsdale, MI)
Illinois State University (Normal, IL)
Indiana Wesleyan University (Marion, IN)
Ion Vidu Music High School (Timisoara, Romania)
Kansas State University (Manhattan, KS)

​Kaohsiung High School (Kaohsiung, Taiwan)
Music High Schools (Sibiu and Tirgu Mures, Romania)
National First Girl High School (Tainan, Taiwan)
Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester, England)
Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (Edwardsville, IL)
University of Missouri (Columbia, MO)

​West Virginia University (Morgantown, WV)

Sample Repertoire:

Works for Violin and Viola; Violin, Viola, and Piano; Violin, Viola, and Percussion

Braxton Blake - Bagatelles
William Bolcom - Session II for Violin and Viola
J.C. Cannabich - Six Duets
Rebecca Clarke - Dumka for Violin, Viola and Piano
Thomas Dunhill - Fantasy Trio for Violin, Viola and Piano

​Maurice Gardner - Suite for Violin and Viola
Joseph Gehot - Six Duos for Violin and Viola
Reinhold Gliere - Duets, Op. 39
G.F. Handel  - Chaconne in G Major for Violin and Viola
Handel-Halvorsen - Passacaglia in G Minor for Violin and Viola
Gordon Jacob - Prelude, Passacaglia, and Fugue for Violin and Viola

Gustav Jensen: Fantasiestucke for Violin, Viola and Piano
Joseph Jongen - Adagio for Violin and Viola
Johann Wenel Kalliwoda - Allegro risvegliato
Andreas Lidel - Duo in G Major, Op. 3, No. 3
Bohuslav Martinů - Madrigals for Violin and Viola
David Maslanka - Montana Music:  Fantasy on a Chorale Tune

Riccardo Joshua Moretti - Jewish Songs for Violin and Viola
W.A. Mozart - Duo in G Major, K. 423 and Duo in B-flat Major, K. 424

Mark O'Connor - F.C.'s Jig
William Ryden - Three Rags for Violin and Viola
Quincy Porter - Duo for Violin and Viola
Vissarion Shebalin - Sonata for Violin and Viola in E Minor
David Snow - Broadway Boogie Woogie

​David Snow  - Jakarta for Violin, Viola, and Percussion Ensemble
Augusta Read Thomas - Rumi Settings
Augusta Read Thomas - Silent Moon

​Heitor Villa-Lobos - Duo for Violin and Viola

Concertos for Violin, Viola, and Orchestra

Kurt Atterberg - Svit No. 3, Op. 19, No. 1, for Violin, Viola, and String Orchestra
Arthur Benjamin - Romantic Fantasy for Violin, Viola, and Orchestra
W.A. Mozart - Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola, and Orchestra


“Family Dealings:  How Did Carl Becker and Son Become so Successful?” The

          Strad, (Vol. 115, No. 1375), November 2004.

“Remembering Joseph and Lillian Fuchs,” American String Teacher, (Vol. 53, No.

          4), November 2003.

“Finding Harmony between East and West,” Journal of the American Viola

          Society, (Vol. 19, No. 1), Spring 2003.

Penny Thompson Kruse
Penny Thompson Kruse
Penny Thompson Kruse
Penny Thompson Kruse
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