GRETCHEN CLAASSEN, a versatile chamber musician, often appears as cellist, baroque cellist and viol player in diverse groups around the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. She has recently performed with American Bach Soloists, Archetti, Wildcat Viols, Karl Cronin and the Americana Orchestra, and is a founding member of the Cello Street Quartet and period ensembles MUSA and the Alchemy Trio. Her love of chamber music began early on with three summers spent at the prestigious Kneisel Hall Chamber Music School and Festival in Maine, and string quartet studies with Joel Smirnoff of the Juilliard String Quartet. Gretchen was a student of Bonnie Hampton at The Juilliard School, where she received a BM in ‘Cello Performance. In 2012, she was awarded an Artist’s Certificate in Chamber Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she studied with Jennifer Culp and Elisabeth Reed. Ms Claassen is the recipient of the 2015 Jeffrey Thomas Award.