Professional performing and teaching cellist

in the Gig Harbor/Port Orchard, Washington state area. 

email:  <cswenson@stanfordalumni.org>

phone:  650-387-2106

301970_585923981425893_1834171926_n-2DSC_2555Fantasy Studio selfie (Feb 2016)world music day cello june 2010Teaching 9 yr old Antonia (3:15)new mozart recital duet june '15Emma and Cynthia Jan 20166 yr old Chloe on cello after 2 months
Emma cello student xmas card 2015

1618313_491821734262044_771865792_oCynthia Swenson is a professional cellist working in numerous local orchestras, chamber, choral and rock groups, ballet, opera, musical theatre and church service ensembles.  She was co-founder, performer and booking agent of The Altair Trio for nine years.  Ms. Swenson was also the primary staff cello teacher at the New Mozart School of Music (Palo Alto, California) for five years, and currently now runs a new private cello teaching studio in the Seattle area for youths and adults of all playing levels.  She is also now the primary cello teacher at Gig Harbor’s Cappella Music Academy. Her past competition, exam and award winning students have successfully auditioned into, and been promoted within the California youth orchestras CYS, PACO, GSYO, PYO, CPYO and SFSYO, along with some national and international summer music programs, and solo radio featured NPR (“From The Top”) appearances!  Cynthia’s own cello instructors of youth were Irene Sharp, Bonnie Hampton, Irving Klein and Gabor Rejto, and she also studied piano and flute.  Ms. Swenson earned a bachelor’s degree in Human Biology from Stanford University while under music scholarship, and also has vocational degrees/certificates and substantial work experience in clinical laboratory medicine and interior design.  Cynthia served as principal cellist for many years with the Master Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra, California Pops Orchestra, Silicon Valley Symphony, Stanford Symphony and Opera Orchestras, Awesøme Orchestra, Mission Symphony Orchestra and the California Youth Symphony, and is currently  performing with the Tacoma Community Orchestra.  She was an ensemble music coach with the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra for four years, and has performed in many summer music festivals. Member of American String Teachers Association and Kitsap Music Teachers Association.

happy cellists 3:17Awesome+Tilt Feb 2016c_24014881 Carol & Cynthia

9 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi,

    I am looking for a private cello teacher for my daughter Olivia. We live in Palo Alto and we preferred someone close to Palo Alto. She is currently a
    6th grade student in Jordan and is playing Cello in the Jordan orchestra music class. In 5th grade, she played cello at Ohlone.

    Please reply if you have time for private lessons, the location for your private lessons, your rate, and a little bit about your music (cello) background.

    Thank you.

    Angela Chen


  2. Hello Angela~ yes I currently have some openings at my private Palo Alto (College Terrace area) home studio on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday afternoons and eves. Sounds like a 45 minute lesson would probably be good for your daughter ($65). I teach a number of Jordan cello students! I will private email you next; thanks ~Cynthia


  3. Hello Cynthia, I enjoyed reading about your cello practice which sounds busy and multi-faceted! I started cello mid-life and have always been frustrated that I have remained an intermediate cellist at best. (I have played flute since sixth grade and feel much more accomplished as a flutist.) In my the early years I took lessons from cellists local to Palo Atlo. It has been quite awhile since I have taken lessons. The trigger for wanting to resume is that I am playing simple quartets, trios and duets and feel there is definitely a need to re-focus on technique, intonation and tone to keep up. Let me know if you have time . My email is mary@winby.biz. I live in Palo Alto.


  4. Hi Cynthia,
    Do you have available time for a new student? I began cello at the age of 60 (about 10 years ago) studying with Jonathan Humphries. After a few years I began playing with the South Bay Philharmonic where I met Mary Winby. She has recommended you to me as a teacher. I also took lessons from Kris Yenney over the years. I feel as though I could use refining in my playing and am frustrated by my inability to play fast passages. I’m looking forward to hearing from you. Please email me at york554@gmail.com .


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