Faculty

Stacia Spencer (Strings Coordinator, violin, viola)

stacia-s@northwestern.edu • 847-467-6514

Stacia Spencer

Stacia Spencer is a senior lecturer in string pedagogy at Northwestern University Bienen School of Music and string coordinator for the Northwestern Music Academy. She also has been on the faculty of the Northwestern National High School Music Institute teaching violin, viola and chamber music. Prior to moving to the Chicago area, Ms. Spencer was an assistant professor of music at Indiana University School of Music where she taught classes in violin and viola pedagogy and was the assistant to Mimi Zweig at the IU String Academy. Ms. Spencer has a special interest in contemporary music, working with composers and performing new pieces. An eclectic musican and performer, she has been a vocalist and jazz singer in the Jon Eaton Pocket Opera Company in Chicago and New York.  As a singer and electric violist she has also performed and recorded in the rock genre. She received her bachelors and masters degrees in viola from Indiana University School of Music, where she studied with Mimi Zweig, Kim Kashkashian and George Janzer. Ms. Spencer’s students have won many competitions and have been featured on “From the Top”. They also participate in their school orchestras as well as the Chicago Youth Orchestras and the Midwest Young Artists Orchestras.

Kate Carter (violin)

Kate CarterDr. Kate Carter is a versatile violinist who is proud to claim Chicago as her adopted hometown. A California native, her musical education spans from the Eastman School of Music to Northwestern University, where she earned the Doctorate of Music in Violin Performance. She frequently appears as soloist with the Elmhurst Symphony, where she serves as Assistant Concertmaster. She also collaborates in recital with pianist Louise Chan, with whom she has performed on the “Dame Myra Hess” series, broadcast live on WFMT. She has performed internationally as a member of Camerata Chicago and with the Lucerne Festival Academy in Switzerland. She has recorded as a member of ensembles including Camerata Chicago, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic and Ensemble Nouvelle Epoque. In addition to teaching at the Academy, she is on the artist/teaching faculty of Lake Forest College, and she coaches chamber music at Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. She is passionate about helping students to overcome stage fright, and has lectured at the ASTA National Conference and ISMTA State Conference, among others. She writes a blog about performing and practice-related ideas at www.fearlessfiddler.com

Amy Goldberg (violin)

Amy GoldbergAmy Goldberg joined the string faculty in 1999, teaching private and group violin lessons. She has taught at Southwest Missouri State and the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute, and has an extensive background in orchestra performance, including serving as concertmaster of the Chicago Civic and the Elgin Symphony Orchestras. She is active as a studio musician, having recorded for numerous national television/radio commercials, documentaries, and record albums. Goldberg holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and Northwestern, where she completed a doctoral degree in violin performance.

Paula Kosower (cello)

Paula Kosower

Paula Kosower is an active performer and teacher currently residing in Chicago. She frequently performs for the Chicago Philharmonic Chamber Music Series, the University of Illinois Tuesdays-at-One Series, North Park University Faculty Concerts, Bach Week Festival Concerts, for events at the Music Institute of Chicago, and for live performances on WFMT 98.7. She enjoys contemporary music and has played consistently for the Fulcrum Point New Music Project. In addition to recital and chamber music performances Ms. Kosower regularly performs as a cello substitute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. For the past three seasons, 2012-2015, she has served in the cello section for the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Ms. Kosower completed her B.M. and M.M. degrees at Indiana University and her D.M. degree at Northwestern University, where she studied with Hans Jorgen-Jensen and during this time also served as principal cello of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

Mark Maxwell (guitar)

Mark MaxwellIn addition to teaching guitar at the Northwestern University Music Academy, Mark Maxwell has served as the Coordinator of Classical Guitar Studies at the DePaul University School of Music since 1986.  He also works with young guitarists at DePaul, MIC and the Northwestern Summer Guitar Workshop.  Mark has performed with his wife and NU guitar faculty member, Anne Waller, as the Waller and Maxwell Guitar Duo since 1981, performing in the U.S. and abroad.  They are featured regularly on WFMT, WBEZ and have been guests on the “Studs Terkel Show.”   Mark is also an active soloist and chamber player in the Chicago area.   Waller and Maxwell have served on international juries as well as adjudicating local competitions. Their students have won and placed in numerous events, including the Guitar Foundation of America’s Youth Division, all levels of the Society of American Musicians, and the New England Conservatory Guitar Competitions among others.   Mr. Maxwell regularly arranges works for his students, for two and more guitars, and for large guitar ensembles.   He serves on the board of the Chicago Classical Guitar Society and works to coordinate participatory and collaborative guitar events in the city and surrounding area for guitar students and the general public.

Mindy Park (cello)

Mindy Park

Mindy Park, a native of Chicago, performs extensively as a chamber musician and soloist throughout the United States. Having completed her bachelor of music and artist diploma at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, she was a recipient of the Colburn Conservatory of Music Teaching Fellowship in 2012. Park has garnered top prizes from the Irving M. Klein International String Competition, the Corpus Christi International String Competition, the Aspen Summer Music Festival Low Strings Competition, and the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) National Solo Competition. She has performed at the Ravinia Festivla and appeared as soloist with the Aspen Concert Orchestra and numerous orchestras around the Chicagoland area. As an avid chamber musician, Ms. Park won top awards including those from the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the St. Paul String Quartet Competition. She has collaborated with distinguished artists including Edgar Meyer and John Perry and was invited to be a guest artist and master class teacher at chamber music residencies in California. Her principal cello teachers included Hans Jørgen Jensen and Ronald Leonard.

Brittany Quinn (violin and viola)

Brittany QuinnBrittany Henry Quinn joined the string faculty in 2012 and currently teaches private lessons, group classes, and chamber music. She earned a bachelor of music degree in violin performance from Rice University, studying with Kenneth Goldsmith, and earned a master of music degree in violin performance from Indiana University, studying with Mark Kaplan and Federico Agostini. While at Indiana University, Quinn studied pedagogy with Mimi Zweig, assisted teaching students of the IU String Academy and Fairview Elementary school, and served as assistant conductor and sectional coach for the Musical Arts Youth Orchestra in Bloomington. Her love for solo and chamber playing has been developed through coachings with The Pacifica Quartet at Madeline Island Music Camp, Cliff Colnot at Indiana University, Donald Weilerstein and Pamela Frank at Tanglewood Music Center, and Norman and Jeanne Fischer at Rice University, among others. Quinn was featured on KUHF Houston’s “Front Row” and has performed widely throughout the U.S. and abroad, including performances in China and South Africa and performances for former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura and former Czech President, Vaclav Havel. 

Caroline Rothstein (violin, viola)

Caroline RothsteinCaroline Rothstein joined the string faculty in 2014 as an instructor of violin, viola, and chamber music. She received her master’s degree in violin performance from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, where she was the recipient of the Anna Schauffler Lockwood endowed scholarship for excellence in string music. Her principal teachers and mentors include Chicago Symphony violinist Blair Milton and Milwaukee Symphony concertmaster Frank Almond. She studied pedagogy under Stacia Spencer, serving for two years as Ms. Spencer’s teaching assistant. Caroline has performed in master classes for renowned violinists and pedagogues Shmuel Ashkenasi, Cyrus Forough, Paul Kantor, Gerardo Ribeiro, and Arnold Steinhardt. She studied chamber music with Marion Feldman, Jeffrey Gilliam, Charles Pikler, Mathias Tacke, Roland Vamos, and Sylvia Wang. She is an active freelance chamber and orchestral musician in the Chicago area. Caroline also attended Northwestern as an undergraduate, where she concurrently earned Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts degrees and graduated with honors in both programs.