Chicago-based violinist and violist Nora Williams is thrilled to be participating in her first InterHarmony International Music Festival in 2012. Nora is principal viola and soloist with the Bach and Beyond Chamber Orchestra, principal viola with the Highland Park Strings, and founder and violist with the contemporary string quartet, Red Riding Hood. Nora spent seven years as a member of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, and has made appearances with the New Philharmonic, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, da Corneto Opera and L'Opera Piccola.
Nora is a native of the San Francisco Bay area and received a bachelor's degree in music from Stanford University. Nora's teachers and mentor include: Bernard Zaslav, Alan deVeritch, Serge Collot, and Burton Kaplan. Nora has enjoyed participating in many summer festivals, Kneisel Hall, Britt, Idyllwild, the Paillard Academie, and Magic Mountain, and considers them a key component to her artistic growth and continued inspiration. Nora was a 2007 Artist-in Residence at the Cliff Dwellers Club, and arts-based club in downtown Chicago that recently celebrated its 100 year anniversary.
Nora has maintained a private teaching studio in Chicago since 1998. She is the artistic director and founder of the Ossia Musical Forum, located in Chicago's historic Fine Arts Building. Nora has the been the host of two different web shows, The Nora Williams Hour and Breathe Out!, both hosted by ArtsEntertainment.com and broadcast from the Fine Arts Building. These shows connect a world wide audience with guest musicians and artists who demonstrate their work and engage in enlivening conversations with Nora.
Nora's hobbies include hiking, triathlons, running, reading and cooking and she loves sharing many of these with her husband, Shawn Quaid, a Chicago area chef.