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About Kellen

Kellen Degnan, described as a performer with “unabashed energy” (clevelandclassical.com), is an accomplished and versatile musician. 

As an orchestral cellist, he is a member of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, and was previously a member of the Ashland Symphony Orchestra and Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed in the Erie Philharmonic, Canton Symphony Orchestra, and Akron Symphony Orchestra, among others.

Kellen is also an experienced chamber musician. As a member of various string quartets, he has received coachings with outstanding artists in the field, including members of the Cavani String Quartet and the Fry Street Quartet, and has also performed in masterclasses led by members of the Jupiter String Quartet, the Takacs String Quartet, Kim Kashkashian, Clive Greensmith, and Jinjoo Cho. He has also received instruction from pianists Christopher Harding, Anita Pontremoli, Kathryn Collier, and Martin Katz.

Kellen is a staunch advocate for the performance of contemporary music. As a student at University of Michigan, he was a founding member of the Converge String Quartet, an ensemble dedicated to the performance of works by student composers, which is still active today. He currently serves as a member of the artistic committee of the Detroit Composers’ Project, a collaboration with the aim of building performance opportunities in Detroit for new music and new artists. He is also a member of Midwest-based cello quartet Hole in the Floor, which is committed to building a diverse body of original works for cello quartet. His performance activities extend beyond the classical realm, as well, and he has collaborated on several tracks with Detroit-based pop band SIAS.

As a teacher and educator, Kellen studied through the Cleveland Institute of Music's Suzuki pedagogy program, and is a registered Suzuki cello teacher. He is a faculty member at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania, as Adjunct Instructor of Cello in the D'Angelo Department of Music and Suzuki Cello Instructor in the Sullivan Conservatory of Music.

Kellen holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Anthony Elliott, and a Master of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with renowned Cleveland Orchestra cellist Richard Weiss. He has also performed in masterclasses taught by Alisa Weilerstein, David Geringas, and New York Philharmonic principal cellist Carter Brey.