Mrs. Amali Premawardhana

Cello, Suzuki in the Schools Teacher

Amali Premawardhana


Lisle, IL

Chicago area cellist Amali Premawardhana trained in Suzuki Cello pedagogy at New York School for Strings under the tutelage of Pam Devenport, where she was registered in ECC and Books 1-8. Currently she serves on the adjunct faculty at Elmhurst University, teaches cello at Chicago West Community Music Program and runs a home private studio. Previous to her move to the Midwest, she directed the Suzuki Strings Program in the Greenwich, CT Public Schools and served on cello faculty at the Greenwich Suzuki Academy.

Amali began her formal studies at Indiana University where she studied with Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi. She earned her bachelors degree in cello at the Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Julia Lichten and Margo Tatgenhorst-Drakos. She completed her masters degree in Music Education at the University of Bridgeport.

As an active chamber musician, Amali co-leads her own ensemble, Karavika, which blends Western chamber music with musical traditions of India and Sri Lanka. Karavika has been hailed by the New York Times as “a soulful blend of classical and folk traditions” and her ensemble has been described by the San Francisco Classical Voice as “commanding performers… suggestive of some of the adventures of such crossover explorers as Edgar Meyer and Yo-Yo Ma.” 

As an orchestral and chamber musician, Amali performs with the New Philharmonic Orchestra and performs in the Chicagoland area. She has been a long time cellist in the Distinguished Concerts Orchestra of NY, based at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Amali has collaborated and performed in many inspiring festivals and programs such as Learnquest Indian Music, the New Directions Cello Festival, San Francisco’s Classical Revolution Festival, Brooklyn Raga Massive and its offshoot, Women’s Raga Massive, the Black Rock Coalition Orchestra and more. Amali has had the privilege of performing in master classes with extraordinary cellists such as Yo-Yo Ma and Ron Leonard. Her performing career has taken her across the United States, Paris, Southern France and Sri Lanka.

When not teaching or performing, Amali loves spending time with her husband and three children, visiting with friends and relatives, cooking, camping, and exploring new places!