A Suzuki student from the beginning, Andrea Kleesattel began her cello career at the age of 6 with Ellen Shertzer in a free program offered through the Cincinnati Public Schools. She continued her studies with Norman Johns of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and attended college at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati with Lee Fiser. Upon graduation, she was offered a position in the Niles Quartet at the University of Kentucky where she completed her Master’s Degree with Benjamin Karp and played in the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra. While with the Niles Quartet, she attended the Banff Chamber Music Residency, the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar, soloed with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, and won the Macauley Chamber Music Competition in Louisville, Kentucky. Following her love of string quartet, she accepted another position at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as part of their Hunt Quartet and completed her Doctorate degree with Uri Vardi while playing in the Madison Symphony Orchestra. A successful audition for the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra took her to Japan, where she lived for three years as a full-time orchestral cellist.
She has played numerous solo recitals in England and throughout America, and as the winner of the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, performed the Dvorak Cello Concerto with the orchestra. She has appeared in solo masterclasses with Lynn Harrell, Zuill Bailey, Bonnie Hampton, Timothy Eddy, Matthew Haimovitz, and Ralph Kirshbaum.
Throughout her career as a cellist, she has always been a passionate and dedicated advocate of both chamber music and education, and has served in multiple capacities to promote both. She ran private studios in Cincinnati, Ohio, Lexington, Kentucky, and Madison, Wisconsin, where she taught students of all ages and abilities, several of whom have continued to study music in college. She has done numerous outreaches in schools, coached cello sections and chamber ensembles, taught through the University of Kentucky String Project, and was awarded the Brevard Music Center Teacher Award. During her time in Madison, Wisconsin she founded and co-directed the local chapter of Classical Revolution and ran an organization that connected university music students to local high schools to coach chamber music.
Her doctoral research explores several theories of practical embodied cognition and applies them to cello playing and teaching. Using the works of F.M. Alexander, Moshe Feldenkrais, Irmgaard Bartenieff, and choreographer Rudolph Laban, her document presents an approach to cello playing and teaching that brings greater awareness to the body and its full expressive capacity.
Dr. Kleesattel is currently living in New York City where she is completing her Suzuki Teacher Training with Pamela Devenport at the School for Strings and pursuing her full Dalcroze Certification. She is on the faculty of the Lucy Moses School, Opportunity Music Project, and the Suzuki Music School in Westport, CT, and serves as a Faculty Mentor with the Harmony Project. In her spare time she enjoys exploring the city, reading, and practicing Tae Kwon Do.