Kellen Degnan

Cello Teacher

Kellen Degnan

SAA Member


Kellen Degnan, described by Cleveland Classical as a performer with “unabashed energy,” is a Cleveland-based cellist who performs and teaches throughout the Midwest.

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 currently teaches cello students at the Western Reserve Suzuki School, and he is a former faculty member of Mercyhurst University’s D’Angelo School of Music in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Kellen is a member of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, and was previously a member of the Ashland Symphony Orchestra and Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra.He also regularly joins the cello sections of the Erie Philharmonic and Canton Symphony Orchestra, among others.

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, Peter Salaff, and Jinjoo Cho. He has also received instruction in chamber music and sonata repertoire from many noted collaborative pianists, including Christopher Harding, Anita Pontremoli, Elizabeth DeMio, and Martin Katz.

A staunch advocate for the performance of contemporary music, Kellen was a founding member of the Converge String Quartet, an ensemble dedicated to the performance of works by student composers at the University of Michigan, 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 local artists and their music. He is the newest member of the Vaso String Quartet, a group which emphasizes the performance of contemporary music and music by underrepresented composers. And he is 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 musical activities extend beyond the classical realm, as well, and include collaborations on several tracks with Detroit-based pop band SIAS.

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.