Seth Van Embden

Viola, Violin Teacher

Seth Van Embden


Chicago, IL
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Violist Seth Van Embden is based in Chicago, IL, with teaching appointments in nearby Joliet, Oak Park, and Evanston, IL. He enjoys playing as a member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra and substitute with the Milwaukee Symphony.

Seth received his Masters degree from Northwestern University as the recipient of the Charlotte Kickhaefer Davis and Ernest Davis Endowed Fellowship, studying with the renowned soloist Helen Callus. His previous studies consist of a dual degree in viola performance and music education from Rutgers University under the tutelage of Philadelphia Orchestra principal violist CJ Chang.

Seth has performed in solo, orchestral, and chamber settings all over the world including Italy, the United Kingdom, and China. He most recently performed with as featured soloist with Bourbon Baroque of Louisville, Kentucky.

​Seth is an enthusiastic performer of baroque music and has had the privilege to perform in many summer engagements, including the Dartington Music Festival and Berwick Academy of the Oregon Bach Festival. He is a founding member of Ensemble Affect, an early music group dedicated to exposing Chicago audiences to historically-informed performance.

Before his relocation to Chicago, Seth taught in the public-school system as an elementary orchestra director in Princeton, New Jersey. He also ran a private studio of over thirty students and served on faculty of Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts’ Extension Division. He is now on faculty at Joliet Junior College and the Oak Park School of Music, and also runs his own private studio on the north side of Chicago.