Heidi Yenney was raised in Palo Alto, California, where she was introduced to the world of chamber music at an early age as a member of the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra.She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, with distinction in performance, from the New England Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Dorothy Delay.
During her years in Boston, she freelanced as both a chamber and orchestral musician. She was a founding member of the New England String Quartet, which had dual residences at both University of Massachusetts Boston and Amherst. The NESQ represented the state of Massachusetts through Young Audiences of America, toured throughout the East Coast and California, and summered with residencies at Tanglewood and Norfolk Music Festivals. They also collaborated with many well-known musicians; most notably clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, jazz pianist Fred Hersch and cellists Colin Carr and Yo-Yo Ma.
Orchestrally, Heidi was a member and frequent concertmaster, of Emmanuel Music, which has been performing weekly Bach Cantatas in Boston since 1970. She was also Principal Second Violin of both New Hampshire Symphony and Monadnock Orchestras.
In addition to her performing life in Boston, Heidi held a post as faculty member at the prestigious Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, where she taught private violin and general music, conducted a chamber orchestra and coached chamber music. She was also a member of the faculty’s Essex String Quartet.
In 1993, Heidi and her growing family moved to Cincinnati, where she raised her three children. She also maintains a busy freelance career both performing and teaching.
Heidi has been Principal Viola of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra since 1995. Equally at home on violin or viola, she can be seen (and heard) performing on both instruments in many groups including the Cincinnati, Richmond, Columbus and Kentucky Symphony Orchestras, Concert:Nova, Amicus Chamber Players, ProArt Music, Cincinnati Baroque and Collegium Cincinnati.
In addition to performing, she taught violin and directed the chamber music program at Xavier University for several years before moving to the Public School system, where she taught at two Montessori Schools; Clark High School and North Avondale.
Heidi’s passion for music and composers is inspiring. As she puts it: “There are several composers that I really enjoy for different reasons. Schumann is natural and passionate, Brahms is soothing and romantic, Bach is pure and spiritual, Mozart is optimistic and full of life, Beethoven is crafted to perfection and gets you in the gut…” She also loves performing contemporary classical music, and feels it brings a new, fresh perspective to her performances of the older compositions.
Heidi is currently splitting her time between Cincinnati and San Diego. In her free time, she can be found at one of her favorite restaurants, at a jazz club, thrift-shopping, playing Pickleball or practicing yoga.