Shirien Taylor-Donahue, Principal Second Violin

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Shirien Taylor-Donahue has held the position of Principal Second Violin of The Metropolitan Opera orchestra since 1991. She joined The Met as a section player in 1987, after having attended The Juilliard School as a student of Dorothy DeLay.

Ms.Taylor-Donahue began her violin studies at the age of seven in Rochester, New York, when the famed pedagogue, Shinichi Suzuki, first brought his teaching method to the USA at the Eastman School of Music. There she studied with Suzuki himself and his American counterpart, Anastasia Jempelis. When Shirien was eleven, she moved with her family to Albuquerque, New Mexico and continued her violin lessons with Leonard Felberg. Shirien attended the Aspen Music Festival for four summers, studying with Shirley Givens and Dorothy DeLay.

At the ages of 11 and 13, Shirien was chosen to be soloist with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, as a senior in high school she was concertmaster and soloist with the Albuquerque Youth Symphony and soloed with the Amarillo Symphony. At the age of 19, she toured Europe as concertmaster and soloist with the North Carolina School of the Arts summer program, George Trautwein conducting. Shirien was assistant concertmaster of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra for two years before moving to New York to study at Juilliard.

Ms.Taylor-Donahue enjoys her career at the Met, and balances it with a suburban life in Rockland County with her husband, her two children and her four stepchildren.


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