Members Bios

We have been making music together in various configurations and groups for the past 10 years, but we have only decided to play as a string quartet in 2011. There are times when one or more members of Summer Strings may be unavailable to play a service, in those instances we would hire another fine musician to take their place.


An accomplished chamber musician, Nathalie Cruden received her Bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music where she studied the art of quartet playing with the Cleveland Quartet.  She has been a guest artist with such groups as the Hill House Chamber Players, the Musical Offering, and the Maia Quartet.


Elizabeth Oakes was a founding member of the Maia Quartet, which was the Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Iowa.  She has had an active chamber music career both nationally and internationally and has performed in venues such as Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, the Kennedy Center and Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall.   Ms. Oakes received her training from Oberlin Conservatory, the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Peabody Conservatory, and the Juilliard School.


Linda Judiesch received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Chicago Musical College, Roosevelt University, and is a graduate of the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan. She has been a member of the Rochester Philharmonic, National Symphony of Chile, McMaster Chamber Orchestra and Symphony Hamilton. She has been on the faculty of the University of Costa Rica, the Hamilton Suzuki School of Music, the Music Center of the North Shore, and the Suzuki School of Music in Bermuda. She was the founding president of the Ontario Suzuki Teachers’ Association, and has been a frequent institute clinician. She has been on the Preucil School faculty since 1997 and is member of Orchestra Iowa.


Formerly violist with ensembles such as the Kronos Quartet and the Atlanta Virtuosi, Michael Kimber has performed widely in North America, Europe, and Australia.  For twenty years he was the viola professor at the University of Kansas.  Among his former teachers was Raphael Hillyer, the founding violist of the Juilliard String Quartet.


James Ellis is the Associate Principal Cello with Orchestra Iowa and is on the faculty of Cornell College.  He holds a DMA in Cello from the University of Iowa where he studied with Charles Wendt.

Contact Information

Nathalie Cruden

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