De Ann is the Concertmaster of the Las Vegas Philharmonic. She is a powerfully warm and emotionally charged violinist who has the unique ability to relate her love of music to all audiences. She is also one of the few female Concertmasters in the US. The Las Vegas Review Journal said “…she performed not only impeccably but with an exuberant sense of joy.” The Duluth News Tribune said “…her performance was sensationally vibrant from beginning to end.”
She is a native of Superior Wisconsin where she began studying with Diane Balko, the former Concertmaster of the Duluth-Superior Symphony, at age 14. Through the many competitions, awards and scholarships that followed, she quickly became known as one of the outstanding young artists in the US. Her career, now spanning over 20 years, includes many performances throughout the US and Europe as soloist and chamber musician on violin and viola. Formerly affiliated with the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra, she has appeared as guest artist with many orchestras including the Milwaukee Symphony, Las Vegas Philharmonic, National Arts Chamber Orchestra (Chicago), Duluth-Superior Symphony, St. Martin Chamber Orchestra, Nevada Chamber Orchestra and the Lake Superior Chamber Symphony.
She has also been a frequent guest artist performing recitals on many radio broadcasts including KNPR FM, National Public Radio, WQXR FM in New York City, and Wisconsin Public Radio. She was awarded the Governor’s Excellence in the Arts Award and was a prizewinner at the National Arts Competition in Washington DC. She also won First Prize at the International Starling Violin Competition in Aspen CO. In Las Vegas, she was honored as the first ever recipient of the “Woman of Distinction Award in the Performing Arts” and then received the Congressional Certificate of Achievement for her work in the Las Vegas performing arts.
In the past few years, she has reunited in music with her good friend and pianist, Sandra Rivers to bring her recital & chamber playing back to the stage. This past year she collaborated to form the “Letourneau Smith Rivers Trio” with Sandra Rivers and Andrew Smith, the principal cellist of the Las Vegas Philharmonic.
Living in Las Vegas has also opened up opportunities to explore her main stream music making abilities. She is sought after in Las Vegas for some of the biggest popular performers of today. She has been seen on TV performing for the Billboard Award shows, Country Music Awards, Latin Grammy’s and many other production shows. She has performed with artists such as Smokey Robinson, Metallica, Vanessa Williams, Johnny Mathis and many others. She has also been the Concertmaster for Orchestras with Pavorotti, Placido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli, Sarah Brightman, Alicia Keys and many others.
In addition to performing, De Ann is also active in bringing music education to young and old audiences. She has served on the LVP Education Committee and is a Charter Member of the Jascha Heifetz Society in CA. She is also passionate about teaching and coaching to help inspire young musicians to reach their full potential as artists. Her skill is to help them discover their own inner art and feel confident in presenting it on the stage. Over the years, she has been asked by Colleges, Arts Schools and Music Festivals to present Master Classes using her knowledge of NLP to help performance issues for artists. In Las Vegas, she also has her own private studio where violin & viola students are admitted by audition.
De Ann attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and studied with Efim Boico & the Fine Arts Quartet. She then attended the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music to study with Dorothy DeLay & Kurt Sassmanshaus. She has also had the opportunity to study at times with some of the world’s best violin pedagogues such as Josef Gingold, Jascha Brodsky & David Cerone.
De Ann lives in Las Vegas with her husband Scott, CEO of Nevada Corporate Planners Inc. and their 3 beautiful daughters, Grace, Rose & Faith. They all enjoy a summer home in Northern Wisconsin where they spend their summers with family and friends.