concertmasterA native of Texas, Denise Tarrant started her professional violin career at the age of 16 with the Midland Odessa (Texas) Symphony. Afterward she studied at the University of Houston, Rice University, Trinity University (London) and the Royal College of Music (London). Denise began playing with the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra while still in college and became Houston Grand Opera’s Concertmaster (first chair violin) under the baton of Maestro Patrick Summers in 1999. Highlights of her work here include the world premieres of Carlisle Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree (2000) and Tod Machover’s Resurrection (1999), Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas (2001) and Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men (2002), all of which were released on CD by Albany Records, and the world premiere of Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince (2003). She further performed in the world premieres, with the HGO, in The End of the Affair, Jake Heggie and Heather McDonald, 2004; Salsipuedes, a tale of Love, War and Anchovies, Daniel Catán and Eliseo Alberto and Francisco Hinojosa, 2004; Lysistrata, or The Nude Goddess, Mark Adamo, 2005; Last Acts (Three Decembers), Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer, 2008; and Brief Encounter, André Previn and John Caird, 2009. Denise received high praise for her playing and acting onstage in HGO’s performances of Handel’s Julius Caesar in 2003 as the solo violinist, a role she eagerly anticipates reprising in 2017. Denise has also been concertmaster of the Houston Ballet Orchestra since 1988 and has been featured as a violin soloist in numerous Houston Ballet productions including Stanton Welch’s Maninyas (Ross Edward’s Violin Concerto), Clear (Bach’s Concerto for Violin and Oboe), The Four Seasons (Vivaldi) and Natalie Weir’s Steppenwolf (Bruch Violin Concerto).