Cheri Lyon Kelley

Louisville native Cheri Lyon Kelley has been a member of the first violin section of the Louisville Orchestra since 1976 and occupies the Mrs. John H. Clay endowed chair.  She enjoys a fulfilling career in both performing and teaching.  She is a second-generation Louisville Orchestra member, her father Ernest E. Lyon having been the principal trombonist for 10 years.   Cheri owns and performs on a Giovanni Battista Ceruti violin, ca. 1810, a beautiful example of the Cremonese school from Cremona, Italy.  It was formerly owned by Mr. William Hedden of New Albany, IN and played frequently in the home of Hattie Speed during informal chamber music gatherings.  She is married to Tom Kelley and they have a son, Ethan who is a pianist. Cheri’s other passions include cooking, history, and work with the children’s music worship at their church St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church.

Cheri received her Bachelor’s degree in applied music, violin performance, from the University of Louisville studying with Paul Kling.  In addition, Cheri attended the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Young Artist Instrumental Program studying with the renowned Roman Totenberg and receiving the Young Artist of the Year Award.  At Meadowmount, Cheri studied with the famed pedagogue, Ivan Galamian.  At Yale in Norfolk, she also received intensive chamber music instruction from the eminent Tokyo String Quartet and Raphael Hillyer of the Julliard String Quartet.  Cheri went on to study privately with former Cincinnati Symphony concertmaster, Philip Ruder.