Penny Thompson Kruse, professor of violin, has performed extensively as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician. Prior to her BGSU appointment in 2000, Kruse was on the faculty of William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, for eight years. For five seasons she was a member of the Kansas City Symphony, serving as associate concertmaster during the 1989-90 season. Currently she performs with her husband, violist Steven Kruse as the Kruse Duo and with violinist Ioana Galu as Treble Trouble.
Kruse has been featured as soloist with several orchestras in the Midwest, including the Bowling Green Philharmonia, Eastern Festival Orchestra, Hutchinson Chamber Orchestra, Independence Symphony, Kansas City Camerata, Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, Liberty Symphony, Lima Symphony, Northland Symphony, Overland Park Orchestra, Perrysburg Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia of Kansas City, and the Toledo International Youth Orchestra. Internationally, she has soloed in Hanoi with the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet Orchestra and the State Philharmonic of Sibiu in Romania. Her performance of Chen Yi's Chinese Folk Dance Suite, with the Bowling Green Philharmonia, is available on Albany Records.
She has performed in numerous music festivals, including the Colorado, Peninsula, Spoleto and Grand Teton. As first violinist of the Escher Quartet, she was an artist-in-residence at Music at Penn's Woods at Pennsylvania State University. Currently, Dr. Kruse serves as a member of the violin faculty at Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina. As a member of the International Women's String Quartet, she performed at the 2002 National Women's Day in Hanoi, Vietnam, as well as presented master classes and recitals in Tainan, Taiwan and Hanoi. She has performed in the American Romanian Festival with concerts in the U.S. and in Timisoara, Romania, as well as the Romanian American Festival sponsored by the Foundation "Societatea de Concerte Bistrita,” giving concerts in Bistrita and Cluj, Romania. In March 2011, Kruse appeared with the Counterpoint Ensemble in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Kruse has also performed at numerous state, national, and international conferences including the 2000 College Music Society: Musical Intersections; 31st International Viola Congress in Kronberg, Germany; 37th International Viola Congress at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa; 39th International Viola Congress in Würzburg, Germany; 2006 Percussive Arts International Conference; and was a panelist and clinician at the 2006 and 2011 American String Teachers Association Conferences.
Trained at Northwestern and Yale Universities and earning a D.M.A. in violin performance from the University of Missouri—Kansas City, Conservatory of Music and Dance, Dr. Kruse has co-authored articles in American String Teacher, the Strad and Journal of the American Viola Society with her husband, Steven Kruse. In 2001, Dr. Kruse was named Professor of the Year by the BGSU students of Ashley/Batchelder Residence Halls. In 2008, she received the Pro Musica Award for Exceptional Service to the students of BGSU.