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Photo credit ©Katherine Briccetti Photography

Dawn Harms

First Violin

Dawn Harms' diverse career ranges from being a chamber musician, violin soloist, and concertmaster, to being a music director and conductor. She is a first violinist in the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Associate Concertmaster for the New Century Chamber Orchestra, and Co-Concertmaster with the Oakland Symphony. She also records regularly at Skywalker Studios for movies and video games. She teaches at Stanford University, and is the conductor of the pre-college string orchestra at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.


Dawn is in her seventh season as Music Director and conductor of the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony. She was chosen as a Fellow at the exclusive American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival, where she worked with some of the top conductors of the world. She has conducted the San Francisco Opera orchestra twice in concert. Her guest conducting engagements include appearances with the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, the Livermore Amador Symphony, Fremont Symphony, the Paradise Symphony, and the Grass Valley Summer Music Festival Orchestra.


A strong advocate for music education, Dawn has designed her own family show and has performed it throughout the United States, New Zealand, and Japan. Dawn's family show performances include the Kohl Mansion Family Series, the Lincoln Symphony in Nebraska, the Oakland Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, Merced Symphony, and the Napa Youth Symphony. She is invited every summer to perform with the Bear Valley Music Festival Orchestra.


Dawn has played chamber music regularly at Music in the Vineyards in Napa Valley, the Filoli Gardens concert series, Music at Kohl Mansion and Chamber Music San Francisco. She has also performed chamber music with Lynn Harrell, Jake Heggie, Frederica von Stadt, and Nadja Solerno Sonnenberg


Dawn plays on her cousin Tom Waits' CDs "Alice," "Blood Money, and Bad Is Me. Dawn also has two solo CD's, "The Black Swan" and "The Hot Canary" that can be found on or

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