Acclaimed for their rich sound and oneness of interpretation, the Kruse Duo (Penny Thompson Kruse, violin and Steven Kruse, viola) has excited audiences on three continents over the past twenty years. Champions of new music by American composers, the Kruses are also at home with the standard repertoire of Mozart and Handel-Halvorsen. The Kruse Duo has appeared as soloists with numerous orchestras in the United States, Vietnam, and Romania. They have presented recitals at the Detroit Institute of Arts, The Huntington Library and Museum (San Marino, CA), Washington County Museum of Arts (Maryland), at universities in Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Kansas, West Virginia, and California, and in Vietnam, Taiwan, Germany, Romania, South Africa, and Canada. They have also performed at various state, national, and international professional conventions, including the International Viola Congress, the American String Teachers Association, and the College Music Society. They premiered "Jakarta" by David Snow for Violin, Viola, and Percussion Ensemble at the 37th International Viola Congress at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. In October 2011, the Kruse Duo premiered a new work by Braxton Blake at the 39th International Viola Congress in Würzburg, Germany. In Fall 2012, they will premerie a new work by David Snow.

As educators, the Kruse Duo regularly gives workshops and master classes to secondary school and college students. They have also presented workshops at the National Conference of the American String Teachers Association, including “Bowing for Better Health" and “Life Beyond the Second Method Book: Taking Responsibility for the Technical Development of Your Orchestra." The Kruses have co-authored articles in the Strad, American String Teacher, and the Journal of the American Viola Society. Performing on matching instruments made by the famed Carl Becker family of Chicago, the Kruses are known for their unique blend and cohesiveness.

Sample Repertoire

Duos for Violin and Viola

Braxton Blake Bagatelles
William Bolcom Session II for Violin and Viola
J.C. Cannabich Six Duets
Maurice Gardner Suite for Violin and Viola
Joseph Gehot Six Duos for Violin and Viola
Reinhold Gliere Duets, Op. 39
G.F. Handel Chaconne in G Major for Violin and
Handel-Halvorsen Passacaglia in G Minor for Violin and
Gordon Jacob Prelude, Passacaglia, and Fugue for
Violin and Viola
Joseph Jongen Adagio for Violin and Viola
Johann Wenel Kalliwoda Allegro risvegliato
Andreas Lidel Duo in G Major, Op. 3, No. 3
Bohuslav Martinů Madrigals for Violin and Viola
David Maslanka Montana Music: Fantasy on a Choral
W.A. Mozart Duo in G Major, K. 423 and Duo in
B-flat Major, K. 424
William Ryden Three Rags for Violin and Viola
Quincy Porter Duo for Violin and Viola
Vissarion Shebalin Sonata for Violin and Viola in E Minor
David Snow Jakarta for Violin, Viola, and
Percussion Ensemble
Heitor Villa-Lobos Duo for Violin and Viola

Concertos for Violin, Viola, and Orchestra

Kurt Atterberg Svit No. 3, Op. 19, No. 1, for Violin,
Viola, and String Orchestra
Arthur Benjamin Romantic Fantasy for Violin, Viola,
and Orchestra
W.A. Mozart Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola,
and Orchestra


“Family Dealings: How Did Carl Becker and Son Become so Successful?" The Strad, (Vol. 115, No. 1375), November 2004.

“Remembering Joseph and Lillian Fuchs," American String Teacher, (Vol. 53, No. 4), November 2003.

“Finding Harmony between East and West," Journal of the American Viola Society, (Vol. 19, No. 1), Spring 2003.