Kimberly Patterson

Associate Professor of Cello

(901) 678-2541
MU 247
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Kimberly Patterson, Cello


  • D.M.A., Doctor of Musical Arts, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2012
  • M.M., Master of Music, The Juilliard School, 2009
  • B.M., Bachelor of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, 2007


Hailed by the Chicago Sun Times as a “superb cellist,” Dr. Kimberly Patterson has earned recognition for her artistry as a solo, chamber, and orchestral musician. Dr. Patterson was the founding cellist for the Tesla Quartet, winners of the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition as well as prizewinners of the London International Quartet Competition and the Bordeaux International Quartet Competition. She has given chamber recitals in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall and Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center and has held chamber music residencies with Aspen Music Festival, Bravo! Vail Valley, Strings Music Festival and a quartet residency at the University of Colorado at Boulder with the Takács Quartet.

Dr. Patterson is the Associate Professor of Cello at the University of Memphis and the Ceruti Quartet, Quartet-in-Residence cellist at the University of Memphis. She is also the cellist of the Patterson / Sutton cello and guitar duo. Their debut album, “Cold Dark Matter: Music for Cello & Guitar,” was released by MSR records in 2013 and their second album, “Still Life: Collected Music for Cello and Guitar by Stephen Goss,” was released on Parma Records in 2020. The Patterson / Sutton duo have presented lectures at the International Guitar Research Center in Surrey, UK and the Guitar Foundation of America National Convention. Their performances have been broadcasted on American Public Media’s, Performance Today, Radio New Zealand and South Africa’s Fine Music Radio among others. The Patterson/Sutton duo concertizes throughout the US and abroad with recent engagements as Juilliard Global Artists, performing throughout Vietnam, Ireland, Hungary and Slovakia, the Cleveland International Guitar Festival, Denver Friends of Chamber Music, Portland International Guitar Series, Minnesota Guitar Society, among others.

As a soloist, Dr. Patterson has appeared with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and the Manila Symphony of the Philippines, toured nationally with the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Company performing a solo piece by David Lang, and presented solo recitals in the Netherlands, Afghanistan and throughout the United States. Festival appearances include the Verbier Festival, Strings Music Festival, Holland Music Sessions, Aspen Music Festival & School, Sarasota Music Festival & the Miyazaki Festival.

In addition to her extensive chamber music career, Dr. Patterson was a member of the Colorado Symphony. She has performed as principal cellist with Verbier Orchestra in Switzerland and the Juilliard Orchestra. She has also performed with the Utah Symphony, Iris Orchestra, Central City Opera, the New Haven Symphony. Charles Dutoit personally invited her to perform with the Miyazaki Orchestra in Japan.

Dr. Patterson is a strong believer in the transformative power of music education. Kimberly has given masterclasses around the country at institutions such as Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, Louisiana State University, University of Utah, Bowling Green State University, Virginia Tech University, the University of Denver, Ball State University, Colorado State University and University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg among others. With support from the United States’ State Department, Dr. Patterson taught and performed as a guest artist at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul in early 2014. She has also instructed cellists of the Manila Symphony Orchestra in the Philippines. Dr. Patterson serves on the Colorado Youth Symphony Orchestras board and the Memphis Youth Symphony Orchestra advisory board. She also serves as a governor for the Memphis Chapter of the Grammy’s Organization. 

Dr. Patterson’s students have won positions with Orchestra Iowa and the Guangzhou Symphony. Students have attended Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra, the Tanglewood Institute, All-National Youth Orchestra, and Colorado and Tennessee All-State Orchestras.

A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music with academic honors, Dr. Patterson earned her Master of Music degree at the Juilliard School and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her teachers include Richard Aaron, Andras Fejer, Judith Glyde and Stephen Geber.