Instructor of Music


  • Role:

  • Position:

    • Instructor of Music
  • Concentration:

    • Cello
    • Chamber Music
    • Pedagogy
  • Department:

    • Music


Barbara Thiem is an internationally acclaimed cellist who combines teaching cello and coaching chamber music with her active schedule of solo, concerto, and chamber music performances in Europe and the United States. She is a founding member of the Mendelssohn Trio that regularly performs in the United States, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, with an appearance at the International Mendelssohn Festival in Berlin. Her prolific performance schedule includes 20-30 concerts each year across Europe, the U.S., Canada, and South America, including many guest artist appearances at the International Draeseke Conference in Coburg, Germany.

In addition to concertizing, Thiem has recorded for many radio stations and has produced several CDs, among them a set of Bach Suites for solo cello, Complete Works for Cello and Piano by Felix Draeseke with pianist Wolfgang Mueller-Steinbach, Works for Cello and Organ with organist Robert Cavarra, and cello/bass duets with Gary Karr. She has published translations of Gerhard Mantel's Cello Technique, and Ernst Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s From New York to San Francisco, both from Indiana University Press, as well as a number of articles on good postural and practicing habits, which appeared in the American String Teacher Association Journal and the American Suzuki Journal.

As an active clinician, lecturer, and adjudicator, Thiem has been a guest at the Encontro Orquestra de Cordas da UnB in Brazil, the Pan American Cello Festival in Texas, at prominent national association conferences, including the Music Teachers National Association, the American Musicological Society, and the American String Teachers Association, and at state music teacher’s conferences and contests.

Thiem teaches and performs within the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance at Colorado State University where she teaches cello and chamber music, leads a three-semester course in cello pedagogy, and teaches in the Pre-College Chamber Music Program. The Mendelssohn Trio is in residence at the University, and Thiem has also participated in research within CSU’s renowned music therapy area. Previous teaching appointments include the University of Wyoming, Indiana University, Lamont School of Music, University of Colorado, University of Texas, and Iowa State University. She has often administered the International Summer Academy of Schloss Ort, Austria.

Thiem holds an M.M. in cello performance from Indiana University where she was assistant to Janos Starker and was awarded the coveted Performer’s Certificate, as well as degrees from Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, Germany where she studied with avant-garde cellist Siegfried Palm.

She is a ‘Best Teacher’ award-winner at Colorado State University, and a ‘Teacher of the Year,’ nominee for the College of Liberal Arts.