School of Visual and Performing Arts

Alice Petersen

Dr. Alice Neff Petersen has been a Toledo Symphony Orchestra violinist since 1978, a Toledo Opera Orchestra player and a University of Toledo part-time faculty member since 1980. She is Director of the Collegium Musicum early music ensemble, and teaches an Introduction to Music course for non-majors. She is founder, coordinator, and a performer in the area early music ensemble, Musica Antigua de Toledo. Dr. Petersen taught elementary strings in Peoria, IL; and was a violinist in Peoria Symphony String Quartet. She was the Director of Collegium Musicum at Ball State University from 1975-78. She has been a member of Peoria and Galesburg, Illinois Symphonies, Muncie, Anderson, Richmond and Marion Symphonies in Indiana, as well as the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.

Dr. Petersen studied with area violin teachers Betty Foster and Dr. Paul Makara, and was a member of the Toledo Youth Orchestra. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Education, Master of Music, and Doctor of Arts degrees from Ball State University, in violin and music history; violin teachers there Otto Feld and Robert Slaughter; her doctoral emphasis and dissertation were on early music performance. Dr. Petersen did further early music study with New York Pro Musica, Ensemble for Early Music, conductor Helmuth Rilling, Aston Magna Academy, Amherst Early Music Workshop, Vancouver Early Music Workshop, Madison Early Music Workshop and San Francisco Early Music Workshop.

She spent an academic year in Germany on a music study and travel program from the University of Oregon, which included travel throughout Europe, and violin study with recording artist, Suzanne Lautenbacher, Stuttgart, Germany. She has also studied violin and chamber music at Brevard Music Center, Rocky Ridge Music Center, and Taos School of Chamber Music, and attended Suzuki and Paul Rolland workshops. She also plays viola and teaches a small number of private violin and viola students.

Her leisure enjoyments include sewing, gardening, and travel. Favorite composers are Brahms, Mahler, Monteverdi and Schutz. She enjoys folk music and light popular music as well as classical and early music. Dr. Petersen is an active member of Euterpean Music Club and Sigma Alpha Iota Women’s Music Fraternity, Northwest Ohio Alumnae Chapter. She is coordinator of Musica Antigua de Toledo, an area ensemble performing medieval, renaissance, baroque and colonial American music, using voices and historical instruments. She directs, sings, and plays several early bowed string, and wind instruments. The group has its own concert series and has offered several educational programs, written or co-written by Dr. Petersen, in the Arts in Education Project of the Toledo Public Schools since 1982. Musica Antigua is also available for special performances, entertainment or educational; call Alice Petersen or check for website information at

Alice also performs in Strings of Choice, which offers various ensembles, available for weddings and entertainment. The primary ensemble is the Scandia String Quartet, in which she is the violist; other ensembles include duos of 2 violins, violin/cello, violin/harpsichord; trios of 2 violins/cello, 2 violins and harpsichord; 2 violins, cello, harpsichord or harpsichord with string quartet. The groups are available at competitive prices and have a large repertoire available. Their website,, includes audio excerpts of most of their available wedding selections. Call for information: 419-475-6177. Email: Dr. Petersen is available for violin, viola performing and private teaching, schedule permitting.

Dr. Petersen is a Toledo native, and the widow of graphic designer Gary Petersen. She has three married stepsons, four granddaughters, a grandson, and eight cats.

Last Updated: 1/4/17