Artistic Director at Ossia Musical Forum, Nora Williams is principal viola with the Highland Park Strings, founder and violist with the contemporary string quartet, Red Riding Hood, guest soloist with the South Loop Symphony, and past principal viola and soloist with the Bach and Beyond Chamber Orchestra. Nora spent seven years as a member of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, and has made appearances with the Northwest Indiana Symphony, the New Philharmonic, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, da Corneto Opera, L’Opera Piccola and Light Opera Works. Nora has maintained a private teaching studio in Chicago since 1998.
Nora is on the board of the Musicians Club of Woman and the Steering Committee of the Fine Arts Building Studios Collective where she participates regularly in Chicago Loop Alliance, and Chicago Cultural Mile functions. Since 2012, she has been on the faculty of the Interharmony International Music Festival in Acidosso, Tuscany, Italy.
Nora is a native of the San Francisco Bay area and received a bachelor’s degree in music from Stanford University. Her teachers and mentors include: Bernard Zaslav, Alan deVeritch, Serge Collot, and Burton Kaplan. Nora has enjoyed participating in many summer festivals, Kneisel Hall, Britt, Idyllwild, the Paillard Academie, and Magic Mountain, and considers them a key component to her artistic growth and continued inspiration. Nora was a 2007 Artist-in Residence at the Cliff Dwellers Club, and arts-based club in downtown Chicago that recently celebrated its 100 year anniversary.
Nora loves the variety of the Chicago music scene and enjoys performing popular music with the Don Cagen Orchestra (including at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration), as well as local indie bands and headline acts coming through Chicago on tour. Nora’s hobbies include gardening, triathlons, reading and cooking, and she loves sharing many of these with her husband, Shawn Quaid, a Chicago area chef.