Joseph Kneer

Assistant Professor of Violin, Viola, Music Theory, and Aural Skills

D'Angelo Room 13

(814) 824-3091


Joseph Kneer holds a bachelor of music in violin performance from Oberlin Conservatory, a masters of music in violin and theory pedagogy from the Peabody Institute, and a doctor of musical arts in violin performance, also from Peabody. While pursuing his masters and doctorate, he was awarded both a full-tuition assistantship in ear training and a graduate theory teaching fellowship. In 2012, Kneer was appointed Assistant Professor of violin, viola, music theory, and aural skills in the D’Angelo Music Department at Mercyhurst University. Previous teaching engagements include the Peabody Preparatory and the Janna Friedman music school, among others.

Kneer is an active recitalist and orchestral musician. He has performed on numerous concert series in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, including the Federal Hill Parlor Series (Baltimore, MD), the Mabel Tainter Theater (Menomonie, WI), the Heyde Center for the Performing Arts (Chippewa Falls, WI), a guest artist recital on the Summer Sounds series at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and both the Luther Memorial and Abiding Hope Concert Series (Erie, PA). In December of 2013, Kneer performed as the soloist in Svendsen’s Romance with the Young Artists Debut Orchestra. He was also featured live on Classics with Wally Faas (91.3 WQLN, Erie Public Radio) as part of the Lobby Performance series with pianist and recital partner Shirley Yoo. In the spring of 2015, the duo will embark on a regional concert tour, presenting Johannes Brahms’ complete works for violin and piano. Kneer also performs regularly with the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra and is a contracted membe r of the Erie Chamber Orchestra's first violin section.

A passionate chamber musician, Kneer founded the Aurora Piano Trio in 2008 with cellist Hannah Pressley and pianist Linda Angkasa. In 2008, the trio performed in the inaugural summer concert series of the Peabody Institute and Yong Siew Tow Conservatory in La Loingtaine, France. The Aurora trio was awarded the 2009 Peabody Chamber Music Prize. Kneer has collaborated with such artists as organist John Walker, pianists Ta-Wei Tsai and Namji Kim, and Joseph’s wife, soprano Lydia Beasley, and has premiered the works of several composers, including Roger Zare’s violin sonata ("Beautiful Savior"), a piece commissioned by (and written for) him.

Joseph has studied with Mary West, Milan Vitek, Herbert Greenberg, and Violaine Melançon, and maintains an active violin studio and string ensemble at Mercyhurst University. Kneer's students have won notable local and regional recognition since his arrival in Erie, including top prizes at the Erie Tuesday Morning Music Club, solo debuts with the Western New York Chamber Orchestra and on local concert series recitals, and participation in all levels of the Pennsylvania All-State Orchestra.