Dr. Katie Smirnova, co-founder and Artistic Director of the Rushmore Music Festival, has received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Violin Performance from the Stony Brook University under the mentorship of Hagai Shaham and Philip Setzer of the Emerson String Quartet.

An avid teacher, Dr. Smirnova currently holds an adjunct faculty position at the Black Hills State University.  She has previously served on faculty for undergraduate chamber music at Stony Brook University while also maintaining a full private studio for over 6 years. Highly interested in early child psychology and the early music learning process, she has studied pedagogy with Rebecca Henry at the Peabody Institute, taken multiple courses in Dalcroze Eurythmics at the Lucy Moses School, and completed a two-year long-term Suzuki teacher training certification at the School for Strings in New York City. 

Katie has enjoyed collaborating with various arts organizations such as the Moscow Ballet, Bel Cantanti Opera Company, Stony Brook Chamber Ensemble, and Groupmuse. In addition to performing in various chamber ensembles throughout the United States, Katie places a strong value on community outreach events benefiting local food shelters, veterans hospitals, senior centers, libraries, and house charities, among others.

Katie has previously received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Violin Performance from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where she studied with Victor Danchenko. Prior to attending Peabody, Katie attended Juilliard Pre-College as a student of Ann Setzer.