Pennsylvania native Tess Varley is a Philadelphia based violinist who performs with a number of orchestras and ensembles. Tess is a member of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Symphony in C, the Delaware Symphony and the Allentown Symphony.
Recent orchestral engagements include performances with Opera Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ballet, Philly Pops, Delaware Symphony, Symphony in C, Allentown Symphony, Lancaster Symphony, and Reading Symphony. In the San Francisco Bay Area, Tess served as Assistant Principal Second of the Stockton Symphony, rotating Concertmaster of the unconducted chamber orchestra One Found Sound, and a regular player with a number of Bay Area orchestras including the California Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, Oakland Symphony, Monterey Symphony, Reno Philharmonic, and Fresno Philharmonic. Previous leadership positions include Concertmaster of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra with conductor John Williams, Principal Second of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, and Concertmaster of the National Orchestral Institute Festival Orchestra. Tess also performed for two seasons with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra in Charleston, South Carolina and as a substitute with the New World Symphony in Miami.
As an educator, Tess recently served on the faculty of Settlement Music School's Music Education Pathways program in Philadelphia and directed the Chamber Music Program and Chamber Orchestra at the Urban School of San Francisco. Tess has maintained private teaching studios in both San Francisco and the greater Philadelphia area. From 2014-2016, Tess taught as a member of the violin and chamber music faculty at the Lutheran Summer Music Program at Luther College.
Outside of the classical scene, Tess has performed with popular artists such as Kygo, Childish Gambino, Michael Buble, Journey, Celtic Women, Celtic Thunder, Il Volo, Tim McGraw, and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. As a part of the Magik*Magik Orchestra of San Francisco, she can be heard on the soundtrack for the Oscar nominated short film The Dam Keeper.
Tess received a Bachelor of Music Degree from Boston University and a Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She currently performs on a 1899 Voller Brothers violin.