Simona Rusu, a Romanian-born violist, started her musical training at the age of eight, first playing the violin, then later switching to viola. While a student at the “Gheorghe Dima” Music Conservatory in Cluj, Romania, she won a position with the Transylvania Philharmonic Orchestra in Cluj. After graduating from the Conservatory in 1991, Mrs. Rusu joined the National Radio-Television Chamber Orchestra and the Athenaeum Chamber Orchestra in Bucharest, touring extensively throughout Europe. In 1994, Mrs. Rusu moved to the U.S. to continue her viola studies with Hong-Mei Xiao, at Bowling Green State University, in Ohio. After receiving her Master Degree from BGSU, she continued her Doctorate studies at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. While a doctoral student, in 1997, she won a position with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in Birmingham, Alabama. In 2005, Mrs. Rusu moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where she now lives with her husband Radu and their daughter Alexandra. Mrs. Rusu performs as a freelancer with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra as well as with other orchestras in the area. She also records frequently with the Nashville String Machine.