Kristin Ahlstrom

Associate Principal
Virginia V. Weldon, M.D. Chair
Mabel Dorn Reeder Honorary Chair

Growing up in Manchester, Missouri, Kristin Ahlstrom dreamt of digging in the earth as an anthropologist during the week and performing in an orchestra on weekends. Although she participated in a six-week dig on historic Native American grounds during college, she’s now living her dream as the Associate Principal Second Violin in the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, a position she’s held since 2001.

Ahlstrom first joined the SLSO in 1996, but her affiliation with the organization began earlier when she won a position in the prestigious St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, where she was concertmaster. Prior to her appointment with the SLSO, Ahlstrom played in the Colorado Symphony Orchestra after completing both her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Violin Performance at Indiana University-Bloomington. Her violin teachers at Indiana included Henryk Kowalski and Josef Gingold.

Ahlstrom studied chamber music with Rostislav Dubinsky and, as a member of the Kono Quartet, was a finalist in the Osaka (Japan) International Chamber Music Competition. She also spent two summers performing with the National Repertory Orchestra in Colorado and was a featured soloist both seasons.

An avid chamber musician, Ahlstrom participates enthusiastically in the SLSO’s Education and Community programs. She is a member of the Ilex Piano Trio, along with her husband, pianist Peter Henderson, and retired St. Louis Symphony cellist Anne Fagerburg. She also plays in a string trio featuring SLSO musicians Shannon Farrell Williams (viola) and Bjorn Ranheim (cello). Ahlstrom joined the Sun Valley Music Festival in 2001, and she has been active in both chamber music recitals and orchestra concerts since then. During February 2019, she performed in the Sun Valley Music Festival’s first Winter Concert Series in snowy Ketchum, Idaho.  She was a guest artist and faculty member at Indiana University’s Summer Music series each year from 2006-13. Her most recent appearances as an SLSO soloist were in March 2021, with Stéphane Denève conducting.

In 2021, Ahlstrom was appointed the orchestra’s Mabel Dorn Reeder Honorary Chair—an award given every five years to recognize exceptional SLSO leadership and contribution in the community.

Ahlstrom lives in St. Louis’s South City with her husband and their sweet beagle/terrier mix Zinni, who can perform more than 25 tricks. In her spare time, Ahlstrom enjoys yoga, cooking vegetarian meals, creating beaded jewelry, sewing, and hosting game nights.

Concerts + Events

There are many ways to share your love for music with us. From our family concert series to specialty concerts, the SLSO has Symphony events for every visitor.