A first-prize winner in the Carmel Chamber Music Society Competition, Dr. Kris Palmer is the director and founder of Black Cedar, a rare ensemble devoted to music for flute, cello, and guitar. Under her leadership, the trio has garnered multiple grants from the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music and the Zellerbach Family Foundation, commissioned four new works for this unique instrumental combination, released an album of new and re-discovered trios, and earned an invitation to the National Flute Association Convention. “You can easily see why this unique group has become a chamber music draw in the musically rich Bay Area,” writes James Manheim of AllMusic.com.

Dr. Palmer created an outreach partnership between Black Cedar and the Arc of Alameda County, bringing free chamber music performances to thousands of adults with developmental disabilities at the Arc’s San Francisco Bay Area campuses. The organization named Dr. Palmer their Bob Perrotti Volunteer of the Year in 2016.

Dr. Palmer made her New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall in 2001 to rave reviews as a winner in the Artists International Competition. The New York Concert Review called Palmer’s performance “incisive and expressive…particularly enchanting…with sensuous tone and pace.” Dr. Palmer is a second-prize winner in the National Flute Association’s Young Artist Competition, a first-prize winner in the Ruth Burr Awards in Houston, a fourth-prize winner in the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition in Texas, and a finalist in both the Hemphill-Wells Sorantin Young Artist Awards in Texas and the William C. Byrd Competition in Michigan. Her solo album, Versailles, is a compilation of her own arrangements of French Baroque works. The New York Concert Review says, “She is clearly among the few current performers on any instrument to fully understand the nature of French Baroque music.”

Dr. Palmer holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts with an emphasis in eighteenth-century performance practice from Rice University, where she worked as a teaching assistant for seven years. She is the author of the book, Ornamentation According to C.P.E. Bach and J.J. Quantz, and the American Music Teacher magazine writes, “Clearly, the author is knowledgeable about ornamentation.” She earned her Doctorate of Music Arts and Master of Music from Rice University, and her Bachelor of Music from the University of Southern California. Her primary teachers are Carol Wincenc, John Thorne, Aralee Dorough, the late Roger S. Stevens, Walfrid Kujala, Anne Diener Zentner, Leone Buyse, and Gaetano Schiavone with the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in Rome.

Dr. Palmer is a former member of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, where she served as acting principal flute on tours; the Chamber Orchestra of Albuquerque, where she held the position of principal flute; and the Debut Orchestra of Los Angeles, where she held the position of second flute. She currently performs as principal flutist with Island City Opera, and she has performed with Houston Symphony, Santa Cruz Symphony, Santa Cruz Ballet, Modesto Symphony, Monterey Symphony, Shreveport Symphony, Ohio Light Opera Company, and Lamplighters Operetta Company.

Dr. Palmer began the flute program at the Dominican Sisters School of Music in Fremont, California in 2012, where she coaches mixed ensemble chamber music as well private flute instruction. Her students have won awards in the U.S. Open Music Competition, Bay Area Music Association Competition, U.S. International Music Competition, Fremont Young Recitalist Competition, and Music Teachers Association of California Certificate of Merit Honors Program. Her students regularly win placements with the California Band Directors Association All-State Honor Band, Northern California All-State Honor Band, Santa Clara County All-County Honor Band, and Junior Bach Festival.

Dr. Palmer is a frequent guest lecturer on eighteenth-century performance practice techniques, with engagements at the San Diego Flute Festival, MTAC State Convention, San Francisco International Flute Festival, Skyline College Flute Day, and Areon Summer Flute Institute. Upcoming masterclasses include Wichita State University and Chabot College's Early Music Festival. She has also served as an adjudicator for the U.S. Open Music Competition, MTAC Certificate of Merit Program, Berkeley’s Etude Club Scholarships, and the Junior Bach Festival.

Professional Associations & Certifications

  • Music Teachers National Association
  • National Flute Association
  • Chamber Music American
  • American Federation of Musicians
  • Seattle Music Teacher Association
  • Seattle Flute Society

Serviced Areas

  • Eastside: Kirkland, Bellevue, Redmond

Payment Options

  • American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Personal Checks, VISA

Contact Details

  Person Kris Palmer - Doctorate of Musical Arts
  City Fremont, CA
  Zip Code 98033
  Address 10321 NE 112th Street
  Phone Number (650) 868-3150

Business Representative

Kris Palmer - Doctorate of Musical Arts

D.M.A. Flutist

As a first prize winner in the Carmel Chamber Music Society Competition, a second prize winner in the National Flute Association Young Artist Competition, and a Carnegie Hall Recital Debut Award winner, Dr. Palmer provides outstanding flute instruction. She holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Rice University, and she is a former member of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Albuquerque. Her students consistently earn placements in All-State Honors Ensembles and top prizes in West Coast music competitions. Founder and director, Black Cedar http://blackcedar.biz/


Black Cedar performs "In Transit" by Ursula Kwong-Brown

Black Cedar (http://blackcedar.biz/)
Kris Palmer, flute (https://krispalmer.com/)
Steve Lin, guitar (http://linguitar.com)
Isaac Pastor-Chermak, cello

Ursula Kwong-Brown, composer (http://www.ursulakwongbrown.com/)

Doppler's Hungarian Fantaisie, part 1

Kris Palmer, flute
Varvara Milinder, piano

Hungarian Pastoral Fantasy by Albert Franz Doppler, part 1
Recorded in the Dominican Center in Fremont CA on May 21, 2017

Black Cedar, Sonata in E minor, 2nd movement

Bach, Sonata BWV 1034 for flute and continuo
II: Allegro

Black Cedar at Mission San Jose
November 29, 2016

Photo Book

From Our Website

Kris Palmer performs with a wooden flute rather than the more common silver flute, producing a dark sound that blends well. Palmer plays the classics with authority, reflecting her studies in 18th century performance practice. She finds the character of each movement and presents it in an engaging manner. Kris Palmer specializes in Baroque flute music and has written a highly specialized book on the subject. A wooden flute has a sound distinctly more mellow and less sparkling than a modern metal flute and in the hands of this highly accomplished performer it blends with the cello and guitar creating a unique blend of sonorities.

Dr. Palmer's own arrangements and transcriptions of French Airs de cour, Marin Marais' Les Folies de'Espagne, and Louis-Gabriel Guillemain's dramatic, schizophrenically exuberant Violin Caprices. Palmer's knowledge of early 18th century French agrements is comprehensive and refined. She is clearly among the few current performers on any instrument to fully understand the nature of this music. It speaks so exotically to our modem ears that are more accustomed to the conventions of Italian and German Baroque sensibilities.