Portland, Oregon cellist Dieter Ratzlaf grew up in a musical family. He began cello studies at the age of seven and performed with the Portland Youth Philharmonic for six years, touring Europe with the orchestra in 1989. Dieter completed his undergraduate studies in Economics and German at Willamette University on a music scholarship. He went on to receive his Master of Arts in Cello Performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, also on scholarship, where he was a student of Bonnie Hampton. He has performed in several Master classes for renowned cellists including Anner Bylsma and Yo-Yo Ma and has made solo appearances with the Missoula Symphony and Salem Chamber Orchestra. Dieter later attended the Aspen School of Music where he performed with the Aspen Festival Orchestra and studied with David Geber and David Finckel—members of the American String Quartet and Emerson String Quartet, respectively. He has appeared with multiple arts organizations in the Pacific Northwest including the Oregon Symphony, Eugene Symphony, Portland Opera Orchestra (18 seasons) and the Oregon Ballet Theater Orchestra (10 seasons). Dieter was appointed principal cello of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in 2005 and the Hood River Philharmonic in 2012, positions he currently still holds. In addition to his performance commitments, Dieter is in demand as a teacher, adjudicator, and studio artist. He maintains a large private teaching studio and has served as Cello Instructor at the University of Portland for the past decade.