Section Presidents


IVS Sections

Australia / New Zealand

Brazil

Canada

China

Finland

France

Germany

Iceland

Italy

Netherlands

Nigeria

Poland

Portugal

South Africa

Spain

Switzerland

Thailand

United Kingdom

USA


Australia &
New Zealand

Anna Brooker

After several years as a chorister at secondary school I decided to learn to play an instrument so I could join my musical friends playing in the school orchestra or having fun with chamber music.  The viola was my instrument of choice so I am a true violist.At university I studied Chemistry and Mathematics resulting in a career as a Science Teacher but I was always involved taking part in and/or conducting school choirs, orchestras and productions.Life took another turn with marriage, family and business.  During these years I was very involved in School management including 9 years chairing parent governed School Boards and did not play at all.After ten years, I started to play again and joined The Auckland Symphony Orchestra in 1986 and am still an active playing member. I also enjoy participating in chamber music groups regularly.As my family grew up I became more involved with music organizations firstly as Treasurer of the Auckland Branch of STANZA. I was elected as Vice President of ANZVS in 2005 and became President in 2006.

Brazil


Carlos Aleixo dos Reis

Carlos Aleixo dos Reis is a professor of Viola of the Federal University of Minas Gerias. Carlos finished his Masters degree in the United States in 1995 at Shenandoah University. In May of 2006, as scholarship holder of the CASTRATE/Ministry of Education and Culture, finished his DMA. During this period, he was also the student of Jan Wagner. As a concerto soloist, he has appeared with the Universidad de Minas Gerias Orchestra, the Fairfax Simphony Orchestra, and the Orchestra Sinfonica National of the Theater Claudio Santoro/Brasilia. Carlos has often presented various chamber music in the concert halls in the city of Bello Horizonte and throughout Brazil. With the pianist and professor Cenira Schreiber, he has formed the Duo VIOLiPiANO, that maintains intense chamber music schedule, presenting recitals of the various viola repertoire of Latin-American composers.Carlos has taught as various festivals in Brazil and in 2004, he was an artist invited to participate of the Shenandoah Summer Music Festival. During this period presented recitals of Viola and Piano in Washington, DC (Brazilian American Cultural Institute) and concert halls in the State of Virginia. In January of 2007, Carlos was the professor of viola of the International Course of Verao of Brasilia (CIVEBRA 2007). He later returned to Brazil, where he has resumed his teaching and performing duties at the Universidad de Minas Gerias. Carlos has studied with professors Kenneth Sarch, Tibor Vaghy, Csaba Ederlyi, Paul Cortese and Doris Lederer.

Canada

Pemi Paull (CVS)

 Pemi Paull

A versatile soloist and chamber musician, and a specialist in both new and early music, Pemi Paull is a true 21st century artist. He is the founder and artistic director of Warhol Dervish, an original and unorthodox chamber music collective based in Montreal. He appeared as soloist with the Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec in the premiere of "Debacle", by Denis Dion, as well as the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, and was the recipient of the 2002 CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award for Chamber Music. Pemi has been invited as a participant at Prussia Cove Chamber Music Festival in Cornwall, England, and Domaine Forget International Chamber Music Festival. Pemi's activities have brought him to the forefront of Montreal's contemporary music world. He is a member of three important new music ensembles in Montreal, Bradyworks, Ensemble Kore, and SMCQ. In addition, Pemi has premiered works for viola by composers including Scott Godin, Andre Ristic, Rose Bolton, Emily Hall, and Nicolas Gilbert, Michael Oesterle, and Tim Brady. He gave the Canadian premiere of "Prologue", for viola and electronic resonator, by French composer Gerard Grisey. Francois Tousignant, of Montreal's Le Devoir, wrote of the performance, "...Voila une maniere differente d'user de la 'monodie' d'autant plus convainquante que l'interprete, totalement engage, en fait resortir tout l'art inspire et inspirant". An avid recitalist, Pemi has been gaining a reputation as one of the few violists in the world to present, with growing frequency and critical acclaim, full programs of unaccompanied repertoire for viola, spanning three centuries, from Biber to works newly commissioned for him. In the sphere of historical performance, Pemi is a member of Ensemble Caprice, with whom he has recorded seven discs for Analekta, winning a Juno in the process, as well as Daniel Taylor's Theatre of Early Music. Pemi plays on a viola built in 1789 by the Parisian luthier and Jacobin revolutionary, Leopold Renaudin, and will be releasing his first solo album in early 2017. For more information on Pemi, visit his website at www.pemipaull.com

 

 


China


Wing Ho

Currently chair of the viola department at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and president of the Chinese Viola Society, Wing Ho is regarded as one of the most influential and respected violists in China today. He has received numerous honors in China, including the National Teacher's Award in 2004, the 2005 China New Century Award, and in 2007, the Beijing Outstanding Music Teacher Award. Mr. Ho has edited and published over 100 volumes of viola literature and chamber music repertoire and his recordings on CD and video have secured worldwide distribution. He served as visiting professor at Yale University during the 2008-2009 academic year.Mr. Ho is the artistic director and conductor of the 18 Plus Ensemble, National Prodigies Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of Peking University and Beijing Viola Ensemble. Ensembles he has led have toured many countries including Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Japan, Korea, Thailand and the US, winning many competitions around the world and garnering praise by critics and colleagues.Mr. Ho received his master's degree from Yale University, majoring in violin, viola and conducting. He also studied at the Baroque Performance Institute in the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. His principal teachers have include Joseph Gingold, Ma Sihon, Walter Trampler, Leonard Mogill, Jesse Levine and Otto-Werner Mueller.

Finland

Atte Kilpeläinen

Atte is the gift of violism not only to Meta4 String Quartet, but also to the rest of Helsinki's musical life. Besides being a section leader of Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra's (HPO) violas, Atte also organizes cross-artistic concerts in an association called Hämmentämö, which is active in his home town Vihti. The latest project of Atte, however, is a duo called Hauras (Fragile), in which the voice is beautifully accompanied by the guitar in songs rising from the Finnish melancholic soul. On top of this, since the spring 2013 Atte holds the position of the president of the Finnish Viola Society.

France


Michel Michalakakos

Son of violist Christos Michalakakos, who introduced him to the instrument, Michel Michalakakos also studied viola with Colette Lequien, Luigi Alberto Bianchi, and chamber music with Joseph Calvet.He won First Prize Alto at the Paris Conservatory (1977). The following year he earned the CA of teaching.A member of the Orchestre National de France (1979-1984), he joined the String Trio of Paris in 1981, in which he played for 12 years, recording several records and creating many contemporary works.Soloist Michael Michalakakos is a guest of French and foreign orchestras and performs chamber music with pianist Mr. Gagnepain (with whom he recorded the Sonata for Viola and Piano by Charles Koechlin), but also with Mr. Arrignon, P. Fontanarosa, P. Welsh, G. Jarry, JJ Kantorow, Mr. Larrieux, D. Merlet, R. Pasquier, R. Pidoux, G. Chicken or P. Roge, and quartets Elysee, Manfred or Parisii.A professor at CNR Boulogne-Billancourt since 1990, Michael Michalakakos has taught Sight Reading (strings) since 1991 at CNSMDP.He also runs courses and master classes in viola and chamber music.Open to all music, he also participates in concerts of tango, jazz and traditional gypsy music.

Germany

Hideko Kobayashi Foto

Hideko Kobayashi

The internationally renowned violist Hideko Kobayashi studied violin with R. Kubota and S. Ishii at the Toho Music School in her home town Tokyo, before she discovered her love for the viola through chamber music. She studied viola with Rainer Moog at the Musikhochschule in Cologne, graduating with the Konzertexamen. She won several first prizes at international competitions (Pretoria, ARD Munich). She has performed in almost every European country, as well as in America, Asia and Oceania. Her recordings as a member of the Sonare Quartet have won prizes at international level. Since 1990 she has been a member of the Saito-Kinen Orchestra, which is conducted by Seiji Ozawa.
She has recorded numerous CD's: the complete Reger Suites, the Chromatic Fantasia by Bach-Kodály and the complete Hindemith Sonatas among others. In 1991 she was appointed professor at the Musikhochschule in Mannheim. She gives masterclasses in many countries; for years, her students have played in renowned youth orchestras (Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, Mahler Orchestra) before obtaining leading positions in orchestras throughout the world. Her regular collaboration with young violists has resulted in her founding the viola quartet "Violissimo", which has performed in (among other countries) Germany, Korea and Japan.

Iceland


Sesselja Halldórsdóttir

Sesselja Halldórsdóttir studied the viola in Tónlistarskólinn and Reykjavík with Ingvar Jónasson and started playing with Sinfóníuhljómsveit Ísland in 1971.
In 1973-75 she studied with Klaus Assmann at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik, Heidelberg-Mannheim, and played also regularly with Staatliches Orchester Heidelberg. Sesselja has held a position in Sinfóníuhljómsveit Íslands since 1976. From 1980-81 she studied viola in Berlin with Wolfram Christ. Sesselja has played with Kammersveit Reykjavíkur, Nýja Strengjasveitin, Hljómsveit Íslensku Óperunnar, Kammersveit Langholtskirkju and is a keen string quartet player with Júlíkvartettinn. Sesselja was the co-host chair of the International Viola Congress in Reykjavík in 2005 with fellow violist of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Guôrún Þórarubsdóttir.

Italy


Augusto Vismara

For the last three decades, Augusto Vismara has been one of the most prominent figures on the Italian music scene. Before he devoted his talent to playing the violin and conducting, he had a formidable viola solo career with the major European orchestras under the baton of conductors such as Giuseppe Sinopoli, Christian Thielemann, Antonio Janigro, Peter Maag, Luciano Berio, Marcello Panni, and many others.Mr. Vismara has held the position of principal violist with the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra in his native Florence, with the Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome, with the Orchestra della Scala in Milan and with the Orchestra della Fenice in Venice.
A very active chamber musician, Augusto Vismara has toured Australia, Japan, the USA, Brazil, Europe, Russia and North Africa with various ensembles both as a violinist and as a violist.He has inspired the most prominent Italian contemporary composers, among whom Luciano Berio, Sylvano Bussotti, Salvatore Sciarrino, Ada Gentile, Sandro Gorli, Ivan Fedele, Marcello Panni. They have written for him and of him, and have entrusted him for the premieres of many of their works.Drawing upon his strong instrumental background and his collaboration with conductors such as Riccardo Muti, Thomas Schippers, Mistislav Rostropovich and Claudio Abbado, Augusto Vismara has, during the last decade, embarked on a highly successful new career on the podium. Maestro Giuseppe Sinopoli's mentoring and encouragement were the initial platform for Mr. Vismara's debut as a conductor.Augusto Vismara specializes in operas and symphonic repertoire, both contemporary as well as of the 20th century.

Netherlands


Karin Dolman

My name is Karin Dolman, I am the founding president (chairwoman) of the Dutch Viola Society.Next to teaching viola at the Conservatory in Rotterdam, I also play in the DoelenKwartet, the resident string quartet of the concert hall "de Doelen" in Rotterdam (see www.doelenkwartet.nl and www.karindolman.nl).During the 2012 Viola Festival in Dordrecht, we proclaimed the establishment of the Dutch Viola Society, which aspires to become an organisation for all violists in the Netherlands, both amateurs and professionals. Next to organizing concerts relating to the viola, we plan to hold general gatherings, lectures, and national viola congresses. In the future, I would be delighted if we could host the International Viola Congress here in the Netherlands.

Nigeria


Ogunyemi Titus Oladimeji

Titus Ogunyemi started his career as violinist with Kehinde Davids (present concert master of MUSON symphony orchestra), with the help of his church's music director (Dr. Kola Sonaike) and church in early 80s and emerged as a violist. He has been a choir boy and was introduced to recorder, percussion instruments, piano and trumpet.Even though his teacher encouraged him to consider the viola, as violists were very few at the time, Titus wanted to remain a violinist just like some of his colleagues because violin had gained more public awareness and due to his lack of information on the new treasure (viola). He said, "a violist might be considered to be an unsuccessful violinist looking for a hiding place" For someone like Titus who, up to that point, had been studying engineering (electrical/electronics), as he was able to fund himself to study viola abroad. "It was new and challenging to practice everyday along with studying engineering. I remember practicing till late in the night in the church as there was no quiet place with regular power supply. Titus gradually settled in, however, and, by the time he got used to the situation, he was practicing for up to four hours a day alone.His hard work paid off. In 2007, he was appointed principal violist in the MUSON Symphony Orchestra but still, Titus pushed himself to apply for music scholarship-a 2 year diploma course, proudly sponsored by MTN Foundation and supported by other donors, in collaboration with MUSON. "You don't apply for such academic program for pleasure or fun, but because you want to learn more from professionals and experienced teachers and other students". In mid 2009, he graduated from same institution with an Associate Diploma in Music, majoring on viola, under the tutelage of Mr. Amoah, a Ghanaian violinist. "Although, it was not very pleasing to me studying with a violinist because I really wanted a viola teacher that knows what is it to play viola, mentally, physically, musically and technically. But I have no option than to embraced the opportunity to learn music formally from experienced teachers (local and international)", he recalledIn 2008, Titus' determination was rewarded when he performed the Telemann's viola concerto in G (orchestra scores donated by Rachel Barton Pine Foundation) with the prestigious MSO in MUSON Centre, Lagos. The knock-on effect has been invitation from President of English Viola Society, Louise Lansdown (Associate professor of viola, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester) during the launching of the English Viola Society in April, 2008. In late 2007, he was also appointed to be the Orchestra/ Band Leader of the Choir and Orchestra of his Church (Christ Apostolic Church).Success has however, not gone to the head of this self motivated and enthusiastic Nigerian violist. He is seriously working on more standard viola pieces, teaching and assisting young classical instrumentalists. He hopes to see talented Nigerians making a global impact in the area of classical music performance and composition making use of the local tunes as the theme and developing the art of string playing all over Nigeria. His dream is to see a new Nigeria in which there would be various state symphony orchestras.Titus has worked with various musical groups (Golden String Quartet, City Chorale, De Lamp String Quartet) in Nigeria and has been inspired, encouraged and supported by both local and international violists and musicians. "I almost lost interest in viola when the viola I was playing got spoilt. But thanks to Rachel Barton Pine an American foremost violinist that came to rescue me. She told me to send it down to USA for repair. I sent it without the case and was repaired and sent to me in a wonderful case." It is highly worthy to note that his personal viola was given as a gift to him by Rachel Barton Pine Foundation (Chicago, USA) and Mr. Peter SermanHe is presently in South Africa studying audio engineering at SAE Institute and. would be studying privately with Marina Louw in Cape Town as he would like to perform pieces like Stamitz , Hindermith viola concerto and some of the Bach Suites. He is also planning to study music education (viola major) and composition at the University of Cape Town.

Poland


Bogus?awa Hubisz-Sielska

Having completed her musical education at the Higher School of Music in Krakow she went on to participate in complementary master classes in Warsaw under Stefan Kamasa and in Munich under Kim Kashkashian.She has performed at numerous Polish Festivals, among others, Poznanska Wiosna Muzyczna, Spotkania Muzyczne w Baranowie Sandomierskim, Dni Kompozytorów Krakowskich. She has been performing for both Polish and international audiences. Her performances abroad took place in Austria, the Czech Republic, England, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Russia, the Slovak Republic, Switzerland and the USA.She has also made TV and radio recordings in Poland, Austria, Germany, Vatican and USA. She has recorded CDs with Sonatas of J.B.Vanhal (AP Classic) also music of Rachel Knobler and Robert Fuchs (Acte Prealable). With the consent of the Composer she has arranged the Preludia taneczne (Dance preludes) of Witold Lutoslawski for viola (in original for clarinett and piano). The first time the transcription was presented in Munich in the year 1992. The piano part was played by Mariusz Sielski. She has issued scores in Poland (PWM) and Germany (Editio Alto). She has published in Ruch Muzyczny and Muzyka 21. She has written the biogram of Rachel Knobler for the Polish Composers Lexicon 1918-2000. Boguslawa Hubisz-Sielska sits on the jury panels of the national (Krakow 1979) and international competitions (Castellana Grotte/Bari 2004, 2006, 2008). Her recording of the Niggun and Elegy of Rachel Knobler was presented in the Broadcasting Princeton (2005, 2006) as a Classical Discoveries.She is the founder-member of the Artistic-Association Muzyka Centrum, and a member of the German Section of the International Viola Society. She is a senior teacher at the Academy of Music in Cracow, her students are working and performing in Poland as well as in Spain, Germany and Italy. She has been the head of The Lutoslawski Conservatory of Cracow since the year 2001.

Portugal


Jorge Alves

Viola and chamber music professor at the Escola Superior de Música, Artes e Espetáculo - Porto (ESMAE - www.esmae.pt), Jorge Alves is also the violist of the Matosinhos String Quartet (www.quartetomatosinhos.facebook.pt). With this group, he performs regularly in Portugal and abroad, collaborating with some of the most prominent musicians in Portugal, and has been involved in the premiere and recording of several portuguese contemporary pieces.Jorge Alves has an extensive performance experience, having appeared throughout Spain, France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Slovenia, Italy, Brazil and China, as a soloist, as well as with chamber ensembles and orchestras. He was awarded the first prize in viola (1996) and chamber music (1991) at the Radio National Competition PJM-RTP (Portugal), Santa Cecilia International Music Festival (Italy, 1996) and the Alcobaça International Chamber Music Competition (Portugal, 2009).After finishing his graduation in Portugal, he was awarded a grant from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation that allowed him to study during four years with Tibor Varga (Sion, Switzerland) and Bruno Giuranna (Cremona, Italy).Jorge Alves is the founder and president of the Portuguese Viola Association (APVDA, www.apvda.com). A national meeting is organized every two years and in 2011 the APVDA entered the Guiness World Records in the category of largest ever viola ensemble, as 321 viola players performed together at the Sala Suggia concert hall of the Casa da Música in Porto, Portugal.

South Africa

Liezl Smith (SAVS)

Liezl Smith

Liezl is a professionally registered Industrial Engineer with her own consulting firm, who enjoys playing music as a hobby. She played at high school and early university and put her viola down in 1994 when her engineering studies became too time-consuming. During that time, she joined the Libertas choir in Stellenbosch and took singing lessons. In 2009, she decided to go back to the viola, first joining the University of Pretoria Symphony Orchestra under the baton of her former teacher, Prof Eric Rycroft, and then continuing on to play her Unisa Gr 8 and writing Unisa Gr7 Theory with the view of doing a Performance Licentiate. In 2011, she joined her first Viola Day under the leadership of her former teacher Hester Wohlitz-Udal, and became involved in the running of subsequent Viola Days. At the end of 2015, she was elected chairman of the South African Viola Society and is joined on the committee by two other enthusiastic violists, Lee Smith and Obakeng Moatshe.

Spain

Luis Magín Foto

Luis Magín Muñíz Bascón

Dr. Luis Magín holds a significant position within the musical scene as President of the Spanish Viola Society (AESAV) and Director of International Studies – Viola Chair at the CONSMUPA. He serves presently as Executive Secretary of the International Viola Society for his second term. Mr. Magín has been awarded several prizes in competitions, such the Golden Medal at "Oviedo Competition" 1992; 1st Prize "Angel Muñiz Toca" 1993; Silver Medal at International "Villa de Sahagún" competition 1997; 1st Prize "Rotary International" 1998 and the Diploma d´onore at "Torneo Internationale di Música" 1998. He has served as Juror in numerous contests such the "Evaristo Fernández Blanco" or the "Primrose International Viola Competition".His technical command and musicality have encouraged many composers, including Jorge Muñiz, Juan Cué, Salvador Brotons and Ximo Cano among others, to dedicate works for viola to him. Luis Magín gave the world premiere of the Viola Concerto (op.106) by Salvador Brotons, and has been performed solo with the JONDE, CONSMUPA Symphony Orchestra, Iberian Chamber Orchestra (OCI), Barcelona Symphonic Band and Orquesta de Cámara Galega. He has been Principal viola of the Orquesta de Cámara Galega (OCGA). He has been serving as guest principal viola of the Spanish Radio Television Orchestra (RTVE). Additionally, he is a member of the Trio Lidón which performs chamber music in major halls and festivals throughout Europe. His performances and recordings have been acclaimed and obtained critical recognition in The Strad, Ritmo and Musicalia.Luis Magín is continually required to teach Master Classes in Europe and the US, having been invited to the Peabody School of Music, the RNCM of Manchester, Michigan University, East Carolina University, Florida State University, The American String Teacher Association, The Euro Arts Music Festival in Leipzig, Royal Conservatory of Aarhus, JONDE, among others. International students are attending regularly his classes. Since 2010, he runs his own Summer Academy and Festival in the heart of the Peaks of Europe (Covadonga). He recorded for RTVE, Several Records and FMEL, and masters an extensive repertoire for the instrument. Mr. Magín holds a Bachelor Degree from the Oviedo Conservatory and a Master of Music and Artist Diploma from Yale University. He is a Doctor in Musicology at Oviedo University and has published articles on viola history and didactics in The Strad and DEDICA.
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Switzerland


Viacheslav (Slava) Dinerchtein

Born in Minsk, Viacheslav Dinerchtein emigrated to Mexico in 1991. He has appeared as a soloist with orchestra as well as in recitals throughout the USA, Canada, Mexico and much of Latin America, including venues such as the Kennedy Center (Washington DC), Carnegie Hall (NY), Palacio de Bellas Artes (Mexico City), among others. He has been a guest performer of the International Viola Congresses and a diversity of music festivals - Bach International Festival (Peru), Niagara Music Festival (Canada), Spoleto Music Festival (Italy), Camarissima Music Festival (Mexico City), Otono Internacional (Mexico City), and numerous others. He has acted as a soloist of the U.S. State Department. Collaborated with noted Curtis Institute professor Victor Danchenko in performing and recording duets for violin and viola. Premiered William Primrose's transcription of Bartok's 44 Duets for Two Violins with Prof. Roland Vamos.Dinerchtein is a dedicatee of several compositions winners of important competitions for composers. Has been featured in TV and radio broadcasts. Since 2009 records for Quindecim Recordings.Viacheslav Dinerchtein studied mostly with his father, Boris Dinerchtein. He went on to continue his training with Joseph de Pasquale (Masters / Peabody Conservatory) and Roland Vamos (Doctorate and teaching assistant / Northwestern University; diss. on Shostakovich's Viola Sonata). In his free time enjoys reading, chess, jazz, photography and card magic; member of the Mensa Society; editor for the Ovation Press.

Gilad Karni
Gilad Karni is currently Principal Violist of the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, a post he was appointed to in 2004 by David Zinman. Prior to his tenure there, he was Principal Viola for two years at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Karni's vast orchestra experience ranges from being the youngest member of the New York Philharmonic, which he joined in 1992, to Principal Viola positions of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, a post he held between 1996-2002, and the Rishon Le-Zion Symphony Orchestra in Israel.In Berlin, Karni is in demand as guest Principal with such orchestras as the Berlin Staatskapelle under Daniel Barenboim, the Berlin
Symphony Orchestra, and Radio Symphony Orchestra. He makes frequent appearances with other European orchestras, as well, and at the invitation of Claudio Abbado, he performed as guest Principal Violist with the Orchestra of a United Europe in 1991. Karni has also appeared as soloist with orchestras in Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, South Africa, Switzerland, and the USA.In addition to his orchestral career, Karni is also an active soloist and chamber musician, appearing at many of the world's great
festivals, including the Dubrovnik Festival, Bastad and Lapland Festivals (Sweden), Nordic Academy (Denmark), Festival PRO - Bahnhof Rolandsek and Neustadt Festival (Germany), Kfar Blum(Israel), Davos Music Festival (Switzerland), Kuhmo (Finland) and Kaposvar (Hungary) in Europe, and the Aspen, Newport, Bellingham Festival WA, Santa Fe and La Jolla Chamber Music festivals in the U.S., among others. Karni was also fortunate to have performed with both the late Isaac Stern at his 70th birthday celebration in Tel-Aviv, and with the Guarneri String Quartet in Carnegie Hall. In addition, he has appeared on radio broadcasts in Israel, Germany, France, Switzerland, South Africa and the U.S.Gilad Karni has left his mark on many international viola competitions, winning First Prize in the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition 1994, and Third Prize at the ARD Munich International Music Competition in 1993. His other awards include Third Prize in the 1992 Bryan International String Competition (USA), First Prize in the Israeli Broadcasting Authority Competition for Best Performance of 1991, the Peter Schidlof Prize for the Most Beautiful Tone in the 1991 Lionel Tertis Viola Competition (England), and the Best Interpretation Prize for the commissioned concerto (by C. He. Joubert) in the 1989 Third International Maurice Vieux Viola Competition in France. Among Karni's recent solo appearances are the May 2009 world premiere of Prokofiev's "Romeo & Juliet" arranged for viola and orchestra with the Berlin Symphony at the famed Berlin Philharmonie. His other solo engagements have included performances of Bartok's Viola Concerto in Germany, Switzerland, and Poland; Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante with the Israel Sinfonietta, Wuppertal Symphony and the Berlin Symphony; and appearances alongside world acclaimed cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Heinrich Schiff with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich. In past seasons, he performed Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, a world premiere of "ViolAlive" by Gideon Lewensohn and the Israel Sinfonietta, and gave the Hungarian premiere of Miklos Rozsa's viola concerto with the Budapest Concert Orchestra at the renowned Spring Festival to mark the composer's 100 year centennial. This performance led to a recording of the Concerto on the Naxos label, which was released in 2008 to great critical acclaim and was nominated for a Grammy.2011-2012 season is a sabbatical season for Karni, with solo performances, appearances at festivals, and giving master classes world wide. The season will find him on stage as soloist with the Orquesta Extremadura, Biel /Bienne Symphony, Hartford Symphony, Bilkent Symphony, Bangor Symphony, Riverside Symphonia, Mankato Symphony, Lamont Symphony as well as recitals and additional solos in The Bahamas, Florida, Denver, Baltimore, and Switzerland as well as appearances in Music Festivals in the USA, Canada, Austria and Hungary.A scholarship recipient of The America Israel Cultural Foundation (1985-1991), and an alumnus of the Manhattan School of Music, Gilad Karni was appointed Professor for Viola at the Conservatoire de Lausanne in Switzerland in 2008.

Thailand


Danny Keasler

Dr. Danny Keasler is a Lecturer in Viola and Artist in Residence at Mahidol University College of Music in Bangkok, Thailand, and is also the Associate Principle Viola of the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra. He teaches string literature and pedagogy at Mahidol University, College of Music.
A proponent of new repertoire for viola, Danny premiered Horizons for viola, bassoon, and percussion by Roger Petersen, Kyrie for viola and piano by Thomas Cha Huk, and Backward, then Forward for solo viola by James Ogburn. Danny has been an active recitalist and performer in the United States of America and abroad; he has given solo and chamber concerts in Florida, Georgia, Alabama in the U.S as well as Bangkok, Thailand and Wellington, New Zealand.
Always striving to promote viola worldwide, he founded the Thailand Viola Society which was recognized by the International Viola Society in 2012. He also conducted interviews with violist and pedagogue Dr. Juliet-White Smith and conductor Dr. Jeffrey Meyer, which were published in the Mahidol University Music Journal.
Danny Keasler received his Doctorate in Viola Performance from Florida State University. At FSU, he was a Graduate Assistant. He performed in over forty chamber concerts in addition to numerous solo and orchestral performances. While at FSU, he was the Chairman of the Florida State College of Music Allocation Committee which was responsible for funding the colleges’ many student organizations. Also an avid singer, he was selected for FSU’s top graduate Chamber Choir under the direction of Dr. Andre Thomas.
During his academic pursuits, Danny studied viola with Dr. Pamela Ryan, Dr. Álvaro Gómez, and Dr. Routa Kromouvitch-Gómez. He has performed in master classes for Patricia McCarty, Jeffrey Irvine, Daphne Gerling, William Goodwyn and Robert Burns. His orchestral experience includes Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Augusta Symphony Orchestra, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Mobile Symphony Orchestra, Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Gulf Coast, Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra, Orlando Philharmonic, Ocala Symphony Orchestra, Space Coast Pops Orchestra, and Brevard Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to his academic and performance experiences, Danny has also served, for five years, as a Quality Assurance Technician and Musician with MakeMusic Inc. which creates the leading music notation program Finale and music practice program SmartMusic. He also served as Personnel Manager of Sinfonia Gulf Coast based out of Destin, Florida, and was responsible for contracting and coordinating performances that were held throughout northwest Florida.

United Kingdom

Louise Lansdown Foto

Louise Lansdown

Louise Lansdown was appointed Head of Strings at Birmingham Conservatoire in 2012, after holding the position of Senior Lecturer in the School of Strings at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester from 2001-2012. She also held part-time teaching positions at the University of Manchester and Chetham's School of Music.  She has been involved with Pro Corda, the International Chamber Music Academy at Leiston Abbey in Suffolk, since 1999, having Directed the Junior (2009), Intermediate (2005-2008), Senior (2008-2012) and North Courses (2008-2012). Louise was appointed Director of Chamber Music at Pro Corda in 2008 and her role has recently changed to Assistant Artistic Director of Pro Corda and Director of the Musical Encounters and Conservatoire Viola Course. She has also initiated three further Conservatoire Instrumental Courses to be held at pro Corda in collaboration with Birmingham Conservatoire for Violin, Cello and Double Bass, all starting in 2014.Louise is the founder and President of the English Viola Society (now British Viola Society since 2012), started in September 2007, and was appointed Secretary of the International Viola Society in 2010. Louise has attended international viola congresses across the world and performed and delivered papers at congresses in Adelaide (2007), Arizona (2008), South Africa (2009), Wurzburg (2011) and Rochester (2012) and Krakow (2013). Louise was also a member of the jury for the Fifth Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition in 2007 and International Beethoven Viola Competition held in Hradec, Czech Republic in 2012.
Louise's greatest musical influences have been Jack de Wet, Eric Rycroft, Lamar Crowson, Alan George, Thomas Riebl, Christopher Rowland, Gabor Takacs-Nagy, members of the Ysaye Quartet and Milan Skampa.  She holds a B. Mus, B. Mus (Hons) (with distinction in Performance) and M. Mus from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. In 1998 Louise was awarded the ABRSM Overseas Scholarship to study at the Royal Northern College of Music.  She graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance in 1999, Master of Music in Performance and Teacher's Licentiate in 2000, all with Distinction in Performance. In 2000 she was also awarded a Junior Fellowship in Chamber Music at the RNCM along with the Rachel Godlee Prize for Viola. Louise was a member of the Yeomans Quartet at the RNCM from 1998-2001, giving recitals around the UK, Europe, Russia, Germany and South Africa, as well as recording Haydn and Sullivan quartets.  She was closely involved with the annual RNCM Chamber Music Festivals, founded by the late Dr. Christopher Rowland in 1999, performing and helping to oversee performances of the complete chamber music of Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Shostakovich, 20th century quartets and many more.Louise was awarded a PhD from the University of Manchester in 2008 with the title: The Young Paul Hindemith: Life, Works, Relationships, Influences and Musical Activities until 1922.  Louise's journey with Hindemith has now lasted many years, with visits to the Hindemith Institute in Frankfurt since 2003 and reveling in a lifelong Hindemith pilgrimage following the composer's footsteps across the globe - this has involved research trips, recitals and master classes in Hanau, Mainz, Berlin and Frankfurt, Germany; Yale University and New York, USA; South Africa; Zurich and Blonay, Switzerland.  Louise has been supported by many of her viola students and other Hindemith admirers in her journey throughout the years. Many fruitful collaborations, exchanges and opportunities have resulted from these projects. Louise is indebted to Dr Luitgard Schader from the Hindemith Institute, Frankfurt for her unswerving support, friendship and invaluable advice throughout this period.Louise plays on a French instrument made around 1750, previously belonging to Cecil Aronowitz (first Head of Strings at the RNCM). She is also the founder of the Cecil Aronowitz Viola Competition for 19 and under violists from UK and Republic of Ireland, a bi-annual event to be held at Birmingham Conservatoire starting in 2014.Louise has had several articles published on Cecil Aronowitz and Paul Hindemith in the International Viola Society, American Viola Society, South Africa Viola Society, English Viola Society and Australia and New Zealand Viola Society Journals, as well as The Strad (2009) and the Hindemith Year Book (2010).Louise is a member of the Manchester based Pleyel Ensemble, a group that gives Chamber Music Recitals around the North West.Louise is delighted that this 50-year commemoration of Paul Hindemith's death could be dedicated to such a worthwhile cause.

USA

 

Kathryn Steely