Masterclasses

A significant number of Viola Masterclasses will be given during IVC2018, mostly at collegiate (conservatory) level. For the advanced student, there are sessions with our world famous Featured Artists, but there are also numerous other sessions with renowned viola pedagogues from all over the world. This extensive offering demonstrates our commitment to talent development as part of the Congress theme, Exploring New Ways to Perform.

Masterclasses are generally open to violists of maximum 26 years of age (born after 24/11/1991). In order to be considered, you have to be Registered for the Congress as a Young Delegate. An application process including video auditions is organised to select meritable candidates. In total, we expect to be able to admit between 30 and 40 students to one of our Masterclass sessions.

To Qualify for an IVC2018 Masterclass, you have to do the following:

  • Read carefully the Terms and Conditions for Masterclass Participation
  • Register for the Congress as Young Delegate, which in turn requires:
    • to be a 2018 certified member of an IVS-affiliated Viola Society
      (or buy a Dutch Viola Society membership upon registration)
    • to buy at least one Day Pass (congress admission for the day of your masterclass). A Week Pass is obviously fine, too. 🙂
  • Prepare a video examplifying your viola playing, recorded this year (2018);
    The video should be minimum 7, maximum 10 minutes long.
  • Read the Masterclass offerings below. Make up your mind about which 3 masterclasses (teachers) you would be particularly interested in.
  • Submit the IVC2018 Masterclass Application Form (online) including a link to your audition video and a preference of teachers, no later than September 15th 2018, at 24:00h Rotterdam time.
  • The selected candidates will be notified within 2 weeks of the above deadline.

Overview of IVC2018 Masterclass Sessions:

Click on the arrows below to unfold information about each Masterclass and the teacher. Note that certain masterclasses are targeted for younger participants (under 18). Pianists can be made available (where applicable) upon request.

LAWRENCE POWER (Featured Artist)

Teacher: Lawrence Power (United Kingdom)
Repertoire: Student’s choice
Pianist: Available on request
Date:  Tuesday 20/11, 1530h

Lawrence Power is one of the IVC2018 Featured Artists. You can read his biography here. Read also the Dutch Viola Society interview with Power (2013), here.

NOBUKO IMAI (Featured Artist)

Teacher: Nobuko Imai (Japan)
Repertoire: Student’s choice
Pianist:
Available on request
Date
:  Friday 23/11, 1600h

Nobuko Imai is one of the IVC2018 Featured Artists.
You can read her biography here. She is also an honorary member of the Dutch Viola Society.

KIM KASHKASHIAN (Featured Artist)

Teacher: Kim Kashkashian (United States)
Repertoire: Kurtag’s Signs, Games and Messages
Pianist:  Not applicable
Date:
:  Saturday 24/11, 1600h

Kim Kashkashian is one of the IVC2018 Featured Artists. You can read her biography here.

ATAR ARAD (Featured Artist)

Teacher: Atar Arad (United States / Israel)
Repertoire: Student’s choice,
optionally one of Arad’s viola solo works

Pianist: Available on request
Date
:  Wednesday 21/11, 1600h

Note: Atar Arad’s solo works (Caprices, Fantasia Cromatica arrangement, Tikvah) can be bought at Hofmeister Musikverlag.

Atar Arad is one of the IVC2018 Featured Artists. You can read his biography here.

TIMOTHY RIDOUT (Featured Artist)

Teacher: Timothy Ridout (United Kingdom)
Repertoire: Student’s choice
Pianist:
Available on request
Date
:  Wednesday 21/11
Audition video: 1 piece, max. 5 minutes

This masterclass is specifically intended for young talented students under 18 years of age (born after 24/11/2000).

Timothy Ridout is one of the IVC2018 Featured Artists. You can read his biography here.

JUTTA PUCHHAMMER

Teacher: Jutta Puchhammer (Canada/Austria)
Repertoire: Pièces de Concours
Pianist: Available on request
Date:
  Thursday 22/11

Jutta Puchhammer compiled and edited a three-volume collection of thirteen Pièces de Concours, originally written as examination pieces for the first viola classes at the Conservatoire de Paris, starting in 1896.  These are virtuosic and pedagogically very interesting pieces
The sheet music is available from Schott Music publishers, and she has recorded these pieces on CD – a preview is given on this YouTube link.

Born in Vienna, Jutta Puchhammer is principal viola of the Laval Symphonie Orchestra and full professor for viola and chamber music at the Université de Montreal. She has toured extensively as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and lecturer, giving masterclasses in the most prestiguous schools and summer programmes such as Juilliard, the Curtis Institute, Vienna University of Music and the Heifetz International Music Program. She was the host of the 36th International Viola Congress in Montreal (2006), and is currently Vice President of the International Viola Society. Her interest goes to rediscovering late romantic music written for the viola, many of which she has recorded on CD.

Read the Dutch Viola Society interview with Jutta Puchhammer (2015).

JÃœRGEN KUSSMAUL

Teacher: Jürgen Kussmaul (Germany)
Repertoire: Student’s choice
Pianist: Available on request
Date:  TBA

After his studies at the Hochschule Mannheim, Jürgen Kussmaul was appointed solo violist in Heidelberg. After that, he was appointed solo violist of the Gürzenich Orchester in Cologne and teacher at the Royal Conservatoire in the Hague, where he came into contact with the Dutch Baroque scene. Since 1970, he has been playing with Vera Beths and Anner Bijlsma in the ensemble L’Archibudelli. This marked the start of a successful career as a soloist and chamber musician. In 1979 he was appointed teacher at the Robert-Schumann-Hochschule, and in 1991, he and the Robert Schumann Chamber Orchestra, which he founded, were awarded the Art Prize by the Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf.

As a guest conductor, Jürgen Kussmaul conducts the Amsterdam Mozart Players. In addition to this, he conducted the Radio Chamber Orchestra the chamber orchestra B-A-C-H from Jekaterinburg, and he performed at numerous festivals throughout Europe. He also conducted the Gustav-Mahler-Akademieorchester and the Tokyo Classical Players during a tour in Japan.

As a chamber musician and soloist he toured the world over and made may CD recodrings. He is artistic leader of the Gustav Mahler Academy in Bozen, founded by Claudio Abbado with the aim to give seventy young musicians the opportunity every year to further develop themselves as soloists, chamber and orchestra musicians.

He is a member of the faculty at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, and also an honorary member of the Dutch Viola Society.

MARCIN MURAWSKI

Teacher: Marcin Murawski (Poland)
Repertoire: Student’s choice
Pianist: Available on request
Date:  TBA

Marcin Murawski studied viola at the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Music Academy in Poznan with his father, professor Andrzej Murawski, graduating with distinction in 1998. Further studies were with Claus Myrup in Aarhus, Denmark. He subsequently earned his doctorate and post-doctorate habilitation, between 2007-2013 was viola professor at the Academy of Art in Szczecin, and at present is viola professor at the Academy of Music in Poznan. His graduates are laureates of prestigious awards and prizes. He has given master classes and recitals throughout Europe, USA and in New Zealand. His extensive discography includes numerous premiere recordings, including a seven-CD set of music of Michael Kimber, two-CD set of Emile Ratez music for viola and piano, and two-CD set of Ren̩ de Boisdeffre music for viola and piano Рwith premiere recordings of these works. During the 44th International Viola Congress in Wellington (New Zealand) he performed twice as soloist with the Wellington Viola Congress Orchestra, gave lecture-recital about passacaglias in viola literature, taught on masterclasses, performed recital of polish music and conducted the Massed Viola Orchestra during the final concert.

STEFANO CARLINI

Teacher: Stefano Carlini (Italy)
Repertoire: Enrico Polo Solo Sonatas
Pianist: Not applicable
Date:  22/11 afternoon, or 23/11 morning

This Masterclass is used to expose unknown music by the Italian violinist and violist Enrico Polo, born Nov. 18th, 1868 (exactly 150 years ago). Polo studied with Joseph Joachim in Berlin (among others), and was well known as a close friend of conductor Arturo Toscanini. He was an influential professor of violin at the Conservatory of Milan for more than 30 years, and he composed several important pedagogical volumes, as well as transcribed, arranged and edited many works for violin and viola. Below, you can download three sample movements (one from each sonata) to get a feel for this music:

E.POLO – Viola Solo Sonatas 1-3 Selection (Download)

Upon selection to this masterclass, we will send you a complete sonata to play.

Stefano Carlini has had a brilliant multi-faceted career as viola soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, opera orchestra conductor, professor, jury member, artistic director of Opera Giocosa Italiana, and researcher. Highlights have been making television and radio recordings in Italy, Japan, Russian Federation and Germany. Masterclasses in viola, conducting and opera conducting: Russian Federation, Italy, Latvia, Great Britain. He is currently Professor of Viola at the G. Verdi State Conservatory in Milan. Stefano Carlini is member and artistic activist of the Italian Viola Society (AIV).

CHRISTINE RUTLEDGE

Teacher: Christine Rutledge (United States)
Theme: Bach Performance Masterclass
Pianist: Not applicable
Date
:  TBA

Students will perform works by J. S. Bach or other baroque composers, and I will discuss issues concerning baroque performance practices, interpreting baroque dance movements, ornamentation, and other interpretive and performance issues.

Christine Rutledge is a violist of varied talents and interests. She began her life-long love of viola in the 3rd grade in the Detroit Public Schools and had the great fortune of stydying with several of the world’s greatest teachers, including Karen Tuttle, Michael Tree, William Preucil Sr., and David Holland. Her teaching career began at the University of Notre Dame, where she was also a member of the critically acclaimed Notre Dame String Trio. Since 1998 she has taught at the University of Iowa, where she is Professor of Viola. A decade ago Rutledge became fascinated with baroque style and scholarship. This led to studies of baroque viola with Stanley Ritchie, Robin Stowell, and Jane Starkman.  Rutledge has performed on baroque viola and lectured about baroque performance style and technique throughout the United States, Europe, South Africa, and New Zealand. She recently completed a new performance edition for viola of Bach’s six solo cello suites. Rutledge founded Linnet Press Editions for viola in 2007, which is devoted to scholarly-based performance editions and transcriptions of baroque works for viola.

KATRIN MEIDELL

Teacher: Katrin Meidell (United States)
Repertoire: Student’s choice
Pianist: Available on request
Date:  TBA

Musical practice should be a labor of love; therefore, I encourage each of my students to draw on their passion for music that inspired them to continue their musical endeavors at the college level. In order for this to be possible, students must feel free while playing, both physically and emotionally. To help my students achieve physical comfort, I draw from my own experience with playing-related injuries. Faulty technique led me to experience severe musculoskeletal problems, but I achieved rehabilitation through careful attention to proper playing technique, comfort, physically neutral postures while playing, and ease of tension throughout the body. Learning to be aware of my body and the way it reacted to playing viola was a key element of my rehabilitation, as was Karen Tuttle’s coordination method, both of which are cornerstones of my approach to teaching. My experience with Music and Medicine has increased my knowledge of the biomechanics of playing an instrument, and I draw on scientific data as well as personal experience to improve my students’ playing habits. Only when the player is physically free can the body become a vessel for music to flow.
To help my students achieve emotional freedom, I strive to provide a safe learning environment in which students feel free to voice concerns or problems, even those not directly related to their playing, as any stress or anxiety can negatively affect their ability to play with ease. My degree in Psychology helps me understand my students, and to identify and gain access to the facets of their lives that motivate them to become better musicians. I often use visualization as a tool to help students convey appropriate emotional content to a piece. I also encourage singing and assigning words to musical phrases, as the natural breathing and cadence of singing and speech can be a remarkable tool for understanding musical phrasing, and can aid in emotional freedom. A goal for myself as well as my students is to continually expand and refine technical abilities and musicianship. Because of this, I focus on the importance of both the muscles and the mind. Playing viola is more than mere muscle memory– the mind must be engaged in self-observation and self-analysis for musical development to be possible.
I believe that all students have the ability to excel, if only they possess the desire to do so. As such, tapping into the motivation to improve is a top priority. In addition, I strive to discover each student’s learning style, which allows me to continually cultivate my pedagogical method. My ultimate goal is to guide each student to find his or her own unique musical voice.

Violist Katrin Meidell, DMA, has distinguished herself as a performer, teacher, and scholar. She enjoys a prolific and varied performing career as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral violist. She is a Karen Tuttle Coordination pedagogue whose diverse abilities have taken her across the USA, to Canada, Europe, Brazil, and New Zealand. A strong proponent of new music for viola, she consistently premieres works commissioned by and written for her. In addition to frequent solo and orchestral engagements, she performs chamber music on a regular basis. In the orchestral setting, she has performed with the Indianapolis and Fort Worth Symphonies, the Fort Wayne and Boston Philharmonics, and freelance orchestras throughout Indiana, Texas, and Oklahoma. She currently serves as principal viola of the Anderson (IN) Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to regularly blogging about her musical life, Meidell has been published in the Journal of the American Viola Society (AVS), and now serves as a proud Board Member of the AVS.
She worked for six years in a Harvard neuroscience lab, studying the brains of musicians. More recently, she focused on Music and Medicine, a field in which she has worked towards finding a comprehensive answer to why string players are prone to injury. She regularly presents these findings and other pedagogical sessions at regional, national, and international conferences.
Meidell holds degrees from Boston University, New England Conservatory, and the University of North Texas, and has taught at Ball State University since 2013.

JERZY KOSMALA

Teacher: Jerzy Kosmala (United States)
Repertoire: Bartok, Walton, and Bloch viola concertos
Pianist: Available on request
Date
:  Friday 23/11

Jerzy Kosmala has established himself as one of the world’s premiere violists. Internationally acclaimed as a concert violist and pedagogue, Kosmala has concertized throughout Europe, the former Soviet Union, Canada, North and South America, Asia, and South Africa, and has recordings on Orion, Vox/MGM and Centaur labels. He is a frequent guest artist and performer at the world’s foremost festivals, International Viola Congresses, universities, and academies, including the Royal Academy of Music, Royal College, and Guildhall School of Music in London, England; the “Mozarteum” in Salzburg, Austria; Eastman, Juilliard, Manhattan, and several other Schools of Music; and Boston, Toronto, South California, Michigan, and Indiana Universities. Dr. Kosmala is a permanent jury member of virtually all the most prestigious international viola competitions, among others the Lionel Tertis Competition, the Geneva competition (Switzerland), Munich and Markneukirchen (Germany), the Brahms Viola competition (Austria) and the Primrose Competition (USA). In addition, Dr. Kosmala has adapted and published numerous compositions for viola and has premiered many contemporary works, some of which were written especially for him. A former member of the Krakow String Quartet and renowned Eastman String Quartet. He is an erstwhile student of and assistant to the legendary Wiliam Primrose, and other masters, and a graduate of the Krakow Academy of Music, Eastman School of Music, and Indiana University. Dr. Kosmala is a former member of the executive board of the American Viola Society.

MARC SABBAH

Teacher: Marc Sabbah (Belgium)
Repertoire: Reger Solo Suites
Pianist: Not applicable
Date
:  Saturday 24/11

This masterclass will highlight the lyrical and speaking qualities as well as the technical hurdles associated with the three solo viola suites by the 19th century German Bavarian composer Max Reger. These suites offer us a window to the past. I will attempt to inspire today’s participants to uncover Reger’s popular folk themes, dance melodies and intimate romances that inhabit each suite. As some of the most technically difficult pieces in a violist’s arsenal, these suites project confidence, sensitivity, aggressiveness, lyricism and a parlando quality which will all be touched on in the masterclass. The Reger suites are an essential part of any violists repertoire, needed for concerts, auditions and personal growth. Participants may choose a movement or two from any of the 3 Max Reger Solo Viola Suites.

Born in New York City, Marc Sabbah began his exploration of stringed instruments at the age of 3. In love with the rich deep bass tones, he switched to the viola at age 11 and hasn’t regretted it since. Finishing his studies at both the Juilliard School and the Conservatorium of Amsterdam, Marc is currently a professor of viola at the Royal Conservatory of Mons in Belgium and is the principal violist of the Belgian National Orchestra, based in Brussels. As a prize winner of many competitions, Marc has had the pleasure of performing solo concerts in Carnegie Hall, the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ in Amsterdam, the Berlin Philharmonic Hall and many others.

FELIX UNGAR

Teacher: Felix Ungar (United States)
Repertoire: Student’s choice
Pianist: Available on request
Date
:  TBA

I am honoured to give a masterclass with students of all levels at the 2018 IVC in Rotterdam. The class topic is a combination of the needs of the student and the repertoire at hand. I consider aspects of style, expression, body awareness, technique, confidence building, and anything pertinent to both the performer and audience.

A teacher at the Collegiate and Junior Divisions of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and Artist-Teacher and Lecturer at Hong Kong Baptist University, American violist Felix Ungar has been invited to give lectures and masterclasses at the American Viola Society Festival at Oberlin, International Viola Congress in Wellington New Zealand, Cleveland Institute of Music, Shanghai Conservatory, Taipei National University of the Arts, HKBU, Guangdong Viola Club, and on behalf of the US Department of State. Ungar has studied and performed at music festivals in North America, Asia, and throughout Europe, including Prussia Cove, Prades, Recontres Musicales at Menuhin Academie, Kneisel Hall, Music Academy of the West at Santa Barbara, and Banff, among others. He has performed chamber music with members of the Vienna Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, and faculty of the Eastman School of Music, where he completed his Doctorate. He holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and in conjunction with his undergraduate studies, Ungar also received a double-minor in East Asian Studies and Mandarin Chinese from Case Western Reserve University.
His principal teachers were Jeffrey Irvine, Lynne Ramsey, Carol Rodland, and Donald McInnes. Ungar was a recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Scholar grant, working with composers on new music for viola throughout Taiwan for one year. Other research Ungar has presented include tremolo in the works for solo viola by Luciano Berio and Salvatore Sciarrino. For his doctoral research project Ungar worked with past members of the Cleveland Quartet and published The Sum of Its Parts: The Cleveland Quartet and its Lasting Legacy in Chamber Music.

BEATRICE SIEGRIST BJØRNSEN

Teacher: Beatrice Segrist Bjørnsen (Norway)
Repertoire: Ensemble playing for young violists
Pianist: Not applicable
Date
:  Saturday 24/11

I want to hold a combined Master class and viola ensemble for young violists, aged about 8-14 years. I am very committed to also allowing youngsters to develop optimally, both individually and in interaction with others. Master classes for violists in combination with ensembles for this age group, where they are not being compared to other instrumental groups is not so common, but I’m looking at this as a great opportunity to focus on what’s unique for the viola, the challenges of the young violists and their repertoire. Here I want to work both individually and all together with what is both general and specific for the students.
As an educator, I am very inspired and influenced by the Norwegian leading violin pedagogue Alf Richard Kraggerud. His student vision and strong belief in the pupil as its own teacher, as well as focusing on what already works well, has gained string students in Norway a lot, and I see that it obviously also produces good results when we implement this in the early viola education.
Another aspect I’m very keen on in teaching is that both technical, sound wise and then physical interest, it’s not a big violin but a separate instrument with its own challenges and solutions. I have been very inspired by Professor Carol Rodland at The Juilliard School, who teaches many of Karen Tuttle’s principles when it comes to this. Professor Rodland also teaches technique in groups, which is both inspiring and challenging for the students, and gives very good results. This way of practice technique is something that I also put in to a viola ensemble session, which can be a very motivating way for students to continue to practice technique on their own.
Master classes where young students listen to each other, and are most active when listening to each other leads to awareness about the students’ own games, so they can eventually become their own teacher. When you finish with ensemble games, everyone can be challenged to try out what they have been aware of during the course.

Beatrice Segrist Bjørnsen has her education from Barratt Due Music Institute in Oslo, where Soon-Mi Chung was her main teacher. She has also participated in several master classes at home and abroad, including Nobuko Imai and Andrew Manze.

Since 1995 she plays in the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, and also plays regularly with early music ensembles like Baroque soloists and the Norwegian Baroque Orchestra.

From 2012-2016, Beatrice was the Course Director for Valdres Summer Symphony, and from September 2017 she is appointed Head of strings.

JORGE ALVES

Teacher: Jorge Alves (Portugal)
Theme: The Inner Mental Dance of Playing
Pianist: Available on request
Date
:  TBA

Viola professor and head of chamber music at the Escola Superior de Música, Artes e Espetáculo (ESMAE, Porto), Jorge Alves is also the violist of the Matosinhos String Quartet. With this group, he performs regularly in Portugal and abroad, collaborating with some of the most prominent musicians, and has been involved in the premiere and recording of several contemporary pieces. Matosinhos String Quartet was nominated ‘Rising Stars’ by the prestigious European Concert Hall Organization. In the 2014-2015 season, the quartet performed at the most famous European concert halls such as BOZAR Brussels, Barbican Centre London, Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Musikverein Wien, Stockholms Konserthus and Palau de la Música Barcelona.
Jorge Alves has an extensive performance experience, both as a soloist and with chamber ensembles and orchestras. He was awarded the first prize in viola (1996) and chamber music (1991) at the Portuguese Radio National Competition PJM-RTP, Santa Cecilia International Music Festival (Italy, 1996) and the Alcobaça International Chamber Music Competition (Portugal, 2009).
After graduating in Portugal, he was awarded a grant from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation that allowed him to study for 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), and he hosted the 42nd International Viola Congress in Porto, 2014. He is also founder and President of the Portuguese branch of the European String Teachers Association (ESTA).
Jorge Alves loves to teach, and he regularly holds viola and chamber music master classes all over Portugal but also in he Lemmens Institute, Leuven; Maastricht Conservatory, Malta Summer Festival, Conservatório de Cosenza, Campus delle Arti, Bassano Del Grappa, Santa Maria University, Brasil, Antwerp Conservatory, and Petrozavodsk State Conservatory.