Welcome to the viola studio at the University of Colorado Boulder College of Music!
We have a wonderfully engaging group of students with a wide range of backgrounds and interests. We offer a warmly supportive studio atmosphere with everyone invested in helping each other grow as violists and musicians. Our studio is fortunate to have Takács Quartet violist Richard O’Neill as a very active part of our teaching team. Our dedicated teaching team of faculty and teaching assistants further ensure an environment of growth and self-discovery—unique for each student.
The College of Music offers a number of performance opportunities as well—from weekly viola studio and string performance classes to the CU Symphony, chamber orchestras, Eklund Opera Program and Early Music Ensemble, a group that meets weekly and performs with a school-owned set of Baroque bows; to CU Boulder SoundWorks, a concert series-meets-forum for the creation and performance of new and original works by student composers, improvisers, performers and collaborators; to our vital chamber music program, weekly coaching with College of Music faculty, occasional coachings with the Takács Quartet and coachings with the college’s Graduate String Quartet in Residence. Additional College of Music offerings include our groundbreaking Entrepreneurship Center for Music, a Musicians’ Wellness Program and an exciting study abroad program.
Associate Professor of Viola Erika Eckert previously served on the faculties of the Cleveland Institute of Music, Baldwin Wallace College and the Chautauqua Institution in New York where she served as the coordinator of the chamber music program for the Music School Festival Orchestra for three summers. As co-founder and former violist of the Cavani String Quartet, Eckert performed on major concert series worldwide, garnered an impressive list of awards and prizes, including first prizes at both the Walter W. Naumburg Chamber Music Competition and the Cleveland Quartet Competition, and appeared on NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS and National Public Radio. In recent seasons, Eckert has performed as guest violist with the Takács Quartet, appearing with them in Canada, California, Colorado, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Vermont. She has also performed on numerous faculty recitals at the University of Colorado Boulder and soloed with the CU Boulder Symphony Orchestra, Music in the Mountains Purgatory Festival Orchestra, Four Seasons Chamber Orchestra, Boulder Bach Festival and the Boulder Chamber Orchestra. Performing engagements have included the 400th Galileo Anniversary at the American Academy in Rome, El Paso Pro Musica International Chamber Music Festival, Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Garth Newell Music Festival, Bravo! Vail, Music in the Mountains Chamber Music Festival, Sitka Summer Music Festival Autumn Classics, Niagara International Chamber Music Festival and Fontana Chamber Arts. Eckert has also performed chamber music recitals at the International French Horn, Flute and Double-Reed Conventions, and soloed at SEAMUS and ICMC electronic music national and international conferences. MORE
Violist of the Takács Quartet Richard O’Neill has distinguished himself as one of the great instrumentalists of his generation. Grammy Award winner for Best Classical Instrumental Solo Performance in 2021, O’Neill is only the second person to receive an award for a viola performance in the history of this category. Following two previous GRAMMY nominations, O’Neill’s recent win for his recording of Christopher Theofanidis’ Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestra also spotlights conductor David Alan Miller and the Albany Symphony. Theofanidis’ composition was inspired by Navajo poetry and the composer’s psychological response to the September 11 attacks. Also an Emmy Award winner and Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, O’Neill has appeared as soloist with the world’s top orchestras including the London, Los Angeles, Seoul Philharmonics, the BBC, Hiroshima, Korean Symphonies, the Kremerata Baltica, Moscow, Vienna and Wurtemburg chamber orchestras and Alte Musik Köln, and has worked with distinguished musicians and conductors including Andrew Davis, Vladimir Jurowski, Francois Xavier Roth and Yannick Nezet-Seguin. An Artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Principal Violist of Camerata Pacifica, O’Neill served for 13 seasons as artistic director of DITTO, his South Korean chamber music project, leading the ensemble on international tours to China and Japan and introducing tens of thousands to music. MORE