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BARBARA WESTPHAL - Violist

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"Westphal's playing is characterized by a full, rich sound, a sure sense of proportion, near-infallible intonation, and an austere passion."
The New York Times 

Biography:

Internationally acclaimed violist BARBARA WESTPHAL concertizes regularly as soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia. She also appears regularly as guest artist at international music festivals such as those of Santa Fe, New Mexico; Sarasota, Florida; Great Lakes, Michigan; Vaasa, Finland; Schleswig-Holstein, Germany; and Incontri in Terra di Siena, Italy, among many others.

Ms. Westphal won the only prize for solo viola in the 1983 Munich Competition, as well as the prestigious Busch Prize the same year. From 1978 to 1985, Ms. Westphal was the violist of the highly acclaimed Delos String Quartet, First Prize Winner at the 1981 International String Quartet Competition in Colmar, France. In addition to numerous international tours with the Quartet, she recorded extensively with the ensemble both on radio and disc. Her own recordings on the Bridge label include the Brahms Viola Sonatas (with Ursula Oppens), the Reger Viola Sonatas and a recital program of works by Rebecca Clarke, Henri Vieuxtemps and Georges Enesco (both with Jeffrey Swann) and the six Solo Suites by J.S. Bach. Fanfare magazine said of the Brahms CD: “This recording absolutely outshines any others that are currently available and, to me, seems worthy of comparison with the legendary Primrose. For fans of a deep viola sound full of character it is absolutely unique.”

In 1997 Ms. Westphal founded the Trio da Salò with violinist Ani Kavafian and cellist Gustav Rivinius which immediately celebrated major successes at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. The Trio’s first CD, featuring works by Mozart and Beethoven, was recently released on the Kleos Classics label.

Barbara Westphal studied in London and New York and took her concert examination under Itzhak Perlman and Michael Tree (Guarneri Quartet). Since 1989 she has held a professorship at the Lübeck College of Music in Germany. She is a much sought-after teacher whose students are engaged with top orchestras in Germany and abroad, and several of her students have won awards at international competitions. Ms. Westphal regularly presents master classes in Europe and the United States and serves as a judge at major competitions.


Press Excerpts 
 
“Ardent interpreter ... vigorous and passionate ... Her performances of the (Brahms) Sonatas ring with conviction”
    The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Sumptuous tone and enviable technique”
    Rocky Mountain News

“Mastered extraordinary difficulties with bravura, sincerity, and power of expression ... full of poetry and feeling”
    Ostfriesen Zeitung

“Mastered the solo part with most precise intonation, including a truly sovereign double-stop technique ... left nothing to be desired”
    Nordwester Zeitung

“Now this is my kind of Brahms playing! ... great passion and depth of tone ... Her fabulous Gasparo da Salo viola, made in 1570, sounds almost like a cello at times ... technical problems of this music are completely forgotten ... compelling dynamic and emotional range ... worthy of comparison with the legendary Primrose”
    FANFARE

“Right from the first measures there could be no doubt ... mature, complete soloist, technically sovereign, fully in the service of the music”
    Lübecker Nachrichten

“ADMIRATION FOR THE VIRTUOSO AND HER INSTRUMENT (headline) Shone throughout with her complete technical mastery ... her virtuoso playing could only inspire enthusiasm ... mastered technically challenging pieces ... the tone of this wonderfully large instrument is unique ... warm, round, dark, and deep”
    Süddeutscher Zeitung

“Large, lustrous tone and extraordinary technical facility ... If anyone needed convincing that the Walton Concerto is the best concerto ever written for the viola, I cannot imagine a better advocate than Westphal”
    The Spokesman-Review/Spokane Chronicle

Concerto Repertoire:
 
BARTOK: Concerto
 
FRANÇAIX: Rhapsody for Viola and Small Orchestra
 
JOHN HARBISON: Concerto
 
HARTMANN: Concerto for Viola with piano, Winds and Percussion
 
HINDEMITH: "Schwanendreher" Concerto
 
HOFFMEISTER: Concerto in D Major
 
MOZART: Sinfonia Concertante (for violin and viola) 
 
WALTON: Concerto 

Discography:
 
J.S. BACH: THE SIX SUITES FOR VIOLONCELLO
(Bridge)
 
JOHANNES BRAHMS: VIOLA SONATAS
(with Ursula Oppens, pianist)
(Bridge)
 
VIOLA SONATAS BY REBECCA CLARKE, HENRI VIEUXTEMPS, and GEORGES ENESCO
(with Jeffrey Swann, pianist)
(Bridge) 
 
 MAX REGER: SONATAS FOR VIOLA AND PIANO
(with Jeffrey Swann, pianist)
(Bridge) 

Websitephotos/Barbarawarmingup.jpg
Barbara warming up before a concert

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