UW faculty violist Melia Watras shares the stage with her colleague and former teacher, world-renowned violist Atar Arad. A distinguished performer, composer and pedagogue, Arad teaches at Indiana University, where Watras studied with him and served as his associate instructor. The program includes works by Arad, Watras, Schubert and Clarke, and features pianist Kimberly Russ.
Note: Atar Arad also leads a free master class with UW music students and young Seattle musicians on Sunday, Nov. 4, 12 p.m., at Brechemin Auditorium.
Atar Arad, viola
Atar Arad was born in Tel Aviv, where he began his early musical education and violin studies.
In 1971, drawn by the deep, warm sound of the viola and its broad but unfamiliar repertoire, he decided to devote himself to this instrument and its music. The following year, in July 1972, in his first appearance as a violist, he won the City of London Prize as a laureate of the Carl Flesch Competition for violin and viola. Two months later he was awarded the First Prize at the International Viola Competition in Geneva by a unanimous decision of the jury. Numerous concerts followed -- as soloist with major orchestras, and in recitals at some of Europe's most prestigious festivals.
Arad's recordings for Telefunken are widely acclaimed. His album in collaboration with pianist Evelyne Brancart was praised by High Fidelity Magazine as being "...perhaps the best-played viola recital ever recorded".
He currently serves as Professor of Music (viola) at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, Bloomington. In the summers he teaches at the Steans Institute for Young Artists (Ravinia Festival) in Chicago, Domaine Forget Academy of the Art and in Keshet Eilon Music Center, Israel. He regularly gives master classes at the IMS in Prussia Cove.
Melia Watras, viola
Described as "staggeringly virtuosic" by The Strad, violist Melia Watras has distinguished herself as one of her instrument's leading voices: as a soloist, recording artist, and cofounder of the acclaimed Corigliano Quartet. An accomplished and adventurous performer of new music, she has championed the works of living composers throughout her career. She has commissioned, premiered and recorded numerous new compositions, while appearing onstage at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, and Alice Tully Hall.
Her expanding discography has garnered considerable attention and praise from the media. Of her debut solo CD, Viola Solo, Strings remarked, "Watras is a young player in possession of stunning virtuosic talent and deserving of the growing acclaim."
She serves as Associate Professor of Viola at the University of Washington, where she is chair of the Strings Division and a Donald E. Petersen Endowed Fellow. She currently resides in Seattle with her husband, Corigliano Quartet violinist Michael Jinsoo Lim.