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Ellen Rose: Viola Fest Companion Book

Ellen Rose (UCD Music) Faculty

A champion of contemporary music in the United States and abroad, violist Ellen Ruth Rose is currently a member of Empyrean Ensemble, the flagship new music ensemble in residence at UC Davis, and Earplay, the San Francisco-based contemporary ensemble. She also performs regularly with Santa Cruz New Music Works, the Berkeley Contemporary Chamber Players, and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. She has worked extensively with Frankfurt’s Ensemble Modern and the Cologne experimental ensembles Musik Fabrik and Thürmchen Ensemble, appearing at the Cologne Triennial, Berlin Biennial, Salzburg Zeitfluß, Brussels Ars Nova, Venice Biennial, Budapest Autumn, and Kuhmo (Finland) festivals. She has performed as soloist with the West German Radio Chorus, Empyrean Ensemble, Thürmchen Ensemble, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Santa Cruz New Music Works, and the symphony orchestras of UC Berkeley and UC Davis, and at the San Francisco Other Minds and Ojai Music festivals. Additional performance credits include appearances at the Marlboro Music Festival and at chamber music festivals in Italy and England. She has premiered several works showcasing the viola by composers based in Northern California, including Kurt Rohde (Double Trouble, a double viola chamber concerto, 2002), Pablo Ortiz (Le Vrai Tango Argentin for solo viola, 2001), Miguel Galperin (Projections for solo viola, 2004), Steed Cowart (Zephyr for solo viola 1989/2001), Edmund Campion (Melt me with thy delicious numbers for viola and live electronics, 2003) and William Beck (Aquarium for viola, theremin, and tape, 2002).

Rose has appeared on numerous recordings, including a Wergo CD of the chamber music of German composer Caspar Johannes Walter—featuring several pieces written for her—which won the German Recording Critics’ new music prize in 1998. In 2003 she created, organized, and directed Violafest!, a four-concert festival at UC Davis celebrating the viola in solos and chamber music new and old, including solos from the recently published anthology The American Viola (JB Elkus & Son, 2003) and premieres of pieces for four violas by Yu-Hui Chang and Laurie San Martin.

Rose holds a master’s degree in performance from the Juilliard School, an artist diploma from the Northwest German Music Academy in Detmold, Germany, and a bachelor’s degree with honors in English and American history and literature from Harvard University. She teaches viola and chamber music at UC Davis and UC Berkeley. Her own teachers have included Heidi Castleman, Nobuko Imai, Marcus Thompson, and Karen Tuttle.

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