Viola Workshop: Exploring "Conductivity"

A weeklong viola workshop led by Oberlin Conservatory Professor of Viola Peter Slowik. This virtual program is presented in tandem with an available in-person workshop presented on campus by Oberlin Conservatory Summer Programs.

This program offers two tracks of engagement:
Early career professionals (age 20-26)
Young violists (age 13-18)

Monday, June 27-Friday, July 1, 2022

Registration deadline:  Monday, June 13, 2022


viola scroll photographed on a blue background.

Course Description

Peter Slowik’s viola students go on to careers in the country’s leading professional orchestras, conservatories, chamber music ensembles, and professional societies. At the core of Slowik’s teaching is a deep understanding of the intersection of music, physical motion, and viola technique—a place where energy can flow unimpeded. Finding this “conductivity” is a key element in mastering string playing.

This master class series focuses on two key periods in a violist’s life: the pre-college years and post-education years, when one is mastering the art of auditions. Participants will leave the workshop with clear tools and a pathway for ongoing growth.

Virtual participants receive:

• Daily technique sessions

• Daily master class/interpretation sessions (preference for performer slots will be given to in-person attendees

• Fascinating lectures on practicing, chamber music, and orchestral playing, all taught by Slowik alumni


Meeting Times

Daily Schedule
9 AM:  Morning warm-up
10 AM:  Slowik technique class
1 PM:  Slowik interpretation class
6:30 PM: Guest lecture

Course Fee: $350

CEU/Hours of Engagement: 2 CEU/20+ hours of engagement*



Director of the Oberlin Conservatory Division of Strings, Peter Slowik has enjoyed an illustrious four-decade teaching career in which he has mentored talented string players all over the world. He was raised in the Galamian and Dounis approaches, and his teaching and performing experience at leading festivals and conservatories has sharpened and broadened his understanding of string pedagogy.

DJ Cheek joined the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra as principal viola in 2021. Prior to his appointment, he played principal viola for four seasons in the Jacksonville Symphony. In recent seasons he appeared as guest principal with the Indianapolis Symphony and as a substitute with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra. In the summer, he serves as principal viola at the Colorado Music Festival and teaches at Interlochen’s Adult Chamber Music Camp.

Molly Gebrian is the professor of viola at the University of Arizona. She has distinguished herself as an outstanding performer, teacher, and scholar throughout the US and Europe. Her principal teachers include Peter Slowik, Carol Rodland, James Dunham, and Garth Knox. She earned degrees from Rice University, New England Conservatory, and Oberlin College and Conservatory, where she studied viola performance and neuroscience.

Linda Kline is the professor of viola at Boise State University, where she also serves as department chair for music. In the summer, she teaches and performs at the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp in Michigan. She holds viola performance degrees from Northwestern University, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the University of Memphis. She is a member of the IRIS Orchestra and the Boise Philharmonic.

Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti is a Kānaka Maoli (native Hawaiian) musician dedicated to the arts of our time. Her compositions often deal with unique instrument-objects, such as the Noguchi Museum commissions involving sound sculptures. She is the creator of, a free online resource demonstrating extended techniques for strings. She is a member of the viola and composition faculty at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa.

Violist Daniel Orsen is a freelance musician based in Boston. He performs regularly with A Far Cry, the Phoenix Chamber Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. His debut recording of Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata was released in 2020, and he is now embarking on his second recording project, Wagner’s Nightmare. He studied at Oberlin Conservatory with Peter Slowik and the New England Conservatory with Kim Kashkashian.

Brad Ottesen is an associate professor of professional practice at Utah State University and violist of the Fry Street Quartet, the university’s quartet in residence. He served four seasons as assistant principal viola with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and he has appeared with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, New World Symphony, and the Tanglewood Music Center.

Marlea Simpson is a viola fellow at the New World Symphony. Hailed by The Chicago Tribune as “Grant Park Orchestra’s new 21-year-old wunderkind” in 2016, she currently holds the principal viola position with the Chicago Sinfonietta in addition to a section position with the Grant Park Orchestra.


*Oberlin Conservatory Global does not grant CEUs but does provide verification of course content, participant attendance and hours of engagement. Participants are responsible for conveying this information to their Local Professional Development Committee in a manner consistent with their local guidelines.