Summer Programs

Oberlin Viola Workshop

viola scroll photographed on a blue background.

Exploring "Conductivity" with Peter Slowik 
Sunday, July 23-Saturday, July 29, 2023


Applicants will be admitted on a rolling basis until April 25.  Those applying earlier will have a greater chance of being admitted.


A week-long viola workshop for viola students ages 13*-19, led by Oberlin Conservatory Professor of Viola Peter Slowik, assisted by prominent alumni from his studio.*

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 elements in mastering string playing.  

Alumni from Peter Slowik's viola studio serve in leadership positions in many major American orchestras, conservatories, chamber music ensembles, and professional societies.

Attendees will receive:  

  • Four warm-up sessions
  • 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
  • Two private lessons with Peter Slowik
  • Daily viola ensemble rehearsals and reading sessions

Attendees will have the opportunity to sign up for additional lessons with Slowik and/or guest faculty.

*Young violists age 13-14 must be accompanied by a parent and live off-campus, ages 15 and older may live off-campus housing).

Please note: All summer programs are subject to the College's public health and Obiesafe policies related to the COVID-19 pandemic. All participants agree to adhere to all College policy while participating in a summer program.


Peter Slowik.Described by The Strad as “a man of limitless energy and purpose—he mentors high achievers who make their mark in top positions the world over,” Peter Slowik has been a featured performer and teacher at seven International Viola Congresses and has recorded on the Deutsche Grammophon, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi/BMG, American Grammophone, Erato, and Cedille labels.  He has served as principal violist of the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra, Concertante di Chicago, and the American Sinfonietta, and performed for many years with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and as solo violist at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Slowik is a professor of viola at Oberlin Conservatory, and artistic director of Credo Music. He has taught master classes in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, Europe, New Zealand, and across the U.S. His students have won first prize in numerous competitions, including the ASTA National Solo Competition, the Johannsen International Competition, the Ohio and Chicago Viola Society Solo Competitions, the Juilliard Concerto Competition, and the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.

Photo of DJ CheekDJ Cheek joined the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra as Principal Viola in 2021. Prior to his current appointment, DJ 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, DJ serves as Principal Viola at the Colorado Music Festival, and he teaches at Interlochen’s Adult Chamber Music Camp. He previously taught viola and chamber music at the University of North Florida and the National Music Festival. He has appeared at festivals like Music@Menlo, the Perlman Music Program, Lucerne, Sarasota, Olympic, and Yellow Barn. DJ performed as a guest artist with the Borromeo Quartet, and with Donald Weilerstein and Kim Kashkashian as part of the Music for Food series. DJ holds a master’s degree from New England Conservatory and a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College-Conservatory. His primary mentors are Kim Kashkashian and Peter Slowik.

photo of Molly GebrianViolist Molly Gebrian 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. Dr. Gebrian holds degrees from Rice University, New England Conservatory, and Oberlin College, where she studied viola performance and neuroscience. She has published papers on music and the brain in The Strad, the Journal of the American Viola Society, and Frontiers in Psychology, and is a frequent presenter on the topic. She is currently the viola professor at the University of Arizona.

photo of Linda KlineLinda 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. Kline holds viola performance degrees from Northwestern University, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the University of Memphis. Recent performances include the Virtuosi Festival in Recife, Brazil, solo recitals in Seattle and Memphis, and collaborations with the Kandinsky Trio, the Rothko Trio, and the Blakemore Trio. She is a member of the IRIS Orchestra and the Boise Philharmonic, and has performed with the Hawai’i Symphony, the Strings Festival, the Memphis Symphony, and the Boise Baroque Orchestra. In 2018 Kline presented her research on Tartini’s The Art of Bowing at the American Viola Society Festival in Los Angeles.

Photo of Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti is a Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) musician dedicated to the arts of our time. A "leading composer-performer" (The New York Times), Lanzilotti is the recipient of a 2020 Native Launchpad Artist Award and 2021 McKnight Visiting Composer Residency. Her “conceptually potent” compositions often deal with unique instrument-objects, such as The Noguchi Museum commissions involving sound sculptures. “Lanzilotti’s score brings us together across the world in remembrance, through the commitment of shared sonic gestures.” (Cities & Health) Dr. Lanzilotti is the creator of, a free online resource demonstrating extended techniques for strings. She is currently viola and composition faculty at University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa.

Photo of Daniel OrsenViolist Daniel Orsen is a freelancer based out of Boston. Daniel performs regularly with A Far Cry, the Phoenix Chamber Orchestra, the BSO, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Festival credits include Krzyzowa, Ravinia, and Verbier, and from 2019-2021 he ran his own chamber music series, Jamaica Plain Chamber Music. 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. Daniel studied at the Oberlin Conservatory with Peter Slowik and the New England Conservatory with Kim Kashkashian.

photo of Brad OttensenBradley Ottesen, a performer of “warmly rich, opulent tone” (Washington Post), is the violist of the internationally acclaimed Fry Street Quartet, and Professor of Viola and Chamber Music at Utah State University. Hailed as a “triumph of ensemble playing” (New York Times), the Fry Street Quartet has perfected a “blend of technical precision and scorching spontaneity” (Strad Magazine). The FSQ is the endowed Quartet-in-Residence at the Caine College of the Arts, Utah State University, and maintains a busy concertizing schedule alongside their dedicated teaching career. 

In recent seasons, the FSQ has commissioned and premiered new works by composers Gabriela Lena Frank, Clarice Assad, Laura Kaminsky, and Libby Larsen, and the quartet has become known for launching groundbreaking collaborations that explore the role of the arts in social discourse. The Crossroads Project is an ongoing partnership with physicist and educator Robert Davies, a meditation on environmental sustainability. Crossroads productions have been staged more than 50 times in 3 countries, and performances have involved visual artists, filmmakers, actors, and composers.

photo of Marlea SimpsonDallas-native Marlea Simpson was appointed to the Minnesota Orchestra in 2022. 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 after completing their Project Inclusion Program in 2014. As an orchestral musician, Ms. Simpson has worked under conductors Leonard Slatkin, Marin Alsop, David Robertson, Dennis Russell Davies, Peter Oundjian, Carlos Kalmar, Gemma New and David Danzmayr. She has also worked with many renowned chamber musicians, including Steven Tenenbom, Merry Peckham and David Bowlin as well as the Brentano, Jasper, Jupiter and Calder quartets. Ms. Simpson received her master’s degree from the Yale School of Music, where she studied with Ettore Causa and Steven Tenenbom. She received the Georgina Lucy Grosvenor Memorial Prize, which is awarded to the violist in the graduating class whose performances while at Yale have exhibited the highest potential for success as a soloist or chamber musician in the field. She also holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin Conservatory, where she studied with Peter Slowik.

1-3 PM   Registration and moving in
5:15 PM  Dinner at Stevenson Dining Hall
7 PM Orientation Meeting

9 AM Morning warm-up
10 AM  Slowik technique class
11 – 11:45  lessons (practice)
Noon lunch
1 PM Slowik interpretation class
2:30-5:30 PM  Lessons (Practice)
6:30-7:30 PM   Guest lecture
7:30-9:00 PM  Viola ensemble / Group activity


Priority Application Deadline: March 1
If space allows, final application deadline: April 25

Applicants will be admitted on a rolling basis until April 25.  Those applying earlier will have a greater chance of being admitted.



Application fee: $55

Program fee, dormitory room with linens and all-you-can-eat meals at the dining hall:

Double, shared room: $1,725
Single, private room: $1,775
Bathroom facilities with private shower and toilet stalls on each floor.

Please note that all fees paid are nonrefundable.

Please feel free to email: