Summer Programs

Oberlin Viola Workshop

violist practicing.
Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones '97

Exploring "Conductivity" with Peter Slowik 
Sunday, June 26-Saturday, July 2, 2022

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.

The seminar will have two tracks:

  • Early career professionals age 20-26
  • Young violists age 13-18 (middle-school students must be accompanied by a parent and live off-campus).

In-person and hybrid opportunities available.

The diaspora of viola students of Peter Slowik is a who’s who in the viola world.  His students occupy leadership positions 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.  This intersection is the place where energy can flow unimpeded – finding this “conductivity” is a key element in mastering string playing.

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

In-person attendance is strongly recommended, but a robust online experience is also available.

All Attendees will receive:  

  • Four warm-up sessions
  • Daily Slowik Technique sessions
  • Daily Slowik Master Class/interpretation sessions - strong preference for perfomer slots will be given to in-person attendees.

Stimulating lectures on practicing, chamber music, and orchestral playing – taught by Slowik alumni.

In-person attendees will also receive:

  • A private lesson with Peter Slowik
  • Daily viola ensemble rehearsals and reading sessions

Both in-person and online attendees will have the opportunity to sign up for additional lessons with Slowik and/or his guest faculty

This application will remain open until the program is filled.


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.

Brad Ottesen, violist, Fry Street String Quartet

photo of Marlea SimpsonDallas-native Marlea Simpson is a second-year 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 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.

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


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

This application will remain open until program is filled.


Application fee: $55

Program fee, including dormitory room with linens and all-you-can-eat meals at the dining hall: $1,600

$200 - This fee due upon acceptance

Please note that all fees paid are nonrefundable

Payment deadlines for the residential program:

$200 deposit due one week after acceptance

Final payment due by April 1, 2022

You may make an electronic payment, or to send a check, please make the check payable to Oberlin College and mail to:

"Conductivity" Viola Workshop
Conservatory of Music
77 West College St.
Oberlin, OH 44074

We recommend using a wired internet connection for the best experience. If you are unable to connect your desktop, laptop or tablet to the internet using an Ethernet cable, a strong, stable Wi-Fi connection and/or cellular data may be used. Check the speed and strength of your Wi-Fi at; connections of at least 20 mbps (download) and 10 mbps (upload) are best. If yours is below 10 mbps (download) or 5 mbps (upload), you may need an upgrade from your internet provider. Upload speeds below 5 mbps will produce poor quality video and audio. 

We also recommend that participants have access to an external microphone and webcam for best video and audio quality. 

Explore Zoom's new High-Fidelity Music Mode, which has made a huge difference for lessons and masterclasses.

Please feel free to email: