Susan Gulkis Assadi

Susan Gulkis Assadi

The PONCHO Principal Viola

Susan Gulkis Assadi

“She possesses a handsome tone of considerable depth that makes one hungry to hear the instrument…. She was splendid, full of musical generosity, verve and polish.” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Principal Viola of the Seattle Symphony since 1992, Susan Gulkis Assadi enjoys a varied career as an orchestral player, chamber musician, soloist and teacher.

In 1998, Gulkis Assadi helped inaugurate Benaroya Hall with Yo-Yo Ma in the Orchestra’s performance of R. Strauss’ Don Quixote. The recording of David Stock’s Viola Concerto, written for Gulkis Assadi to perform with the Seattle Symphony, was released in spring 2004 on Innova Records to critical acclaim. In June 2006 Gulkis Assadi played the West Coast premiere of Paul Schoenfield’s Viola Concerto. A founding member of the renowned Bridge Ensemble, Gulkis Assadi also performs regularly with Seattle Opera, the Seattle-based Music of Remembrance, the Governor’s Chamber Music Series, and has spent the past 15 summers performing at the Grand Teton Music Festival. She has also coached and given master classes at the New World Symphony in Miami.

In March 2012 she played the Viola Version of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto with the Seattle Symphony.

Gulkis Assadi earned her Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Michael Tree of the Guarneri Quartet and Karen Tuttle. After playing in numerous chamber orchestras, including the Brandenburg Ensemble, Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia and the European-based New American Chamber Orchestra, she began her orchestral career as the Principal Viola of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra before coming to Seattle.

Image © Larey McDaniel