PONCHO Principal Viola
Principal Viola of the Seattle Symphony since the 1992–1993 season, Susan Gulkis Assadi enjoys a varied career as an orchestral player, chamber musician, soloist and teacher. 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 Principal Viola of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra before coming to Seattle.
Hailed by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer for her “uncommon warmth and beauty of timbre,” Gulkis Assadi has appeared often as a soloist with the Seattle Symphony. She helped inaugurate Seattle’s Benaroya Hall with Yo-Yo Ma in the orchestra’s performance of R. Strauss’ Don Quixote. David Stock’s Viola Concerto, written for Susan Gulkis Assadi and the Seattle Symphony, was released on Innova Records to critical acclaim. Ms. Gulkis Assadi’s solo performances include the West Coast premiere of Paul Schoenfield’s Viola Concerto, Mozart's Clarinet Concerto (for viola), Dittersdorf's Sinfonia Concertante for Viola and Double Bass, Berlioz' Harold in Italy and Vaughan Williams’ Flos campi.
Susan Gulkis Assadi also performs regularly with the Seattle Opera, the Seattle-based Music of Remembrance and The Governor’s Chamber Music Series. She has happily spent the last twenty-three summers performing with the Grand Teton Music Festival. She has coached and given master classes at the University of Washington, the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida and the National Orchestral Institute in College Park, Maryland.
Ms. Gulkis Assadi received her Bachelor of Music from The Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Michael Tree from The Guarneri Quartet and Karen Tuttle.
photo © Larey McDaniel