The PONCHO Principal Viola
Principal Violist 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 the Principal Violist 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 soloist with the Seattle Symphony. In 1998, 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 spring 2004 on Innova Records to critical acclaim. In June 2006, Ms. Gulkis Assadi played the west coast premiere of Paul Schoenfield’s Viola Concerto. Most recent solo performances include Mozart's Clarinet Concerto (for viola), Dittersdorf's Sinfonia Concertante for Viola and Double Bass, and Berlioz's Harold in Italy.
Susan Gulkis Assadi also performs regularly with the Seattle Opera, the Seattle-based Music of Remembrance, The Governor’s Chamber Music Series and was a founding member of the Bridge Ensemble. She has happily spent the last seventeen 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