|To read the UCSB online catalogue for graduates in Strings, visit here.
The UCSB Viola Studio is a very special place to come and study the viola and there are a couple of things that might make UCSB an appealing choice for you when considering further study. We have a Young Artists String Quartet which provides a very good tuition scholarship. The quartet is considered one of the best programs at UCSB and some of our finest students have worked there and gone on to achieve great success professionally. The YASQ has worked closely with such ensembles as the Emerson String Quartet, the Tokyo String Quartet, The Juilliard String Quartet, The Peabody Trio and Yo Yo Ma among others.
California instate tuition is very reasonable and one of the best deals at a major university in the U.S at about $10,000 a year. You can gain residency living in California for about a year prior to study and many students have choosen to come to Santa Barbara to gain residency and take lessons either privately with me or in the extension program along with some other classes which can sometimes also count towards your degree.
Although an MM takes just 2 years many students have stayed for 4 taking a year before and after to get the most out of their experience here. Some have also taken advantage of one of our very unique programs the MM/DMA which combines both degrees in a shorter amount of time. The MM then only takes one year to complete. The DMA is the jewel in our program allowing a very unique experience as you transition into professional life.
Our students have come from and go to major schools all over the country some from outside the US and some from major schools in the U.S including those of CIM, Indiana, Oberlin, Peabody, Northwestern, SFCM, NEC, Mannes, UCLA, Interlochen, U. Michigan, Rice, Eastman etc. Our students do well nationally and go to top schools after graduation or achieve positions in orchestras and chamber orchestras and teaching positions all over the
What is most beneficial from the environment here at UCSB is the way we structure the studio size and schedules. It is one of the rarest schools in the country that provides full professors with a smaller than normal studio size. The reasoning behind this is that we believe in providing the maximum of personal attention for our students. High on our priorities is the one on one time we are allowed for each student. It also means there is time to see students more than once a week and we are available to do that.
The viola studio is one of the most active studios in the department and we set a high standard in terms of the quality of our program. There are always a couple of students we accept who are in the extension program and who are looking to gain residency (not something undergrads need to worry about) and to take lessons without other commitments but to be a fully fledged part of the studio. It is a wonderful program and a great way to get a head start.
We have a studio class each week that can go from 1 hour to 4 hours and later in the year it can go beyond 4 hours to an extra day of the week. All students are assigned their own pianist to work with for the year and we have other events like the Orchestral Soloists Competition that gives the viola students another chance to perform. So far we have had a viola winner every year for the past 6 years!
We also have a major project every other year called the NEW WORKS FOR VIOLA PROJECT. In years past we have assigned a student composer to work with each viola student, write a work for them, study it in depth with us and perform it. Last year an enormous commitment was made by the studio as Joel Feigin, Professor of Composition, wrote a concerto for me accompanied by 6 of my viola student. A very intense work that took much time for the students to prepare but led to a wonderful performance and a real sense of commraderie within the studio. This year we are presenting the NEW WORKS FOR VIOLA weekend festival where students will work together on new works written especially for them to perform at this festival and I will perform Lament with Ghosts with my students
We have a distinguished viola masterclass series which can bring up to three to four visiting professors a year such as Carol Rodland (NEC), Paul Neubauer (Juilliard), Jeffrey Irvine (CIM), Roberto Diaz (Curtis), Yizhak Schotten (University of Michigan), Heiichiro Ohyama (violist and conductor of the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra), Henrik Frendin (Sweden), Paul Coletti (The Colburn School), Deborah Lander (Australia), Mara Gearman (Seattle Symphony), Brian Chen (winner of the Primrose International Viola Competition and principal of the San Diego Symphony), Jamie Laredo (Indiana), Roger Tapping (former Takacs, NEC) and Ivo Van de Werff (Rice) among others. As you can see, the UCSB Viola Program is a wonderful place to consider for your studies!
Add to this the beautiful location of Santa Barbara, the sunny all year round weather, the pacific ocean and its dolphins, brown pelicans, whales, humingbirds and stunning flora and the proximity to Los Angeles you couldnt ask for a more inspiring location. Come and visit us anytime!
Within this web site we have a section where students post comments about my teaching, the UCSB experience and other things – and these are students who study with me here at UCSB and also those who visit to study in breaks and the summers where I have a big summer teaching academy for over 20 violists from around the world. For more information please contact Helen Callus, Professor of Viola.