Rita Porfiris- The Hartt School-University of Hartford
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Rita Porfiris

Associate Professor

Email: rita@ritaporfiris.com

Rita Porfiris bio photo

Always trying to bridge the gap between popular culture and classical music, violist RITA PORFIRIS has been the subject of articles and interviews in media across the globe including the New York Times, Chamber Music America, International Symphony Musician, the NBC Nightly News, NPR, PBS, and the BBC. She has performed in major concert halls and music festivals worldwide and as a soloist has appeared with numerous orchestras including the Orquesta Filarmonica de la Ciudad de Mexico, the New World Symphony and a featured soloist in the Houston Symphony Baroque Festival.

Currently the Associate Professor of Viola at The Hartt School, she is also on the faculty of the Texas Music Festival and ARIA Arts Academy and has been on the faculties of New York University, the University of Houston Moores’ School of Music, Florida International University, and the Harlem School for the Arts in New York. She has given master classes and clinics across the U.S., Japan, Argentina and Brazil.

Ms. Porfiris is the Artistic Director and co-Founder of Musica da Camara Festival Eterna Primavera in Mexico, a member of the Phenix Ensemble and was a founding member of the Plymouth Quartet, in-residence at the Ojai Festival, Mainly Mozart, Point Counterpoint, and the Internationale Quartettakademie Prag-Wien-Budapest. She is the recipient of Austria’s prestigious Prix Mercure, a prize winner in the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition and the Primrose International Viola Competition, and a laureate of the Paolo Borciani International Quartet Competition.  She was awarded the National Music Leadership award in 2007 by the Texas chapter of music sorority Sigma Alpha in recognition of her dedication to the promotion of music and string playing at the high school and university level.  

In her former 20 year-long career as an orchestral musician, she worked under some of the most recognized conductors of the 20-21 Centuries, including Leonard Bernstein, Sergiu Celibidache, Kurt Masur, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Christoph Eschenbach.

Ms. Porfiris received both her BM and MM in Viola Performance from The Juilliard School, studying with William Lincer.  Other teachers and mentors have been Paul Doktor, Norbert Brainin , Maurice Gendron, and Harvey Shapiro. She has published an article in the Journal of the American Viola Society detailing the importance of physical fitness in preparing for virtuosic modern works; her top push-up score is 134 in two minutes.

 “…delivered with considerable fire and flair…a compelling, vividly etched account of Bartok”- the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

“ easy elegance”  - L.A. Times

“…deeply touching”  - New York Times

an up-and-coming force from South Florida”  - Chamber Music America

“..offered a stunning performance of  Crumb’s Black Angels…the score’s complexities were brilliantly articulated; the troubling images behind the sounds compellingly covered”  - Sun-Sentinel

“the squeaky-clean, idiomatic account brought out an astonishing command of color, great rhythmic energy, and complex but impeccably clear counterpoint” – San Antonio Express-News

“Porfiris was gloriously eloquent with both the surging delirium and the chanting stasis in this sonata...”   “unerring sense of drama and intensely alert interaction held the capacity audience spellbound throughout…it was damn the torpedoes and shoot out  the lights, there’s no tomorrow” – Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

“haunting and picturesque….. sultry ….All four players were constantly in sync with each other, so the concert was like a gentle intrusion on a very intimate conversation.  Go if you get the chance!!”- Duluth News Tribune