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The Hartt School

Viola

When you study viola at The Hartt School, you will receive comprehensive musical training. 

About the Major

You will join a tight-knit community of artists who are perfecting their craft. Through personal attention and mentorship from Hartt’s accomplished faculty members, you will develop innovative ideas and career ready skills.

Admission and Audition Requirements

The Hartt School will not be hosting live auditions for 2021 applicants due to safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. All applicants will be required to submit a recorded audition.

Learn more about the undergraduate or graduate application process.

 

Undergraduate

  • Two contrasting movements of an unaccompanied work by J.S. Bach
  • One movement of a concerto or sonata, or a virtuoso piece
  • One étude or caprice

It is strongly recommended that at least one selection be performed from memory.

Please note: We have students who come to Hartt from across the United States and around the world. That is one of the things that makes a Hartt education so special. Some students are accepted and arrive having had extensive private study on their instruments. Others have had less experience (and perhaps less conventional training), but their natural abilities and great love of music allow them to make remarkable strides in a short period of time because of the expertise of our faculty.

Our requirements are sometimes quite specific to give applicants a sense of where they should be to enter a high-level conservatory environment. However, we encourage applicants to reach out to our faculty members to discuss audition repertoire. It may be that what you have prepared will suffice. Our primary goal is to identify potential, and if we feel that the potential is there, it is then our responsibility to provide each and every student with the tools to be successful.

If you would like to be in touch with a member of the faculty to discuss your audition repertoire, please write to harttadm@hartford.edu.

Master of Music & Graduate Professional Diploma

All MM or GPD string applicants must audition with piano accompaniment for at least one work. If you require an accompanist for your audition, you may bring your own or request a Hartt accompanist. There is a $50 fee for a Hartt accompanist, which includes the audition and one 30-minute rehearsal (on the day of the audition). If you require an accompanist, you must notify Hartt Admissions at least three (3) weeks prior to your audition. Be sure to include your name, contact information, degree program, instrument, warm-up and audition times, and repertoire that requires accompaniment. 

  • Two movements of unaccompanied Bach (minimum one from memory)
  • One movement of a concerto (or a showpiece) from memory
  • Another work or movement in a contrasting style
  • A selection of choice (this selection could be an additional movement from one of the first three selections, or a completely different piece)
One of the above selections must be written after 1918.

For the Master of Music in Music History- Performance Practice Emphasis, Three (3) pieces or movements of contrasting styles must be played, and applicants may bring their own pianist or audition without accompaniment. 

Prescreening Doctor of Musical Arts and Artist Diploma

PreScreening requirements for Doctor of Musical Arts & Artist Diploma Applicants

Confirmation of your audition date will follow a positive review of the preliminary audition recording.

DMA and AD applicants must submit with their completed application a preliminary recording electronically, (via Youtube, Dropbox etc.), on or before the application deadline. All recordings must contain music of contrasting styles and periods within a time frame of 20 to 30 minutes maximum and should contain the following:

  • One movement of a major concerto (to be performed from memory)
  • Two movements of unaccompanied Bach (to be performed from memory)
  • One additional piece, caprice, or a showpiece (to be performed from memory)
  • One movement of a sonata

One of the above selections must be classical and another must be a 20th or 21st-century work.

Doctor of Musical Arts & Artist Diploma

All DMA and AD candidates must audition with piano accompaniment where appropriate. If you require an accompanist for your audition, you may bring your own or request a Hartt accompanist. There is a $50 fee for a Hartt accompanist, which includes the audition and one 30-minute rehearsal (on the day of the audition). If you require an accompanist, you must notify Hartt Admissions at harttadm@hartford.edu at least three (3) weeks prior to your audition. Be sure to include your name, contact information, degree program, instrument, warm-up and audition times, and repertoire that requires accompaniment.
  • A complete concerto and two movements of unaccompanied Bach, or one movement of a concerto and a complete unaccompanied work by Bach (to be performed from memory)

  • An additional piece, caprice, or a showpiece (to be performed from memory)

  • Two contrasting movements of a sonata


Note: One of the above selections must be classical and another must be written after 1918

Our Faculty

Rita Porfiris

Rita Porfiris

Associate Professor of Viola

Rita Porfiris has performed in major concert halls and music festivals worldwide as a chamber musician, orchestral musician, and as a soloist. Rita’s transcriptions for the viola of both classical music staples and pop favorites have been enjoyed worldwide by audiences and performers. Gramophone Magazine called her transcription of Gliere’s Eight Pieces Op. 39, recorded on the Miller-Porfiris Duo’s second CD “Eight Pieces,” "satisfying" and "sung with beautiful warmth."

Melinda Daetsch

Melinda Daetsch

Suzuki & Traditional Violin and Viola; Coordinator: Chamber Music Strings; Music Skills Specialist: Viola

An avid performer, Daetsch has performed at numerous festivals such as the Yehudi Menuhin International Festival (Switz), Assisi Performing Arts (Italy), The Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada), the Rutger's SummerFest, the Strawberry Creek Festival (California), and the Luzerne Music Center (NY). She serves as the Principal violist for the Music at Penn's Woods Festival at Penn State University where she has also been the Penns Woods chamber music series coordinator.

Steve Larson

Steve Larson

Senior Artist Teacher of Viola

Violist Steve Larson has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the Americas, Europe, Japan, and China. He has taught at The Hartt School of the University of Hartford since 1998 and has served both as Chair for Strings and Chair of Chamber Music. He is Principal Viola of the Wintergreen Festival Orchestra and Chair of Viola Studies for the intensive string chamber music program at the Wintergreen Summer Music Academy in Virginia.

The faculty here at Hartt is what initially drew me to the program - their guidance and unwavering passion to teach.

Eugenio Figueroa, DMA in Viola Performance

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