Hailed by the New York Times as a "stylish player” for a concerto performance Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium, violist Sheila Browne is an accomplished international soloist, chamber musician and professor.
Honored to be named the William Primrose Memorial Recitalist of 2016, Ms. Browne has performed in major halls on six continents, including solo performances with the Juilliard Orchestra, Kiev Philharmonic, New World Symphony, in Carnegie Hall with the New York Women's Ensemble, South African International Viola, Congress Festival Orchestra, and the Viva Vivaldi!, Reina Sofia and German-French chamber orchestras, and with the Highland Mountain Correctional Center Women’s String Orchestra in Alaska. She was the only viola finalist in the 2004 International Pro Musicis Solo Awards at Carnegie Hall.
A proponent of new music, she has premiered a concerto written for her by Kenneth Jacobs at the international viola congresses in Australia and South Africa, which was recently released on CD, recorded with the Kiev Philharmonic. She has worked on solo and chamber works with living composers William Bolcom, Krystof Penderecki, Joan Tower, Judith Shatin, and Gabriella Lena Frank, among others.
She has performed with Shmuel Ashkenazy, Aretha Franklin, Miriam Fried, Matt Haimowitz, Gilbert Kalish, Paul Katz, David Krakauer, Anton Kuerti, Ruth Laredo, Joseph Robinson, Arnold Steinhardt, Richard Stolzman, and members of Guarneri, Vermeer, Brentano, Audubon and Calidore quartets, Diaz Trio, and has recorded with Fire Pink Trio, Audra MacDonald, Natalie Cole and Lisa Loeb, on Sony, Bridge, MSR, Albany, Centaur, and Rising with Carol Wincenc was chosen as Minnesota Public Radio’s CD of the Month.
A devoted and sought- after teacher and clinician, Ms. Browne has given masterclasses around the world, including at Seoul National, Luebeck Musik Hochschule, Leopold Mozart Academy, New England Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, Rice University, Lynn University, University of Michigan, Boston University, among many others. As the first viola professor ever to teach in Iraqi Kurdistan at the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq’s inaugural year, she is featured in a recent book about the group, UPBEAT. She is Director of the January Karen Tuttle workshops, and is also on faculty at the annual NYU Tuttle Workshops in New York City and in Prague, and at several other summer festivals.
Sheila's students have gone on to many of the major viola programs in the U.S., either with substantial or full scholarship. This list includes: The Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, Colburn, Manhattan School of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, Indiana University, Eastman School of Music, Peabody Conservatory, University of Michigan, Boston University. An avid chamber coach, she has had quartets advance in competitions such as Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and her students have won competitions such as Kauder.
Ms. Browne received a Naumburg scholarship and earned a Bachelor of Music degree at the Juilliard School, where she was Karen Tuttle's teaching assistant for four years. She was awarded a DAAD scholarship to study with soloist Kim Kashkashian, and was Karen Ritscher’s teaching assistant at Rice University while earning a Master’s degree in Paul Katz’s String Quartet program. She serves as viola professor at the University of Delaware, in conjunction with a residency as the violist in the Serafin String Quartet, and has served on the faculties of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, University of St Louis- Missouri, and New York, Duke and Tennessee universities. She has had both a viola and bow made for her, by Maarten Cornelissen and MacArthur Genius Grant winner Benoit Rolland, and also plays a Testore viola, on generous loan from Dr. William Stegeman.