Timothy Deighton, viola

Timothy Deighton is professor of viola at Penn State, where he teaches viola, chamber music, viola literature and pedagogy, orchestral excerpts classes, and directs the Penn State Viola Ensemble.

A committed teacher, Deighton has received several teaching awards, including the Pennsylvania-Delaware String Teachers Association’s String Teacher of the Year, the Outstanding Teaching Award from the College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State, and the American Viola Society’s Maurice W. Riley Award. Recent teaching engagements include master classes throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and in South and Central America. His former students hold positions in professional orchestras and on the faculties of music schools in the United States and overseas.

Deighton enjoys a wide variety of performance opportunities. He has performed for many years with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and has recently enjoyed working with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.  In 2019, he joined the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra as guest principal violist. He presented the William Primrose Memorial Recital in 2014, and has appeared at four International Viola Congresses as recitalist, chamber musician, and soloist with orchestra, and as master class presenter and panelist. Chamber music collaborations include those with the American String Quartet, and the New Zealand String Quartet, the Boston-based chamber orchestra A Far Cry, and with musicians outside the traditional classical field such as the Mäori (Taongo Puoro) instrumentalist Richard Nunns. Many of Deighton’s solo and chamber music performances have been broadcast on U.S., European, and Australasian radio.

Having long held a fascination for new music, he has performed premieres of more than fifty new works for viola, most of which were commissioned by or written for him. His solo CD, Viola Aotearoa, featuring music for viola by New Zealand composers, was released in 2002 on the Atoll label. His playing on this disc was described in The Strad as “brilliant and differentiated.” As a member of the contemporary music duo The Irrelevants, he and saxophonist Carrie Koffman commissioned, premiered, and recorded many new works, some of which are featured on their CD, entitled Dialogues.

He has been associated with numerous music festivals, including most recently, the Halcyon Chamber Music Festival in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and the Festival Internacional SESC de Música (Brazil); and the International Musical Arts Institute in Fryeburg, Maine, which he served for a time as artistic director.