Brad Ottesen, President of the Utah Viola Society


Bradley Ottesen, a performer of “warmly rich, opulent tone” (Washington Post) is the violist of the internationally acclaimed Fry Street Quartet, the quartet-in-residence at Utah State University, where Mr. Ottesen is an Associate Professor of Professional Practice.

Brad began his studies at the renowned Preucil School of Music in Iowa City, IA. His first teacher was William Preucil, Sr, the longtime violist of the Stradivari Quartet, the pioneering quartet-in-residence at the University of Iowa. The experience of being part of a strong community music program would greatly influence the way he sees the role of music in the world, and hearing the masterful sound of a quartet violist from an early age made chamber music a fundamental part of his musical DNA.

Brad went on to earn degrees from Northwestern University and the New England Conservatory, his principal teachers including Peter Slowik and James Dunham (another quartet violist!). He is grateful to have received further guidance from musicians such as cellist Bernard Greenhouse, violinist Eric Rosenblith, and members of the Juilliard, Muir, and Cleveland string quartets.

Initially setting out on an orchestral career, Mr. Ottesen served four seasons as Assistant Principal Viola with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. His early orchestral career included formative experiences with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, New World Symphony, and the Tanglewood Music Center, working extensively under the batons of the great conductors Pierre Boulez, Seiji Ozawa, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Daniel Barenboim.

As the current President of the Utah Viola Society, Mr. Ottesen has worked to organize vibrant and inclusive events for the entire viola community. He has been on the viola and chamber music faculty of many festivals, including Madeleine Island Chamber Music Festival, Credo Chamber Music Festival, and the Officina de Musica in Curitiba, Brazil. He has given masterclasses at Brigham Young University, the University of Iowa, and Oberlin Conservatory, and in 2015 he was invited to give a masterclass at the American String Teachers Association’s national convention.

Brad greatly enjoys the process of working with contemporary luthiers, and performs on violas commissioned from Peter and Wendy Moes of Peissenberg, Germany, and Hiroshi Iizuka of Philadelphia, USA.

Brad has a strong love for nature and the outdoors, and he lives in Logan, Utah with his wife Denise and their many animals – including a Desert Tortoise named Rose, a protected species adopted through the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

Brad Ottesen, President

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