Steven Ansell © Tom Kates
The American violist Steven Ansell, who was born in 1954 in Seattle, Washington, studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia with Michael Tree and Karen Tuttle. He began his career at the age of 21 as a viola teacher at the University of Hous-ton; two years later he was engaged as Assistant Principal Violist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and in 1996 he was appointed First Principal Violist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He often performs as a soloist in concerts by the Boston Symphony, for example in such works as Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante, Max Bruch’s Concerto for Viola, Clarinet, and Orchestra, Strauss’s Don Quixote, and Berlioz’s Harold en Italie. His podium partners have been such conductors as André Previn, Seiji Ozawa, Mstislav Rostropovich, James Levine, and Emmanuel Krivine. He gave the world premiere of Ezra Laderman’s Concerto for Viola and Orchestra with the Berkshire Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician Ansell has performed in the series “In Performance at the White House” and has been a guest at the Tanglewood, Marlboro, Schleswig-Holstein, Newport, Blossom, Spoleto, and Snowbird Festivals. He is a founding member of the Muir String Quartet and also belongs to the Boston Symphony Chamber Players. His recordings have received the Grand Prix du Disque twice, and he has garnered the Gramophone Award for Best Chamber Music Recording of the Year. In addition to his artistic work, Steven Ansell is an educator and teaches at the Boston University College of Fine Arts. As an editor he is responsible for score editions for Ovation Press in Chicago, which specializes in online editions of works of the string repertoire.