Helen Callus, viola
Hailed as “one of the world’s greatest violists” (American Record Guide), and “one of the foremost violists of her generation” (Fanfare magazine), Helen Callus continues to captivate audiences with her lyrical tone, technical command, and profound artistry. Sought after as a recitalist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist, Ms. Callus has performed with such world-class ensembles as the Tokyo, Juilliard, Dover and Fine Arts String Quartets and the New Zealand and BBC Concert Orchestras.
While maintaining an international concert calendar, Ms. Callus’s career also includes distinguished work as an award-winning recording artist. Her 2002 debut recording, “Portrait of the Viola,” was met with high critical acclaim, with the American Record Guide noting, “Only really great artistry can hold a listener in thrall like that, and that is the artistry of Helen Callus.” She has since made recordings of works of Walton, Prokofiev, Vaughn Williams, J.S. Bach, Gordon Jacob, Giya Kancheli, and more. Gramophone gave the Walton disc its highest recommendation, and observed, “Helen Callus plays with a sumptuous tone matched by flawless intonation to give the most beautiful account I have ever heard of the Walton Concerto.” The recording was named Orchestral Disc of the Month by Britain’s Classic FM Magazine, and “the most beautiful Walton on disc” by the 2006 Penguin Guide to Compact Discs. This award winning disc will be re-issued on the Naxos label in 2018.
In live performances, Ms. Callus has delighted audiences around the world, including those of Russia, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and is much in demand at international chamber music festivals such as the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, the Palaces of St. Petersburg Chamber Music Festival (Russia), and the Dilijan Chamber Music Series in Los Angeles.
Ms. Callus can be heard regularly on American Public Media’s Performance Today, in interviews on National Public Radio and Public Radio International, and has performed as soloist on American Public Media’s Saint Paul Sunday.
Ms. Callus currently holds the appointment of Professor of Viola at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University. In high demand across the country as a visiting professor, she has taught over 100 master classes around the world at such prominent institutions as the Royal Academy of Music in London and The Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen, and given residencies at many of nation’s leading schools of music, including The Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, Rice School of Music, Indiana University and Oberlin Conservatory of Music. She has served as adjudicator at the Coleman Chamber Ensemble Festival and the American String Teachers Association to name a few and was Chair of the jury for the Primrose International Viola Competition. In 2005 Ms. Callus was invited as the guest of honor for the Australia’s “Year of the Viola” Festival. Ms. Callus served as the first female President of the American Viola Society.
Born in Orpington, Kent, Ms. Callus graduated from London’s Royal Academy of Music, and was bestowed an Honorary ARAM (Associate of the RAM) and FRAM (Fellow) for her achievements in the field. She continued her graduate studies at the Peabody Conservatory in Maryland.
Ms. Callus plays on a viola made for her by Gabrielle Kundert which is a copy of the ex-Primrose Amati.
For more information please visit www.helencallus.com.