Symphony Irvine

Kate Hamilton, violist, has been described by critics as “hot viola playing, she uses her bow to draw out a rich stew of colors….. and has a sound like liquid gold” (Minnesota Public Radio, 2015). In demand as a soloist and chamber musician, she has recently been heard as soloist with the Wuhan Philharmonic Orchestra (China), Central Oregon Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of San Jose (Costa Rica), Cartago Symphony (Costa Rica), Vale Veneto Festival Orchestra (Brazil) and the Kansas City Civic Orchestra. Her recent solo recitals have been heard in Beijing, Paris, Italy, Costa Rica, Brazil and throughout the USA. Her 2011 recording of  Tedesco’s  Sarabande for Viola and Cello for Soundset Records received high praises from Fanfare Magazine.

Highlights of the 2016-17 season include guest principal viola of the Bodo Sinfonietta (Norway), master classes at the Boccherini Conservatory (Lucca, Italy), Sydney Conservatory of Music (Australia), Yong Cho Conservatory (Singapore) and solo recitals in New Zealand, Italy, France, Brazil, China and as an invited guest duo at the 43rd International Viola Congress in Cremona, Italy. In March, 2017 she will be a soloist with Symphony Irvine (CA).

A committed teacher, she has been Artist-in-Residence and violist of the Esterhazy String Quartet at the University of Missouri and Associate Professor of Viola at Illinois State University. From 2006-2008, she was guest lecturer at the University of Otago in New Zealand and Co-President of the String Teachers Association of New Zealand.

Active in charitable work, Ms. Hamilton has been a guest teacher at the Lugano String Project in Buenos Aires, Argentina. From 2001-2006, she was the recipient of a $40,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to fund a string program that offered low-cost lessons to young children in rural areas of central Illinois. As a result of this highly successful program, she was awarded the 2002 Faculty Research Award from Illinois State University.

Kate began playing the viola at eight years of age in the public schools of Buffalo, New York. She is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory and the Peabody Conservatory, and was a full scholarship student at the Aspen Festival of Music. She studied with Karen Tuttle and Jeffrey Irvine. She plays on a viola made specifically for her in 2000 by the internationally awarded luthier Hiroshi Iizuka, which is modeled after the viola d’amore of the Baroque period. For more information go to