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Katherine Murdock

Katherine Murdock Profile Photo

Professor, Viola

(301) 405-1242

3119 The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
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Research Expertise

Chamber Music

Violist Katherine Murdock has performed as soloist and chamber musician in the musical capitals of the U.S., Europe, Canada, New Zealand and South America. A frequent guest at music festivals throughout the world, she has appeared at the Edinburgh, Salzburg, Spoleto and Gulbenkian festivals, the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove in Cornwall and in the U.S. at Ravinia, Saratoga, Wolftrap, Mostly Mozart, Tanglewood, Aspen and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. A past participant at the Marlboro Music Festival, she has toured with Music from Marlboro, and was invited to perform on the Marlboro Fortieth Anniversary Concerts in Philadelphia and New York’s Carnegie Hall. She has appeared on the Great Performers Series at Lincoln Center as a guest of the Beaux Arts Trio.

Born in Burlington, Vermont, to music loving parents, Murdock moved with her family to Toronto at the age of ten. A recipient of two Canada Council Arts Awards, she received her musical training at Oberlin and Boston University, and pursued graduate studies at Yale School of Music. She studied viola with Karen Tuttle and Joseph Silverstein, and for two summers she attended the Banff School of Fine Arts to study with the late William Primrose. She has studied chamber music with such teachers as Felix Galimir, Mischa Schneider, Sandor Vegh and Eugene Lehner.

From 1988 to 1994, Murdock was a member of the Mendelssohn String Quartet. With this group she toured internationally and premiered many new works for string quartet, including works of Augusta Read Thomas, Bruce Adolphe, Tobias Picker, Bernard Rands, Tina Davidson and Ned Rorem. She has also been a member of the Boston Chamber Music Society, the Cambridge Chamber Players and the N.Y. Philomusica. She has toured New Zealand as a guest of the New Zealand String Quartet. In concert she has collaborated with the Vermeer, Emerson and Guarneri string quartets, members of the Juilliard and Cleveland quartets and has performed with such artists as pianists Peter Serkin, Leon Fleischer, Claude Frank and Menahem Pressler, violinists Salvatore Accardo and Jaime Laredo, cellist Janos Starker and flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal.

Active in the field of contemporary music, she was a member for ten years of the contemporary chamber ensemble Boston Musica Viva, with whom she recorded and performed internationally. She has recently premiered several pieces written for her, including a work for viola and piano by Nathaniel Tull Phillips; her trio Polaris with her husband oboist Mark Hill has trios for viola, oboe and piano by Steven Burke and Dana Wilson.

As a member of the Mendelssohn Quartet, Murdock served as artist-in-residence at Harvard University and the University of Delaware. She has previously been on the faculties of Wellesley College, the Boston Conservatory, the Hartt School of Music and for eight years at Stony Brook. In the summer she is a member of the artist faculty the Yellow Barn and Kneisel Hall chamber music festivals, and is on the faculty and co-director of the Chamber Music Program at the National Orchestral Institute. She served on the juries of the Juilliard Concerto Competition, the Peabody “Concours” and the Banff International String Quartet Competition.

Murdock’s extensive orchestral experience includes performances, tours and recordings with the Boston Symphony, the National Symphony and the New York Philharmonic; for ten years she toured and recorded with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

Murdock has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, Columbia, Delos, CRI, Nonesuch and John Marks Records; her discography includes a newly released Dorian DVD of Schoenberg’s Verklarte Nacht. She has been broadcast live and in recordings on NPR, West German Radio, the NBC "Today Show" and the BBC Radio and TV. Murdock currently performs and records as a member of the Los Angeles Piano Quartet, and is a member of the Left Bank Quartet and the Left Bank Concert Society of Washington, D.C.


Chris Gekker Wins Award for "Moon Marked" CD

Chris Gekker's (trumpet) CD, Moon Marked (Divine Art Recordings), took second place at the American Prize competition.

School of Music

Lead: Chris Gekker
Contributor(s): Mark Hill, Katherine Murdock, Rita Sloan

Chris Gekker (trumpet) was awarded second place in the solo instrumentalist category by The American Prize for 2021 for his CD, “Moon Marked” (2020, Divine Art Recordings). This project featured faculty members Mark Hill (oboe), Katherine Murdock (viola) and Rita Sloan (piano) as well as Gekker's children and alumni Lianna Gekker ’15 (B.M. jazz piano) and Jason Gekker ’20 (M.M. double bass). The album includes compositions by Richard Auldon Clark, Alistair Coleman, Carson Cooman, Eric Ewazen, Lance Hulme and Franklin Kiermyer.