“He makes the viola sing …” Peter Minkler, also praised by the Baltimore Sun for possessing “a darkly beautiful sound as he limned the score with clarity and communicative warmth”, has been a member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra since 1984. He also serves as Principal Viola of the Baltimore Choral Arts Society Orchestra, a position he has held since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Baltimore, he served as Associate Principal with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
Mr. Minkler began his undergraduate instruction with Robert Vernon at the Cleveland Institute of Music and earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Francis Tursi. He also participated in master classes at the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada with Lillian Fuchs, Donald McInnes and William Primrose.
He has appeared as soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, The Columbia (MD) Orchestra, Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Buffalo Philharmonic, Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra and was the featured artist at the Finger Lakes Bach Festival in Ithaca, NY.
An avid and diverse chamber musician as well as recitalist, Mr. Minkler regularly performs throughout the Baltimore area and has been a frequent guest on a variety of series including An die Musik LIVE!, Music in the Great Hall, Sundays at Central Concert Series, Sundays at Three Chamber Music Series, Chamber Music by Candlelight, a series which he co-founded at the Second Presbyterian Church, the University of Maryland and Chamber Music UB: The BSO Musicians Series, a series he coordinated and developed in conjunction with the University of Baltimore and the musicians of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He has collaborated with numerous artists including violinists Pinchas Zukerman and Stephan Jackiw, cellist Ralph Kirschbaum, flutist Toshiko Kohno, harpists Rita Costanzi and Elizabeth Hainen, percussionist David DePeters and pianists Jonathan Biss, Lura Johnson and Max Levinson.
He has actively served on both the Players’ Committee and the Artistic Advisory Committee for the musicians of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Minkler was selected by the Maryland State Arts Council to receive a FY 2008 Individual Artist Award in Solo Instrumental Performance. This grant, awarded by jury selection every two years, is based upon artistic excellence.
Recently released by Centaur Records, Mr. Minkler’s first solo CD, Viola Seul: Works for unaccompanied viola, has received critical acclaim and affirms his artistry and command of the instrument. “Minkler’s playing is…thoroughly musical, insightful, witty, and highly nuanced…this album is likely to please anyone interested in solo string works or just solid, unpretentious, musical artistry” allmusic. “Minkler has a very secure technique, pure intonation, and a warm, dark, large tone” American Record Guide. The Baltimore Sun writes, “the performance level (is) consistently high…the CD makes a powerful statement about Minkler’s gifts, and the communicative power of the sole viola.”
Mr. Minkler is currently collaborating with pianist Lura Johnson on a new recording project featuring works by Britten, Pärt, Rochberg and Shostakovich.