Lawrence Wheeler
University of Houston - Moores School of Music
Lawrence  Wheeler
Lawrence Wheeler is an associate professor at the University of Houston Moores School of Music. He has served as Principal Violist of the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony, Co- Principal of the Minnesota Orchestra, and guest Principal with the Dallas Symphony, the Houston Symphony, and the Santa Monica Symphony. He has appeared as soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Icelandic National Symphony, Texas Chamber Orchestra, Hilton Head Chamber Orchestra, and the UNAM Philharmonic in Mexico City. In 2005, he gave the 2nd US performance of the Theofanidis Viola Concerto, with the composer conducting. In 2015, he gave the 2nd US performance of the Viola Sonata by Boris Pigovat. Familiar to Houston audiences through numerous solo, recital and chamber music appearances, Mr. Wheeler has given recitals in New York at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, in London at Wigmore Hall, at International Viola Congresses in Stuttgart, Houston, Los Angeles and Iceland, as well as recitals in Mexico City and throughout Texas. For several years he was violist of the Lyric Art String Quartet, whose compact-disc, Classical Hollywood, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1990. His chamber music performances have included concerts with the Tokyo, St. Lawrence, Pro Arte and Tallis String Quartets and the Mirecourt Trio. He has performed in recital with many eminent musicians such as Fredell Lack, Kenneth Goldsmith, Frank Huang, Emanuel Borok, Lynn Harrell, Desmond Hoebig, Lazslo Varga, Ruth Thomforde, Albert Hirsh, and Abbey Simon. His articles have appeared in Strings Magazine and The Strad Magazine. He has published a fully edited and realized edition of the Telemann Viola Concerto (the first of its kind in 300 years), the Mazas Etudes for Viola, a Suite for Viola and Piano by Alexander Tcherepnine, and his own Caprices for Solo Viola, Op. 1.
A graduate of the Juilliard School, he has taught at the Meadowmount School for Strings and the ENCORE School for Strings, where he worked with many of the gifted younger generation of string players, including Leila Josefowicz and Hilary Hahn. He has also taught and performed at the Musicorda Music Festival in Massachusetts, the Bowdoin Music Festival in Maine, and the Texas Music Festival in Houston. For 19 years he directed the Greater Houston Youth Orchestra, which he founded in 1990. An advocate of music education, he has sent more of his viola students to Texas All-State orchestras than any private teacher of any instrument, including sixteen Symphony, three Philharmonic, and two String Ensemble first-chair players. His YouTube videos of Texas All-State viola music, as well as various live performances, have been viewed 46,000 times. His former students have positions in the Houston Ballet and Opera Orchestras and the Pittsburgh Symphony; at Da Camera, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center; at the Berklee College of Music, Sam Houston State University, Ohio State University, Vanderbilt University and Harvard University; and several are teaching music in Houston area schools.
Mr. Wheeler performs on a viola made in 1741 by Carlo Antonio Testore in Milan, Italy.