Masumi Per Rostad
Professor of Practice (Viola, Pacifica Quartet)
East Studio Building, JS427
Masumi Per Rostad is professor of practice (viola) at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and a member of the Pacifica Quartet, the school’s quartet-in-residence.
The Grammy Award-winning Rostad has been described as an “electrifying, poetic and sensitive musician” with an “understated yet commanding presence” by critics and is in demand as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher as well as an active contributor to many online and print publications.
As a soloist, he has performed at several of today’s most prominent festivals, including the Marlboro Music School, Spoleto USA, Music@Menlo, and Music in the Vineyards as well as the Rockport and Skaneateles chamber music festivals. His guest violist collaborations include programs with the St. Lawrence, Ying, Pavel Haas, and Emerson quartets. He formerly toured and recorded as a member of the International Sejong Soloists and the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra. He can be heard on the Cedille Records, Naxos, Hyperion, Bridge, and Tzadik labels as well as on recordings produced by Windspell Productions and Musical Observations.
As a member of the Pacifica Quartet, which recently celebrated its twentieth anniversary, Rostad performs and tours extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Named the quartet-in-residence at the Jacobs School of Music in March 2012, the members serve as full-time faculty at the school. In 2009, the ensemble was awarded a Grammy for Best Chamber Music Performance as well as the coveted Cleveland Quartet Award. It was also named Musical America’s Ensemble of the Year in 2009.
In addition to a busy performing, touring, and teaching schedule with the Pacifica Quartet, he is an ardent advocate for the arts and often sought after as a contributing writer to such publications as The Huffington Post, The Guardian, and Strings and Gramophone magazines.
Passionate about breaking down barriers that prevent people from enjoying classical music, Rostad was the founder of DoCha, a chamber music festival in Champaign, Ill., that produces innovative events with an ardent focus on engaging new audiences through programming that is fun and inventive. DoCha-hosted events feature unique collaborations between members of the university and are multi-genre presentations, from classical chamber music to contemporary dance to the spoken word and much more. All programs are free of charge and take place at the beautiful former community opera house. Other activities of DoCha, include “in-reach” performances for elementary school students and master classes, competitions, and performance opportunities for local music students.
Japanese-Norwegian Rostad began his studies at the Third Street Music School Settlement in New York City at age three. In 2008, he was awarded the Rising Star Award by the school for his musical achievements.
He earned his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where he studied with legendary violist and pedagogue Karen Tuttle from the age of 17 and was made her teaching assistant just three years later, at the age of 20. At Juilliard, he was awarded the Lillian Fuchs Award for outstanding graduating violist. He also won The Juilliard School Concerto Competition and performed the world premiere of Michael White’s Viola Concerto in Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, with conductor James DePreist. He gave the New York premiere of Paul Schoenfield’s Viola Concerto with the Juilliard Symphony, to critical acclaim.
Rostad has served on the faculties of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, the University of Chicago, and Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music. He has given master classes at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Aspen Music Festival, Eastman School of Music, Bowdoin Festival, and San Francisco Conservatory, among many others.
Currently, he lives in Bloomington, Ind., with his concert pianist wife, Sonia, and their two cats, Thumper and Mingus. His Fratelli (Brothers) Amati viola was crafted in Cremona, Italy, in 1619.