Title/Position: Professor, Viola, Instrumental PerformanceProfile:
What would you say are the outstanding highlights of your professional life?
1. Having the support of many people who believed in me.
2. Winning a position in the National Symphony Orchestra seven years after switching from double bass to viola.
3. Performing a tour literally around the world with the Rowe String Quartet
4. Feeling comfortable performing string quartets on the stages of Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, and Carrnegie Hall.
5. Winning a Peabody Award for a Television film,“The Rowe Quartet Plays on your Imagination.”
6. Performing the Mozart ‘Sinfonia Concertante’ with the Buffalo Philharmonic for an audience of thousands. Ansgar Aylward was the violinist, and Christopher Keene conducted.
7. Playing with the finest musicians I’ve ever known, the members of the Bergonzi String Quartet since 1992!
8. Recording my arrangements of ‘Peter and the Wolf’ and ‘Carnival of the Animals’ for the Bergonzi Quartet.
Why did you choose music as your career?
There was never any doubt that I would be a musician. I have recordings of me singing when I was three years old. If someone else sang with me, I harmonized. I have always loved being with musicians, who were sensitive, intelligent, and creative. I love making music with people, and harmonizing. Perhaps that’s why I am a violist!
Why should a potential student choose the University of Miami?
There’s not another school of music that combines dedicated, accomplished faculty with wide reaching, innovative degree offerings, great facility, and a supportive community.
How were you influenced by your teachers?
The teachers that most influenced me were other musicians. I learned from everyone, no matter what instrument was played. I listened and watched. I’m still learning in the same manner. I also learn from my students!
What do you expect from students at the Frost School of Music?
Learn the way I do. Be open constantly. Never consider yourself a completed project.
Pamela McConnell (viola) is professor of instrumental performance at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where she is also coordinator of string chamber music and artistic director of the Frost Chamber Players. McConnell is highly regarded as a concert violist, adjudicator and master teacher. Her recent string quartet arrangements of the beloved orchestral works, Saint Seans’ Carnival of the Animals, and Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf are highly popular in concert. She has performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout the world and at such prestigious venues as the Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, and the Gardner Museum of Boston. She was previously on the faculties of University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and State University of New York at Buffalo, where, as a member of the Rowe Quartet, she shared a Peabody Award. McConnell is the founding violist in the Bergonzi String Quartet, the quartet in residence at the Frost School of Music, as well as the Pine Mountain Music Festival in Upper Peninsula Michigan, Music Mountain Chamber Music Festival in Connecticut, and Rocky Mountain Music Conservatory in Colorado. She has also been a resident faculty performer at Sewanee Summer Music Center in Tennessee and Bowdoin Music Festival in Maine. She is founder and director of The University of Miami String Academy, a preparatory program. Pamela McConnell received a B.M. degree from Northwestern University and an M.M. degree from the University of Texas at Austin, studying with such luminaries as Walter Trampler, Leonard Shure, George Neikrug, and Andor Toth.