Violin and viola lessons on Oahu
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Ethan Pernela
Violinist and Violist

Teaching all ages

Suzuki and Traditional Methods
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Ethan Pernela

Violin and Viola Instructor

                                               Ethan Pernela- Principal Viola - Verbier Festival Orchestra - Charles Dutoit conducting




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Ethan Pernela, of Corvallis Oregon, finished his Graduate Diploma in Viola Performance with Martha Strongin Katz at the New England Conservatory of Music in 2005. He received his Bachelors Degree in 2002 under the tutelage of James Dunham and finished his Master’s Degree in 2004 with honors in Academics, Orchestra and Chamber Music at NEC.

In 2007, after being invited to perform as a Fellow with the New World Symphony, he won a section viola position in the Honolulu Symphony under the baton of Andreas Delfs.  As an active chamber musician Mr. Pernela is a member of the Chamber Music Hawaii. playing viola in the Galliard String Quartet.  He also performs with, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, Early Music Hawaii and Atherton Studio Chamber Music Series, among others. 

As an active teacher for young students in Hawaii, Mr. Pernela teaches Violin and Viola at Iolani School, giving private violin and viola lessons, orchestra sectionals and is a coach for the String Quartet program.  Mr. Pernela has over 25 violin and viola students from Moanalua, Waldorf, Punahou, Iolani, and the U.H. Lab School, among others. He also participated in the Honolulu Youth Symphony String Quartet Program in 2008 - 09.  For higher education Mr. Pernela is professor of viola at the Brigham Young University since 2007. At the New England Conservatory of Music he was James Dunham’s teaching assistant in 2001.

Mr. Pernela has been invited to play with such orchestras as Saint Louis Symphony,World Symphony Orchestra - Korea,  New World Symphony and Portland Symphony, among others. As an active chamber musician, Mr. Pernela performs year round with Chamber Music Hawaii and has participated in the New England Conservatory Honors Ensembles program under the guidance of Eric Rosenblith , and has collaborated with such artists as Donald Weilerstein, Jon Kimura Parker, Helen Huang, Parry Karp, Joyce Yang, Chee-Yun, Katherine Murdock, Natasha Brofsky, Borromeo String Quartet and Mark Hill, among others. He received the opportunity to participate in master classes with Robert Mann, Roger Tapping, Karen Tuttle, Donald Weilerstein, Joel Krosnick, Ronald Copes, Emerson String Quartet and Raphael Hillyer.

Mr. Pernela was invited to play in the World Symphony Orchestra which toured South Korea in 2008. As a member of the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra, Mr. Pernela  went on tour to Japan, Taiwan and Singapore in 2007.  Mr. Pernela was also Principal Violist of the Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland which had a USA/European tour in 2006. Other summer festivals include the TAOS School of Music, Yellow Barn, Kneisel Hall, Aspen Music Festival and School, Musicorda and Interlochen Center for the Arts.

In his spare time, Ethan enjoys wheel throwing at the Honolulu Art Academy and spending time with his wife, cellist, Joanna Morrison-Pernela and their three dogs, Mochi, Olu, and Riley.


Music Teachers

Martha Strongin Katz was a founding member of the internationally acclaimed Cleveland Quartet, performing over 1,000 concerts, including appearances at the White House, on television’s Grammy Awards (the first classical musicians ever to appear on that show,) on NBC’s “Today” show, and in the major concert halls of Europe, North and South America, and Asia. The Cleveland Quartet, recording for RCA Red Seal, received six Grammy nominations and Best of the Year awards from Time and Stereo Review magazines. The Schubert “Trout” Quintet recorded on the Philips label with pianist Alfred Brendel became the all time best selling chamber recording in Japan. Other distinguished guest artists with whom she and the Cleveland Quartet performed and recorded during these years include Emanuel Ax, Itzhak Perlman, Richard Stoltzman, Pinchas Zukerman, Bernard Greenhouse and the Barry Tuckwell Wind Quintet.

A noted soloist, Professor Katz appearanced in the major cities of the United States and Europe include a Carnegie Hall performance of Berlioz’s “Harold in Italy”, the Bartok Concerto with Geneva’s L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and countless recital and concerto appearances. Ms. Strongin Katz studied violin with Raphael Bronstein and Ivan Galamian and viola with Lillian Fuchs and William Primrose. Winner of the 1969 Geneva International Viola Competition, she received at the same time the Max Reger Award.

Martha Katz is currently Professor of Viola and Chamber Music at the New England Conservatory and New York University. Previously, she was Professor of Viola at the Shepherd School of Music of Rice University (1996-2000) and taught for twenty years (1976-1996) at the Eastman School of Music. In addition to many summers spent performing and teaching at the Aspen Music Festival, she has also played and taught at The Banff Center for! The Arts, the Interlochen Arts Academy, Kneisel Hall in Bluehill Maine, the Marlboro Festival (and several Music from Marlboro tours), Musicorda, the Perlman Program, the Steans Institute for Young Artists at the Ravinia Festival, the Santa Fe Chamber Festival and the Yale Summer School of Chamber Music.

Ms. Strongin Katz has served on numerous international juries, the most recent being the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Naumberg Viola Competition.

Martha Strongin Katz plays a viola made by Lorenzo Storioni of Cremona in 1800.


photoJames Dunham is an internationally known soloist, chamber musician and teacher. Formerly violist of the Grammy Award winning Cleveland Quartet, he has collaborated with such renowned artists as Emmanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Richard Goode, Lynne Harrell, Cho-Liang Lin, Sabine Meyer, Bernard Greenhouse and members of the American, Guarneri, Juilliard, Takacs and Tokyo Quartets. He has also worked with such composers as Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter, Paul Chihara, John Corigliano, Osvaldo Golijov, Libby Larsen, Stephen Paulus, Mel Powell, Bernard Rands, Christopher Rouse, Gunther Schuller and Joan Tower. Ms. Larsen has written a sonata for Mr. Dunham (2001) which he premiered at the Aspen Music Festival in July 2001 and has recorded for an upcoming Naxos CD release.

Mr. Dunham is a frequent guest artist with groups such as Houston Friends of Music, Da Camera of Houston, Musicians from Marlboro, the Boston Chamber Music Society and the Borromeo, Cassatt, Cavani, Colorado, Fine Arts, Mendelssohn, Miami, Pacifica and Ying Quartets. In addition to his chamber music activities, Mr. Dunham has given concerto and recital performances throughout the U.S. and served as guest principal viola with the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa and the Dallas Symphony under Andrew Litton in their home cities as well as at Carnegie Hall.

Currently Professor of Viola and Chamber Music at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, he directs their Advanced Quartet Studies Program. Mr. Dunham formerly taught at the New England Conservatory where he also Chaired the String Department. A devoted teacher, he frequently presents viola and chamber music master classes at leading schools and universities including Tokyo’s Toho School, Freiburg’s Hochschule für Musik, Beijing’s Central Conservatory, Boston and Northwestern Universities, USC, UCLA and the Royal Conservatory in Toronto.

Mr. Dunham was violist of the renowned Cleveland Quartet from 1987 through its final recordings and concerts in December 1995. The Quartet won the 1996 Grammy for “Best Chamber Music Performance” for their Telarc recording of John Corigliano’s String Quartet, written for their final tour. As a member of the Cleveland Quartet he also served as Professor of Viola at the prestigious Eastman School of Music. An Honors graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy, Mr. Dunham studied liberal arts at Carleton College before receiving his Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts degrees from California Institute of the Arts. While at Cal-Arts, he was a founding member of the Sequoia Quartet, winners of the 1978 Naumburg International Chamber Music Award, and in 1991 he received the Cal-Arts Music School’s first Distinguished Alumni Award.

Mr. Dunham is much sought after as a jurist for events such as the Fischoff, Coleman and William Primrose Competitions, and has also been a featured soloist at the International Viola Congress. His summer activities include teaching and performing at many festivals, including those of Marlboro, Domaine Forget, Aspen, Sarasota, Amelia Island (FL), Yale at Norfolk and Musicorda. He served as principal violist of the San Diego Mainly Mozart Festival for ten seasons, and is a regular participant in the Festival der Zukunft in Ernen, Switzerland. He is featured on an album of recent music for viola and winds on the Crystal Records label, and has recorded with the Sequoia Quartet for Nonesuch and Delos, and with the Cleveland Quartet exclusively for Telarc


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