Rosemary Nelis

Rosemary Nelis, viola (Brooklyn, NY), has performed as a chamber musician and soloist throughout the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. Her major performances include American premieres of works by composers Brett Dean, Hilda Paredes, Jörg Widmann, in addition to her Carnegie Hall solo debut at the New York City premiere of György Kurtág’s “…Concertante…” for solo violin, viola and orchestra. A champion of contemporary music, Rosemary has worked with composers including Missy Mazzoli, Andy Akiho, Kenji Bunch, Don Byron, James MacMillan, Yu-Hui Chang, and Joan Tower. During her time in the Cassatt Quartet, she collaborated with and performed works by composers Daniel S. Godfrey, Adolphus Hailstork, Shirish Korde, and Tania Leon. She began her studies at the Special Music School under the tutelage of Viktor Basis, and went on to receive both Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Bard College Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Steven Tenenbom and majored in Chinese Language and Literature. Rosemary was the proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship during her Masters studies at The Juilliard School, where she worked with Roger Tapping and Misha Amory. She also studied at the University of Glasgow, Qing Dao University, and Yale School of Music, working with violists Duncan Ferguson and Ettore Causa. She has spent summers performing chamber music at Yellow Barn, Bard Music Festival, Music@Menlo, and Kneisel Hall, and has served as faculty at the Kinhaven Music School and the Yellow Barn Young Artist Program. She is currently a Professor of Viola at the Special Music School, the Eisman Center at Queens College, and Montclair State University. Previous Yellow Barn musician (2019, 2021, 2023)