Music Director Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra announced today that violist Sabina Thatcher has won the position of associate principal viola.
Thatcher served as the principal violist of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra from 1989 until 2012. She begins her new position in September at the start of the Minnesota Orchestra’s 2019-20 season.
With her appointment to the Orchestra, she takes over a leadership role that has been held by Co-Principal Viola Richard Marshall since 1984. Marshall has made a decision to move from his titled chair into the core of the viola section.
Profile: Sabina Thatcher
Sabina Thatcher began her tenure as principal viola of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in 1989 and held that role until 2012. She was a soloist with that ensemble on numerous occasions, performing a wide variety of repertoire including Penderecki’s Viola Concerto, Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante, Hindemith’s Kammermusik and John Harbison’s Viola Concerto. She was also a member of the Rosalyra String Quartet, which gave its New York debut in 1996, and with which she recorded works by Bartók, Beethoven, Shostakovich and Brahms. She has also recorded both the Fauré Piano Quartets and the Brahms A-major Piano Quartet.
Thatcher was an artist-faculty member at the Aspen Music Festival and School from 1998 to 2016, and she has been a distinguished artist and teacher at the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University. She was a finalist in the Naumberg International Viola Competition and has performed solo recitals locally and nationally. Before coming to Minnesota, she graduated from the Eastman School of Music with a performer’s certificate and distinction, then studied at the Juilliard School with Lillian Fuchs. During that time, she toured with the Brandenburg Ensemble under the direction of Alexander Schneider and was a prizewinner in the Hudson Valley Competition. She currently teaches at Macalester College and is an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota.