Catharina Meints


The high point of my trip to Hawaii was not my solo performance, but my meeting with Catharina Meints. Currently the professor of viol in Oberlin Conservatory, she is probably one of the most established violists, having studied with August Wenzinger in Basel. Here is some information from the Oberlin website:

Education:
B.M., Performers Certificate 1996, Eastman School of Music, cello study with Ronald Leonard; Viola da gamba study with August Wenzinger, Basel, Switzerland, 1968-71.

Professional Affiliations:
Cellist, Rochester Philharmonic, 1964-66; assistant principal cellist, Chamber Symphony of Philadelphia, 1966-68, National Symphony, 1968-71, Cleveland Orchestra, since 1971.

Performances:
Performances on viola de gamba and baroque cello throughout the U.S. as member of the Oberlin Baroque Ensemble, Cleveland Baroque Soloists, and Oberlin Consort of Viols since 1971; Solo recitals at Carnegie Recital Hall and Smithsonian Institution, solo appearances with Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Apollo's Fire and Lyra.

Teaching Background:
Faculty member, Oberlin Conservatory since 1975; Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute since 1971; Clevland Institute of Music since 1990. Master classes in Italy, Austria, and the U.S.

Recordings:
Solo and chamber music recordings for Cambridge, Vox, Gasparo, Dorian, and Nonesuch.


Here we are pictured with her 1680s Joachim Tielke viol, after her Bach sonatas recital with harpsichordist Web Wiggins. I took this opportunity to have some lessons with her and to participate in her masterclass. In retrospect, I think that was somewhat unorthodox, as none of the other younger professional players did the same. The masterclass was really meant for students or amateur players. However, I knew I was not going to pass up on this opportunity to play for one of the teachers of my first viol teacher! After the conference in Hawaii, Catherina invited me to Oberlin for its next Baroque Performance Institute in 2008. I do not know if I will have the funds to fly (40+ hour flight from Perth!), but I'm dreaming about it already.

P.S. That's Liam Byrne in black with a gold belt!