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Timothy Deighton



Timothy Deighton is Professor of Viola at Penn State University where he teaches viola, chamber music, viola literature, pedagogy, and orchestral excerpts classes, and directs the Penn State Viola Ensemble. A native of New Zealand, he received a bachelor of music and first class honours degree from Victoria University of Wellington, an artist diploma from the Hartt School of Music, and a doctor of musical arts degree in viola and violin from the University of Kansas.

A committed teacher, Deighton was recognized as the 2002 String Teacher of the Year by the Pennsylvania-Delaware String Teachers Association, and in 2009 he received the College Teaching Award from the College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State. His former students hold positions in professional orchestras and on the faculties of music schools in the United States and overseas. Recent teaching engagements include master classes throughout the United States and in Britain and South and Central America. His articles have appeared in such publications as Strings, the American String Teacher, Journal of the American Viola Society, the New York Violist, and the Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Viola Society. He is a board member of both the American Viola Society and the New York Viola Society. In 1999 he organized and directed “ViolaFest,” at Penn State, involving more than 200 violists from across North America and abroad. The Penn State Viola Ensemble, which he directs, has given numerous performances, including recent appearances on New York Viola Society Collegial Concerts where they presented four world premieres. Deighton has appeared at four International Viola Congresses as recitalist, chamber musician, and soloist with orchestra, and as master class presenter and panelist.

Having long held a fascination for new music, he has performed premieres of more than fifty new works for viola, many of which were commissioned by or written for him. His first solo CD, Viola Aotearoa, featuring music for viola by New Zealand composers, was released in 2002 on the Atoll label. His playing on this disc was described in The Strad as “brilliant and differentiated,” and the CD was one of the New Zealand Listener’s Top 10 classical recordings of 2002. As a member of the contemporary chamber music duo The Irrelevants, he and saxophonist Carrie Koffman have commissioned and premiered many new works. Their “excellent playing” of several new works was noted by The Strad in a recent New York recital. Their new CD entitled Dialogues is now available on itunes. The Chihara Trio, with Anthony Costa (clarinet) and Enrico Elisi (piano), performed its New York debut recital at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in March 2010, in which, according to the New York Concert Review, they gave “a splendid performance,” playing “each note with affection and devotion,” and “Deighton’s technical aplomb and precision…were very impressive.” Their recording of Paul Chihara’s Images will appear on the Albany label later this year.

Other recent chamber music collaborations include those with the American String Quartet, Quartet Accorda, and the New Zealand String Quartet, and with musicians outside the traditional classical field such as the traditional Mäori musical instrumentalist (Taongo Puoro) Richard Nunns. Many of Deighton’s solo and chamber music performances have been broadcast on U.S., European, and Australasian radio. He is a National Recording Artist for Radio New Zealand, and was a member of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Recent orchestral work includes concerts with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. He appears often in recital with his wife, pianist Ann Deighton. During the summers he serves on the faculty of the International Musical Arts Institute (IMAI) in Fryeburg, Maine. Other festivals at which he has recently appeared include Music at Penn’s Woods (PA), The Pierre Monteux Festival (ME), the Gold Coast Music Festival (CA), the Dublin International Symphonic Festival, Ireland, the Adam New Zealand Festival of Chamber Music, the ASM Festival, Panama, and Rencontres Musicales Internationales des Graves, France.

Commissioned (3)

Aequora tuta silent (all the sea was quiet)

for viola, alto saxophone and electronic effects, 6m


for soprano saxophone, viola (with effects) and audio, 8m

Pacific Rock

for solo viola, 5m

Recordings (1)