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Violist Daphne Gerling was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and began her musical studies in Boston, MA at the age of four. A graduate of the Walnut Hill School and New England Conservatory, she went on to earn degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Jeffrey Irvine and Lynne Ramsey.
Her performances have taken her to leading venues in the U.S., Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Italy, Austria, England, and the Netherlands, and to the Aspen, Bowdoin, Bad Leonfelden, Ciaccona, Encore, NYU, Norfolk (UK), Sarasota, and Staunton (VA) music festivals. She is a former faculty member of the preparatory departments at Oberlin and CIM, and has also taught at the Cleveland Music School Settlement. From 2001 to 2004 she taught in the Shepherd School of Music’s Michael P. Hammond Preparatory Division, where she was a Brown Foundation fellow in viola and early childhood music. Concurrently, she held a joint appointment as principal violist of the Houston Chamber Orchestra and String Quartet. As a founding member of the Archiano Ensemble and the Rice Chamber Players, she performed in Baltimore and Brazil to critical acclaim.
From 2005 to 2007 Daphne was a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Music in England, where she undertook the research for her doctoral dissertation entitled “Connecting Histories: Identity and Exoticism in Ernest Bloch, Rebecca Clarke and Paul Hindemith’s Viola Works of 1919.” She was awarded the title of Doctor of Musical Arts from Rice University in May 2007, as a student of and departmental teaching assistant to violists Karen Ritscher and James Dunham. During her time in the United Kingdom she was also active as a recitalist, was the violist for the Anglian Ensemble, and was a sought-after teacher in Cambridgeshire. While living in Europe, she also studied with Thomas Riebl and Simon Rowland-Jones.
Dr. Gerling’s students have achieved ‘distinction’ (the highest mark awarded) in the examinations of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, UK, and have won principal chairs in the Texas All-State Senior Orchestra and Houston Youth Symphony. They have been accepted to music programs at Oberlin, CIM, the Juilliard School, the University of Texas at Austin and Princeton University, among others. Daphne is an active member of the American Viola Society, having served as a board member for the Virginia Chapter, and the American String Teachers’ Association. She is a past member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, serving as chair for teacher development in the Houston Area Suzuki Strings Association.
After returning to the United States early in 2008, Dr. Gerling taught and performed in Virginia, appearing regularly with the Richmond Symphony, notably at the Kennedy Center. Recently she has been a guest clinician and recitalist at James Madison University, Illinois State University, Florida State University, University of Tennessee, Middle Tennessee State University, University of Virginia, Texas Tech University, University of South Carolina, Sewanee, and the University of Iowa. As viola and chamber music faculty of the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts, she has appeared twice on National Public Radio. She also serves on the faculty of the Raphael Trio Chamber Music Workshop in New Hampshire, has been on staff at the Heifetz International Music Institute and on the summer faculty at Rice University. In Brazil she has also recently taught and performed at the Festival de Cordas Nathan Schwartzman in Uberlândia, National University of Brasília, the Federal University of Minas Gerais (Belo Horizonte), the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Uni-Rio), and the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Porto Alegre).
From August 2008 to May 2010 she held a Lectureship in Viola at Valdosta State University’s music department where she was also Director and Master teacher of the South Georgia String Project, violist of the Azalea String Quartet, and principal violist of the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra. She returned in November 2010 as viola soloist with the Valdosta Symphony in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante. Dr. Gerling spent the 2010-11 season residing in Amsterdam and Cologne where she pursued studies in baroque performance practice and appeared in the Internationale Handel Festspiele Karlsruhe, and the chamber music festivals of Düsseldorf-Benrath and Neuburg, Bavaria. In the fall of 2011 she joins the faculty of the University of North Texas College of Music as Artist Teacher of Viola.