Lecturer of Viola
D.M.A., University of Texas-Austin
M.M., Mannes College of Music
B.A., Paris-Sorbonne University
150 Haas Fine Arts Center
Music & Theatre Arts Department
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004
Violist Aurélien Pétillot has garnered much esteem as a versatile and engaging performer and pedagogue. He has been invited as a guest artist and soloist by many ensembles and orchestras, in Europe and North America, both on Baroque and modern violas.
A passionate chamber musician, and an ardent advocate of music by living composers, he is a founding member of the Chiaroscuro Trio, whose debut CD of world premiere contemporary American works for voice, viola, and piano was released by Albany Records in the summer of 2013. He has played with the Cavani String Quartet, members of the Azmari, Mirò, and Tosca String Quartets, and toured with The Young Eight, the only professional String Octet in America. He is also the founder and artistic director of Viola By Choice, a non-profit chamber ensemble dedicated to promoting the originality, versatility and importance of the viola and its repertoire. Viola By Choice received the 2009 "Best body of work" Austin Table Critics Award, and released its CD, Florilegium in 2010. His strong commitment to New Music has led him to work in close relationship with, and often to premiere, many of today's most important composers, from Samuel Adler to Zhou Long, including Derek Bermel, Martin Bresnick, Chen Yi, Michael Colgrass, Richard Danielpour, Rob Deemer, Donald Grantham, Libby Larsen, Lowell Liebermann, Kevin Puts, Augusta Read-Thomas, Christopher Theophanidis, Michael Torke, Dan Welcher, and many others.
Dr. Pétillot holds a Bachelor's in musicology and performance from the Paris-Sorbonne University, a Master's from the Mannes College of Music, in New York, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin. His principal teachers, Jean-Claude Bouveresse, Alexander Brussilovsky, Pierre-Henri Xuereb, Caroline Levine, and Roger Myers, are heirs of an impressive lineage of pedagogues and performers that traces back all the way to Vivaldi and Corelli.
Currently, Dr.Pétillot is lecturer of viola and theory at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, principal violist with the Camerata Chicago, and co-principal violist of the La Crosse Symphony. Previously, he was the viola and music history faculty at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, faculty artist with the Austin Chamber Music Center, and at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. He also played regularly with the Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi and Victoria symphony orchestras, as well as the Austin Lyric Opera and Ballet Austin. His lecture/recital entitled Death Symbolism as Creative Hallmark in Shostakovich's Viola Sonata, based on his doctoral thesis, has been presented in various universities in America as part of the commemorations celebrating the 100th anniversary of Shostakovich's birth. Other lectures have dealt with humor in music, the inter-relationships between the arts, and of course, the viola.