Evan Hesketh
Armenian Music Ensemble, Viola

Award-winning chamber musician, Evan Hesketh, maintains a varied career as a performer, educator, and writer. He serves as principal violist of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra and has performed throughout California with ensembles including the Fresno Philharmonic (guest principal violist) and the New West Symphony. Originally from Victoria, Canada, he has frequently performed in the Victoria Symphony, and in 2019, collaborated with Alexander Tselyakov and the New Zealand String Quartet at the Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival. As a performer of early music, he has been presented by the San Francisco Early Music Society, and regularly appears with Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra.

Hesketh studied violin and viola at the University of Victoria with Ann Elliott-Goldschmid and Joanna Hood, and chamber music with the Lafayette String Quartet. In 2013, he obtained a master’s degree in viola performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he was a student of Robert Vernon, Jeffrey Irvine, and Kirsten Docter. While in Cleveland, Hesketh was the violist in the Ariadne String Quartet and was mentored by the Cavani Quartet, Peter Salaff, and Joel Smirnoff. With the Ariadne Quartet, he won the bronze medal at the 2012 Fischoff Competition and the Coleman-Barstow Prize for Strings at the 2012 Coleman Competition.

Hesketh returned to the University of Victoria in 2014 to complete a second master’s degree in orchestral conducting as a student of Ajtony Csaba. He served as assistant conductor of the University Orchestra and the Sonic Lab New Music Ensemble, leading both groups in university and outreach performances. In 2016, he studied with Zsolt Hamar as a participant in the International Bartók Seminar and Festival in Hungary.

In addition to performing, Hesketh is an enthusiastic teacher. Since moving to Los Angeles in 2016, he has established himself as a respected teacher of viola and violin with students who have been placed in top orchestras in the Santa Monica school district. He has also been a guest clinician at an American String Teachers’ Association workshop in Bakersfield and was a guest conducting clinician for several middle and high school ensembles from the US and Canada.

A performer with an active interest in music scholarship, Hesketh was the recipient of a prestigious scholarship from the government of Canada in recognition of his accomplishments and potential as a scholar, and from 2015-19, was the program annotator for the Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival. He was recently appointed editor of the Journal of the Canadian Viola Society and will oversee the relaunch of the biannual publication. Hesketh is currently pursuing a DMA in viola performance at UCLA as a student of Che-Yen Chen and is violist of the VEM Ensemble.

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