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Kay Pech, violin & viola

Chamber Music Institute/So Cal Director


Violinist and violist, Kay Pech is the founder/director of the Chamber Music Institute/Southern California, now in its 21st summer. Continuing to study and perform the great chamber works, she performed Brahms' Third String Quartet in Hamburg, Germany, in the Manhattan String Quartet workshop in January 2016. in 2012 Ms. Pech participated as a performer in the MSQ workshop in Paris of the Debussy String Quartet (150 years since the birth of Debussy). In 2009 she also performed the Bartok Sixth String Quartet in the MSQ workshop in Budapest.

She retired in 2005 as the music director of the Cal Poly - Pomona University Chamber Players. She performed throughout the '90s as the violinist with Trio Sirena, a piano trio dedicated to the performance of chamber music written by women composers. She has taught private violin and viola pupils for more than 60 years.

Currently the Principal Violist of the Disneyland Orchestra, she has served as the Principal Violist of the Downey Symphony and the Assistant Principal Violist of the Pacific Symphony. She has performed as a violinist and violist with the Long Beach Symphony, San Gabriel Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra, Oklahoma City Symphony, Sioux City Symphony and was the Concertmaster of the Wichita Falls, TX, Symphony Orchestra.

She earned the Bachelor of Music Education degree in violin performance from Morningside College (pupil of Leo Kucinski) and the Master of Arts degree in viola performance from the University of Iowa (pupil of William Preucil), following graduate studies in violin performance with Eudice Shapiro at the University of Southern California. Beginning violin lessons at age 4 in Los Angeles, she has enjoyed a long life in music and written an essay about women violinists born before 1950, available here: Women and the Violin. As it is periodically updated, you are invited to return to find new editions in future months.

She taught chamber music for 21 years at Saddleback College, 10 years for the ASTA-Summer Institute of Chamber Music, and 8 years for California State Polytechnic University, Pomona chamber music ensembles. She has enjoyed watching the careers of her private students blossom into major careers, including Michi Wiancko, Alida Schat, and Kevin Kumar. It is with great pleasure that the "teacher now studies with the pupil" as her former pupil, Calvin Wiersma, is a teacher/performer in the Manhattan String Quartet.