Named Artist Teacher of the Year for 2020 by the American String Teachers Association, Jeffrey Irvine joined the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music as the Fynette H. Kulas Professor of Viola in September of 1999. He is currently Co-Head of the Viola Department. He was Professor of Viola at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music from 1983 to 1999 and was chair of Oberlin’s String Division for 7 years. His students have gone on to major orchestral, teaching and chamber music posts across the country and around the world. His students have often been First Prize Winners in major viola competitions, including the Primrose Competition, the ASTA National Solo Competition, and the Washington International Competition. Mr. Irvine previously taught at the Eastman School of Music and Wichita State University.
During the summer, Mr. Irvine is on the Artist Faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and the Interlochen Viola Workshop. He has previously taught at the Bowdoin International Music Festival, the Heifetz International Music Institute, the ENCORE School for Strings, the Meadowmount School of Music, the Killington Music Festival, the Park City Chamber Music Festival, Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts, the Castleman Quartet Program, and the Perlman Music Program.
Mr. Irvine is well known as a violist and a chamber musician. As a member of the New World String Quartet Mr. Irvine performed throughout the United States and Europe, including concerts at Carnegie Recital Hall and the Kennedy Center. Mr. Irvine was the Principal Violist of the Wichita Symphony from 1977 to 1981, and has also been a member of the Aspen Festival Orchestra and the Aspen Chamber Symphony. He has published numerous articles on viola pedagogy in American String Teacher and the Journal of the American Viola Society.
The first-prize winner in both the 1979 Aspen Music Festival Viola Competition and 1976 Cleveland Quartet Competition (as a member of the Carmel Quartet), Mr. Irvine received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Philadelphia Musical Academy and his Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music. His teachers have included Heidi Castleman, Charles Castleman, David Cerone, Dorothy DeLay, Martha Katz, William Primrose, Margaret Randall, Karen Tuttle, and Donald Weilerstein.
He is married to Cleveland Orchestra First Assistant Violist Lynne Ramsey with whom he has two grown children, Hannah and Christopher. He plays a viola by Hiroshi Iizuka, made in 1993. He is also an avid runner.