Our season opener explores musical colors from various cultural backgrounds and eras. Born to a mother of mixed Peruvian/Chinese ancestry and a father of Lithuanian/Jewish descent, Gabriela Lena Frank explores her multicultural heritage through her compositions. Her Five Scenes was inspired by South American folk music and sceneries from her mother’s native land – Peru. Coming from the tradition of the most dynamic orchestras of its time – Mannheim Orchestra, Carl Stamitz‘ Viola Concerto is a brilliant representation of the classical era’s virtuosity and personality. Edward Elgar‘s Serenade for Strings is the composer’s signature piece that demonstrates his masterful melodic writing skills, and the rousing Romanian Folk Dances by Béla Bartók will make you want to jump out of your seat and dance.
Gabriela Lena Frank: Five Scenes
Stamitz: Viola Concerto in D Major, Op.1
Elgar: Serenade for Strings
Bartok: Romanian Folk Dances
Amber Archibald has been praised for her bold and vivacious playing that matches her personality. ARTS! Houston Magazine exclaimed that her technique was “seemingly effortless…precise,” and that she was “a natural in every sense.” As a soloist, her career highlights include performances at the Gewandhaus with the Leipzig Academic Orchestra in Germany and with the Seattle Symphony in a series of community concerts. Her collaborative career has allowed her to perform at major venues and festivals throughout the United States and Europe such as Benaroya Hall, Kimmel Center, University of Washington World Series, Raleigh Chamber Music Guild Series, Caroga Lake Arts Collective, the Arizona Bach Society, Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival, and the Russian Chamber Music Foundation of Seattle. Dr. Archibald was a member of the Young Eight string octet, an all Afro heritage ensemble devoted to spreading a positive message through classical and hip-hop music to underserved communities. Her 2017-18 season included performances and workshops at the University of Arizona, and performances of the Hoffmeister Viola Concerto and Ralph Vaughan Williams exquisite work, “Flos Campi,” for solo viola, orchestra and choir.
In demand as a teacher and pedagogue, Dr. Archibald is the Adjunct Professor of Viola at Seattle Pacific University and works with the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s National Take A Stand Festival as the Junior Orchestra’s viola coach. She previously held the position of Instructor of Viola at Seattle University and was on the faculty of the Burgos International Music Festival in Burgos, Spain. Her university and private studio students have been accepted to and attended prestigious schools of music and festivals such as the Rice University, Northwestern University, Peabody Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, Boston University, the University of North Texas, Aspen Music Festival, Meadowmount, Domaine Forget, and Green Mountain Music Festival just to name a few.
During her tenure at Seattle University, the viola studio was one of two collegiate ensembles in the United States selected to perform at the 2016 American Viola Society Festival at the Oberlin Conservatory. As the largest conference in the world for the instrument, this was a tremendous honor. In addition to her highly successful studios, Dr. Archibald is regularly asked to coach with several organizations in the greater Seattle area
Dr. Archibald was born and raised in Houston, Texas to parents from the Dominican Republic and Panama. An avid interest in her heritage has fueled her continuing research and performance of music by African American, Afro-Latino and Spanish composers. Dr. Archibald earned her Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Washington. She holds her Master of Music from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and her Bachelor from Indiana University’s Jacob School of Music. Her principal teachers include Melia Watras, Karen Ritscher, and Mimi Zweig.
Dr. Archibald is married to violinist, Ervin Luka Sešek. Together, they are the chamber music force CernaBella and the founders and instructors of the Sešek String Studio. In her down time, she enjoys cooking, watching documentaries, and cheering for the Seattle Seahawks.