Violist Lauren Burns Hodges enjoys a varied career as a teacher and performer throughout the United States and abroad. She is currently Assistant Professor of Viola at the University of Florida where she also coordinates and teaches Music Appreciation classes. Passionate about promoting the viola and engaging with the community, she hosts an annual viola day at UF and serves as a board member-at-large for the American Viola Society.
Dr. Hodges has performed as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player across the United States, Europe and Asia. She recently toured China with pianist Doug Jurs, performing a new commission by Paul Richards and lesser-known works by American composers Alan Shulman and Libby Larsen. She expects to release a CD in 2020 containing the first commercial recordings of two sonatas for viola and piano by American composers Gustav Strube and Arthur Foote. This fall, she plans to tour the Chicago area with a program featuring American composers Jennifer Higdon, Augusta Read Thomas, and Perry Goldstein.
Lauren Hodges enjoys performing chamber music with colleagues and premiered a bass quintet by Frank Proto at the ISB Convention in Fort Collins, CO. A founding member of the Hausmann Quartet, she completed residencies on the Lyrica Boston Chamber Music series and at Kent State University as a teaching assistant to the Miami String Quartet. While a member of the quartet, she was a fellow at Norfolk and Kent/Blossom summer music festivals, coaching with Claude Frank and members of the Keller, Tokyo, and Vermeer quartets. As an orchestral player, Dr. Hodges performs as section or substitute viola in the Jacksonville, Savannah Philharmonic, and Coastal Georgia Symphonies and was Principal Viola in the Valdosta Symphony for six years. She has spent summers performing in the Eastern Music Festival Faculty Orchestra and in Périgueux (France) and Graz (Austria).
A dedicated teacher, Dr. Hodges has twice been invited to teach masterclasses at the Primrose International Viola Competition and Festival held at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, CA, and she presented pedagogical ideas from her DMA document entitled Coordinated Action in String Playing: A Comparative Study of the Teachings of Paul Rolland and Karen Tuttle at the national AVS festival held at Oberlin Conservatory in 2015. Dr. Hodges teaches students to use natural weight and leverage to produce a resonant sound free from excessive tension and pain, and she leads body awareness workshops that fuse together ideas from Rolland and Tuttle with elements from Alexander Technique, physical therapy and yoga.
Lauren Hodges has performed guest artist recitals or taught masterclasses at viola day events in Morgantown (WV), Birmingham (AL), Atlanta, Valdosta (GA) and Miami and at universities throughout the United States including Virginia Commonwealth University, Florida State University, the University of South Carolina, the University of Georgia, and the University of Southern Mississippi, among others. Formerly, she taught viola at Valdosta State University and served as Principal Viola of the Valdosta Symphony, violist of the Azalea String Quartet, and Director and Master Teacher of the South Georgia String Project. Summer teaching includes the Schlern International Music Festival (Italy), the Premiere Orchestral Institute (Jackson, MS), Golden Isles Youth Orchestra Camp (Brunswisk, GA), and the Gator Chamber Music Institute (Gainesville, FL).
Dr. Hodges is a graduate of the University of Alabama, Peabody Conservatory, and the University of South Carolina. She was the recipient of the Narramore Fellowship at Alabama and won the prestigious Jacob K. Javits national fellowship for graduate studies at Peabody. Primary viola teachers include Daniel Sweaney, Victoria Chiang, and Frits DeJonge. Her pedagogy training is from Rebecca Henry (Peabody Preparatory Division) and Suzuki certification from teacher trainer Mary Cay Neal.
Dr. Hodges plays on a copy of the Primrose Amati viola made for her by Gabrielle Kundert in 2015. When not teaching or performing, she enjoys outdoor activities, cooking, and spending time with her husband and two little boys.