Jodi Levitz is an active performer of international reputation and a passionate advocate of new music for viola. She was principal viola and soloist with the Italian chamber group I Solisti Veneti for 12 years, a position she won while still a student at The Juilliard School.
She has performed as soloist throughout Europe, South America, North America and Asia, and recorded works for the Concerto, Dynamic, Naxos and Erato labels. A passionate pedagogue, she served on the faculties of the Ars Musica Academy at Imola, Progetto Orchestra and numerous European summer festivals, and presently serves as co-artistic director of the Zephyr International Chamber Music Festival in Courmayeur, Italy. Her former students have won first prize awards in the Walter W. Naumburg and Fischoff chamber music competitions, hold positions in major orchestras and teaching institutions, and are musical activists throughout the world.
Levitz attended The Juilliard School Pre-College Division from age 12 and received a B.M. and M.M. from Juilliard. Her principal teachers were Margaret Pardee, Paul Doktor, William Lincer and Dorothy DeLay, and she studied chamber music with members of the Juilliard Quartet, Felix Galimir and Josef Gingold.
Professor of Viola and Chamber Music, Chair of Chamber Music and Chair of Strings San Francisco Conservatory of Music from 2001-2017, she also served on the board of the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music and is the former violist of the Ives Quartet.
ROBIN FAY MASSIE is a professional violist newly-based in Atlanta, GA. She completed her education in Viola Performance after attending the following schools: The University of Maryland, College Park; New England Conservatory; and The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University.
She has performed with The Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, as Assistant Principal Viola with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, and as Principal Viola with the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra in Philadelphia. As a recording artist, she has appeared in concert, both live and on television, with notable artists such as: Jill Scott, Clay Aiken, Aretha Franklin, Tye Tribbett, Earth Wind & Fire, Ruben Studdard, Phillip Phillips, Maysa Leak, and Stevie Wonder. Recent backup performances include live appearances with Alfie Boe and Pete Townshend of The Who on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (2017), with Eminem at the Firefly Music Festival (2018), Two Feet in his network television debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (2018), the late Mac Miller on NPR’s Tiny Desk summer concert series (2018), and Ms. Lauryn Hill at the Hollywood Bowl (2019). This year, Ms. Massie performed on the soundtrack to Spike Lee’s eight-part docuseries, NYC Epicenters 9/11 – 2-21 ½ (2020), recorded in Nashville, TN.
With a heart for service, she founded Musicians of Mercy (MOM) in January 2010 – a collective of musicians and artists which produces benefit concerts to raise funds for humanitarian causes – and serves as its Executive Director. Also, an active chamber musician and soloist, Ms. Massie maintained a small private studio for area students.
As an interesting twist in her career, Ms. Massie also works nights as a Neonatal ICU nurse in Atlanta, GA. She served on the frontlines of the Covid-19 pandemic as an emergency department registered nurse at a hospital in Baltimore, MD. She was recently featured in a short film by Aaron Dworkin – An American Prophecy – winner of a Michigan Emmy Award for its artistic depiction of the stories of frontline healthcare workers. Ms. Massie has also served in the world of oncology, providing chemotherapy and biotherapy for patients in Atlanta, GA. In all areas, she strives to provide the highest level of joy, compassion, and artistry.
Lauren Burns Hodges, "a distinguished violist with a refined, mellow tone" (American Record Guide), is currently Assistant Professor of Viola at the University of Florida where she also coordinates and teaches Music Appreciation classes.
For six years prior, she was Lecturer in Viola at Valdosta State University, Principal Viola of the Valdosta Symphony, violist of the Azalea String Quartet, and Director of the South Georgia String Project. She has performed and taught abroad in Italy, Austria, and France and recently presented recitals, masterclasses, and a body awareness workshop in Shanghai and WuHan, China. She has given masterclasses, clinics, and performances at universities and music schools throughout the country, including Illinois State University, Western Illinois University, the University of Southern Mississippi, the University of Georgia, the University of South Carolina and at Viola Day events in Morgantown (WV), Birmingham (AL), Valdosta (GA), Atlanta (GA) and Miami (FL). Dr. Hodges has twice been invited to teach masterclasses at the Primrose International Viola Competition and Festival held at the Colburn School, and she has presented at national AVS festivals in Oberlin (OH) and Knoxville (TN). 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. Originally from South Carolina, Lauren studied at the University of South Carolina, Peabody Conservatory, and the University of Alabama.