Praised by the Edmonton Journal for performing “with precision and grace,” and by NUVO Magazine for his “consistently rich tone [and] expressive, intense playing,” Sheldon Person is a violist in the Houston Symphony and enjoys an active career as a chamber musician, recitalist, and teacher.
He has toured with the Houston Symphony in seven countries on three continents and performed with them on their live recording of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck that received the 2017 Grammy Award. Mr. Person was previously a member of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and has also performed with the London Symphony Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and as soloist and guest principal with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.
Since 2016 and 2017 respectively, he has been a faculty artist at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival and an artist at the Zenith Chamber Music Festival at Drake University. Mr. Person has appeared on the Houston Symphony Chamber Music Series Inaugural 2019-20 season, as well as at the Texas Music Festival, Musica Tra Amici, and Musiqa Houston. Radio broadcasts include appearances on Houston Public Radio and NPR. Mr. Person’s collaborations on new trios by Per Mårtensson and Karim Al-Zand were released on the Centaur Records label in 2017 and 2018. He has also given world and European premiere performances of Variations on a theme of Bartók, a work for viola and piano that was written for him by Mr. Al-Zand. Mr. Person has performed as a guest artist at Rice University, University of Houston, Indiana State University, and Michigan State University.
He is the current President of Third Space Music, a non-profit partnership between musicians from the Houston Symphony and the Houston community that presents four chamber music concerts annually and contributes to Houston-area non-profit organizations.
As first prize winner of the Royal Overseas League’s Bernard Shore Viola Competition, Mr. Person performed recitals in London, including an appearance at St. Martin-in-the-Fields. While a member of the Artea String Quartet, Leverhulme Fellows at the Royal Academy of Music, Mr. Person performed chamber music throughout the U.K., including appearances at Wigmore Hall, the South Bank Centre, the Brighton Festival, Buckingham Palace, and live on BBC Radio 3. He was also the winner of the Wayne Crouse Viola Prize at the Corpus Christi International Competition for Piano and Strings.
Mr. Person holds degrees and certificates from The Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London), Indiana University, Rice University, and the University of Alberta. His principal teachers have included Atar Arad, David Takeno and Karen Ritscher. As a fellow of the Aspen Music Festival and School, he served as the Assistant Principal Viola of both the Aspen Festival and Chamber Orchestras.
Mr. Person performs on a modern viola by Theodore Skreko that was awarded the silver medal for tone at the 2010 Violin Society of America Competition. He is a native of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. For more information, visit www.sheldonperson.com.