Violist Sophie Arbuckle (MM ’93, violin) has appeared in many prominent U.S. chamber music series including Music@Menlo (Calif.), where she co-directed the young performers program, and Bargemusic (Brooklyn). Extensive chamber music appearances in Europe include St. Martin-in-the-Fields (London); Festival des Arcs, Fetes musicales de Savoie, and Petit Palais (France); Mainz Kammerorchester chamber music series (Germany); Royal Flemish Philarmonie chamber music series (Antwerp); numerous other series and festivals in Belgium, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Monaco, and the Channel Islands; and radio broadcasts with Radio France. She has played with the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra and Sudbury Symphony and has recorded with Le Chant de Linos.
An avid performer of contemporary music, Arbuckle has worked with such composers as Giya Kancheli and premiered multimedia works by Christopher Kaufman and dancer/choreographer Ann Carlson at Jacob’s Pillow and the American Dance Festival. With her husband, violinist Arik Braude, Arbuckle co-founded the ensemble JVNY, Inc., made up of young professional musicians, many of whom have studied for over a decade with Braude and Arbuckle. The ensemble tours extensively; participates in community outreach work, including with New Alternatives for Children; mentors the next generation of musicians (Junior JVNY); and is in residence in France and Portugal for two weeks each summer.
Arbuckle is a jury member in the viola and chamber music categories of the International Johannes Brahms Competition. She has been a visiting guest professor of viola at the University of Minho in Braga, Portugal, since 2016, and gives master classes throughout Portugal. She is also an artist-faculty member at the Killington (Vt.) Music Festival. Arbuckle’s students have served as principal violists in the New York Youth Symphony and National Youth Orchestra and have soloed at the New York Philharmonic Young People’s Concerts and Little Orchestra Society. Her prep students have gone on to such conservatories as Juilliard and NEC and Royal College of Music in London as well as Harvard and Princeton. Arbuckle’s viola mentor at Juilliard was Karen Tuttle; she also studied with Sally Thomas, Josef Gingold, Arnold Steinhardt, Edith Peinemann, and Mauricio Fuks. Her chamber music coaches included Gingold, Robert Mann, and Pierre Amoyal. She plays a Ferdinando Gagliano viola made in Naples in 1783, joined the Pre-College faculty in 2009, and lives on the Upper West Side with her husband and daughter.