Daniel Foster, viola


Violist Daniel Foster’s varied career encompasses orchestral, chamber and solo playing, as well as teaching. Since capturing the First Prize in both the William Primrose and Washington International Competitions, he has appeared in recital and as soloist with orchestra in Washington, DC and throughout the United States. As Principal Violist of the National Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Foster has performed with the orchestra frequently as soloist. These performances included the première of a recently discovered transcription of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto, conducted by Christopher Hogwood at the Kennedy Center Mozart Festival, as well as performances of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante and Strauss’ Don Quixote. Mr. Foster’s most recent appearance as soloist with the National Symphony came in November 2001 with performances of Hindemith’s Kammermusik #5.

Mr. Foster is a member of the critically acclaimed Dryden Quartet, which he founded along with his cousins Nicolas and Yumi Kendall and National Symphony Concertmaster Nurit Bar-Josef. He has also been a member of the Manchester Quartet since 1993, and is a founding member of the Kennedy Center Chamber Players. Mr. Foster spent four summers at the Marlboro Music Festival, collaborating with some of this country’s most esteemed chamber musicians, and toured the United States on two occasions with Music from Marlboro. He has also performed at the Bowdoin, Killington and Alpenglow Festivals, and at Strings in the Mountains.

After Studying with Jeffrey Irvine and Lynne Ramsey at Oberlin Conservatory and with Karen Tuttle at The Curtis Institute, Mr. Foster became a member of the National Symphony’s viola section in 1993, and was appointed Principal by Music Director Leonard Slatkin in 1995. Mr. Foster is on the faculty at the University of Maryland, where his former students have gone on to major orchestral and university positions, and he has been a faculty member at the Bowdoin and Killington festivals. Mr. Foster has given master classes at Oberlin Conservatory, the University of Michigan and the Cleveland Institute of Music, and is a regular faculty member for the National Orchestral Institute, a pre-professional orchestral training program. The Journal of the American Viola Society published an article by Mr. Foster in 2002.

Mr. Foster comes from a musical family. His father William is the National Symphony’s Associate Principal violist, and his grandfather John Kendall is a renowned violin pedagogue.

National Symphony Orchestra profile

(c) The Dryden String Quartet 2013. All photos by Vanessa Briceno Photography