Lizhou Liu, viola, earned his B.A. from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China, where he studied viola with Cen Yuan Ding, Situ Huacheng, and Sui Keqiang. He received his master's degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, studying with John Graham. Mr. Liu’s prizes include first place in the 1988 SUNY Concerto Competition, performing Der Schwanendreher with the Stony Brook Orchestra. He also won the Menuhin Prize at the Portsmouth International Quartet Competition in 1982. Mr. Liu has held positions as Assistant Professor of Viola at Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music and principal viola with Beijing Chamber Orchestra and Tchaikovsky Chamber Orchestra in New York. As a soloist, he performed the viola concerto Xian Shi with the Beijing Film Orchestra, the Central Opera Orchestra, and the Central Philharmonic in China. Mr. Liu was principal violist of the Savannah Symphony for thirteen years, and from 1991 to 2003, he was a frequent viola concerto soloist with the Savannah Symphony. In 2000, he performed Don Quixote with Yo-Yo Ma and the Savannah Symphony, and in 2002 he performed Berlioz’s Harold in Italy with the Hilton Head Orchestra. Currently he is principal viola with the Hilton Head Orchestra and the Savannah Philharmonic.
And now, it might be asked, should we pity the viola? It is after all consigned to an unglamorous middle range, and is ever on the receiving end of all that merciless skewering (if you don’t know what I mean, type “viola jokes” into Google, or ask anyone who has played in an orchestra).