CarlaMaria Rodrigues has been Principal Viola of the San Francisco Opera since 1996. She won her first audition at the age of 23 with the Minnesota Orchestra where she was later appointed Assistant Principal Viola. Serving as the Minnesota Orchestra’s Acting Principal in 1995, she was a featured soloist in Strauss’ Don Quixote with Yo Yo Ma and David Zinman which was recorded live on Minnesota Public Radio. Since moving to San Francisco, she has been invited to play Guest Principal Viola with the Australian Chamber Orchestra where she was eventually appointed Principal Viola until she left in 2004.
Chamber music activities have taken CarlaMaria throughout the world with such artists as Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Rudolph Serkin and Pinchas Zukerman. She has toured extensively to Europe, South America, Israel and Australia as a member of the Zukerman and Friends’ Ensemble and has been an active participant at numerous Festivals including Marlboro, Santa Fe, Gstaad, IMS Prussia Cove, Aldeburgh, Savannah and Mecklenburg. In 2012, she traveled to Italy to work on a recording project of chamber music works by Koechlin and later that year collaborated with Menachem Pressler, Daniel Hope, Lorenza Borrani and the Emerson String Quartet at the Savannah Music Festival. In 2013, CarlaMaria performed the Loeffler songs with Anne Sofie von Otter and later that summer was invited to play Principal Viola with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under the direction of Nikolaus Harnoncourt in Graz, Austria. Future engagements include chamber music with Michael Schade at the Savannah Music Festival, performances with Anthony Marwood and Richard Lester at the Peasmarsh Festival in the UK and later this year, CarlaMaria has been invited to give a recital and master class at the 42nd International Viola Congress in Porto, Portugal.
CarlaMaria has become a much sought after teacher and is a regular guest teacher of the Jerusalem Music Center, coaching chamber music and orchestral studies to aspiring young musicians from all over Israel, including the Young Israeli Philharmonic. She has been invited to coach an orchestral summer music program at the University of Indiana and has also been a regular guest professor at the University of Sacramento. She devotes much of her time to the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation in Bombay, mentoring teachers, instructing children and organizing educational programs to promote western classical music.
A native of London, CarlaMaria entered the Yehudi Menuhin School at the age of ten. She studied both violin and viola and her various teachers included Robert Masters, Peter and Margaret Norris, Hans Keller, David Takeno and Nadia Boulanger. From an early age she appeared as both soloist and chamber musician in London’s major concert halls and has been heard on the BBC Radio and Television Network.