Claudine Bigelow, professor of viola and chamber music at the Brigham Young University School of Music, has been named a Fulbright Scholar and will be teaching at the New Zealand School of Music February to June 2012.
“I am honored by this appointment,” Bigelow said. “I feel very fortunate that I was chosen and that my family gets this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
While in New Zealand, Bigelow will be the school’s artist-in-residence. She plans to teach violists, chamber music and orchestral excerpts, and she will make a duo recording with Donald Maurice, professor of music and viola soloist. She also hopes to establish collaborative efforts with established chamber groups in the area, give solo and chamber music concerts and lecture about some of her research in the Primrose Archive at BYU’s Harold B. Lee Library.
“I am very excited to collaborate with the faculty at the NZSM in chamber music concerts,” she said. “I am eager to use technology to bring together the studio in New Zealand with my studio at BYU. For example, I will try master classes accessing videoconferencing to promote exchange with each studio. I hope we can learn from each other’s styles and get a global sense for what other studios will be doing.”
The application process to become a visiting scholar was challenging. Bigelow’s submitted materials included a summary of her work, teaching materials, essays, CDs of her performances and letters of recommendation, all adding up to a 35-page application. Bigelow said it took her weeks to prepare.
“The scholars are chosen from a rigorous peer review process, a competitive process that reaches beyond the music discipline,” said Geralyn Giovannetti, associate director of the BYU School of Music. “She brings great prestige and honor to BYU and to the School of Music, and we wish her every success in her work and life in New Zealand.”
Bigelow is a talented teacher and soloist. She has performed in viola sections of the National and Utah Symphonies, Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra, National Chamber Orchestra and at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. She has performed in Europe, the United States and New Zealand and continues to be an active recitalist. Many of her students have established prominent careers in viola performance.
Bigelow has given presentations on BYU’s Primrose International Viola Archive (PIVA) around the globe. She hopes this trip abroad will allow her to teach others about the Primrose Archive and train them in what is available and how to access its resources, both through interlibrary loan and online.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.”
Writer: Mel Gardner