Randolph Kelly has enjoyed a distinguished and multifaceted career as principal violist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He was signed by André Previn in 1976, and has since played under the direction of Lorin Maazel and Mariss Jansons. Previn once wrote that Kelly “transformed his section into what I believe is the best viola section of any orchestra in America.”
One highlight of Kelly’s tenure with the Pittsburgh Symphony was performing the world premiere of a viola concerto written for him by Samuel Adler, which was commissioned by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for its 2000-2001 season.
In addition to his orchestral career, Kelly’s virtuosity as a soloist and chamber musician has been celebrated around the world. He has collaborated with such artists as Yo-Yo Ma, André Previn, Pinchas Zukerman and Truls Mörk, among others. He has recorded and toured extensively with the Los Angeles Piano Quartet. In reviewing an LAPQ performance, the German Press Passaver Neve stated, “Randolph Kelly is in a class of his own. He has a richness of tone such as one seldom hears…” Additionally, Kelly has been invited to perform as a guest artist at chamber music festivals in Japan, Australia, Europe, China, Taiwan and Russia.
As a soloist, Kelly has appeared on some of the most prestigious concert stages in the world. He performed the New York premiere of Sir Michael Tippet’s Triple Concerto in Carnegie Hall. He made his European solo debut when Lorin Maazel invited him to play the Walton Concerto with the National Orchestra of France. James DePriest conducted the Oregon Symphony when Kelly played the Bartók Viola Concerto. The review in The Oregonian stated, “guest soloist Randolph Kelly provided the evening’s highlight… it was a breathtaking performance.”
In addition to his rigorous performing schedule, Kelly has recorded a wide range of music for the Albany, Naxos and Music Masters labels. He also appeared on national TV, performing Don Quixote as part of a series entitled Previn and The Pittsburgh.
Kelly is a graduate of The Curtis Institute, where he worked closely with the esteemed violist Joseph DePasquale. He is committed to performing new music, and he generously volunteers his time to educational programs in an effort to bring a wide range of musical experiences to young audiences.