William Coleman, chamber musician, soloist, and violist of the acclaimed Berlin Kuss Quartet, has performed at the Salzburg, Verbier and Edinburgh Festivals, as well as the Berlin Philharmonie, Vienna Musikverein, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, and Carnegie Hall, New York, and regularly at the renowned Berlin techno-club, Watergate Club.
Chamber music partners have included Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Miklos Perenyi, Clemens Hagen, Mischa Maisky, Kim Kashkashian, Antje Weithaas and Leif Ove Andsnes, the dancers Yui Kawaguchi and Bill T. Jones, the actors Udo Samuel and Nina Hoss, as well as extensive experience working with the composers György Kurtag, Helmut Lachenmann and Harrison Birtwistle. A desire to curate relevant programming and broaden the possibilities of concert life has inspired yearly commissions of new works. A recent recording, “Krise” contains three commissions, including a work for string quartet and artificial intelligence computer programming.
He has, with the Kuss Quartet, recorded for Sony/BMG, Onyx, and ECM, in 2018 won an Opus Klassik award, and in 2020 a new recording of the Weinberg Piano Quintet was released by SONY. Also in 2020, the complete Beethoven cycle of quartets was released, Live from Suntory Hall, Tokyo, performed on the famous “Paganini Quartet” of Stradivaris, on loan from the Nippon Foundation.
A formative experience was his first masterclass at the International Musicians Seminar in Prussia Cove, Cornwall. Founded by Sandor Vegh, it marked the beginning of many journeys to Budapest over the following decade to study with the pianist Ferenc Rados. At the same time he studied in Salzburg with Thomas Riebl, and at Boston’s NEC with Kim Kashkashian. For three years he was also fortunate enough to travel regularly to Canada and Philadelphia for masterclasses and private lessons with Karen Tuttle, a formative soul of the viola world.
He is professor for viola at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg, was recently on the jury of the International Tertis Competition, Isle of Man and in 2022, jury-member of the Tokyo International Viola Competition. He has given many masterclasses, including at the Kronberg Academy, Hans Eisler Berlin, Suntory Hall Academy Tokyo and the Juilliard School.
William Coleman plays the ex-Tertis Testore of 1735, is a Pirastro artist, playing exclusively on Evah Pirazzi Gold and Oliv strings.