Teaching Artist (Viola)
Violist Christopher McKay joined The Phoenix Symphony in 2008 as section viola and is currently the Acting Assistant Principal Viola, a post he has held since 2009. From 2007-2008 he held a one-year position with the Louisville Orchestra and from 2001-2007 he was Principal Viola of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra (IN). His other orchestral experience includes positions with Central City Opera (CO), Lancaster Festival Orchestra (OH), New Jersey Opera, Owensboro Symphony, Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, and substitute with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Since 2012 he has been a regular substitute with the Grant Park Festival Orchestra in Chicago, IL.
In addition to his extensive orchestral experience, Mr. McKay is also a chamber musician, soloist, and teacher. From 2001-2007 he was violist of the Eykamp String Quartet, an ensemble that held a combined residency with the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and the University of Evansville. As a member of the Quartet he performed numerous concerts each year at the University, participated in outreach concerts in and around the Evansville metropolitan area, and coached University and Youth Orchestra students in chamber and orchestral music. As Principal Viola of the Philharmonic he had the pleasure of performing the solo viola parts in Richard Strauss’ Don Quixote in 2006 and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola in 2004. His duties as Adjunct Instructor of Viola at the University included teaching private viola lessons and performing solo recitals.
As a passionate chamber musician Mr. McKay, along with TPS first violinist Karen Sinclair, founded the modular chamber music ensemble Urban Nocturnes in 2009. Born out of friendship and a desire to collaborate together, this ensemble has expanded to a six-person roster and is dedicated to the highest level of performance of the traditional chamber music repertoire. As a Phoenix, AZ based ensemble they are currently Artists-in-Residence at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Phoenix. Mr. McKay received his viola performance degrees from Louisiana State University (BM) and Indiana University (MM), and has twice been a TMC fellow at the world renowned Tanglewood Music Center (1998 and 2006). His primary teachers were Alan deVeritch, Jerzy Kosmala, and Julian.