Violinist FRITZ GEARHART has performed for audiences from coast to coast. He has appeared in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie six times since 1998. Several compact discs featuring Gearhart have been released in the last few years to rave reviews. A sampling from the press: "...a sizzling performance..."(The Wall Street Journal), "...supple and imaginative..."(The New York Times), "...a superlative evening of musicmaking..."(New York Concert Review), "Gearhart is a bold assertive player..."(Strad), and "...a magnificent young violinist..."(American Record Guide). Mr. Gearhart has been heard frequently on National Public Radio including several live broadcast performances. He has also been featured on the nationally syndicated program Performance Today.
Exploring unique and seldom-heard music, Mr. Gearhart has championed the music of American composer Quincy Porter with his 1998 release (Quincy Porter: The Unpublished Manuscripts) for Koch Entertainment. In 2001 he released The Complete Works for Violin by Robert Casadesus (also on Koch) featuring wonderful yet unknown works by this French pianist/composer. Gearhart has premiered several contemporary works written especially for him, including works by award-winning American composers David Crumb and Robert Kyr.
First violinist of the Chester String Quartet in the early 90s, Gearhart continues to be very active in chamber music and now performs regularly with the Oregon String Quartet, which has released two discs on Koch Entertainment: The OSQ and All That Jazz, featuring jazz violinist Diane Monroe, and a disc containing music by African-American composer William Grant Still which Strad Magazine called "Musical Heaven: Oregon String Quartet". In January 2001 Gearhart appeared as soloist with the Oregon Festival of American Music performing Bernstein's Serenade, and in 2004 he performed Corigliano's Red Violin Chaconne to a sold out audience of over 2000: "Gearhart gave a stunning performance. His warm tone sang out above the orchestra...the technical challenges of the piece did not faze him in the least..." (Eugene Register-Guard). Gearhart received his Master's Degree and Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School of Music where he studied with Donald Weilerstein. Earlier studies at the Hartt School included work with Charles Treger and members of the Emerson Quartet. Mr. Gearhart is currently on the faculty of the University of Oregon School of Music.