Thomas Riebl



Competition Winner

Born: 1956 (Vienna, Austria)

Violist Thomas Riebl was awarded the Ernst Wallfisch Memorial Award and first place Viola Award at the Walter W. Naumburg's first viola competition in 1982.

His viola studies were with Siegfrued Führlinger, Peter Schidlof and Sandor Végh.

Mr. Riebl has been invited to many of the major international music festivals (i.e. Salzburger Festpiele) and has appeared at venues: Carnegie Hall,  Concertgebow Amsterdam, and the  Goldene Saal of the Wiener Musikverein. He has performed with numerous leading orchestras: Chicago, Berlin and Vienna symphonies, the Bavarian, and Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and with conductors: Claudio Abbado, Horst Stein, Edo de Waart, Andrew Davies and Sylvain Cambreling.

Mr. Riebl's chamber music partners have includee Jessey Norman, András Schiff, Oleg Maisenberg, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Gidon Kremer, Benjamin Schmid, Thomas Zehetmair, Isabelle Faust, Joshua Bell, Tabea Zimmermann, Natalia Gutman, Boris Pergamenschikow, Steven Isserlis, Sabine Meyer and the Juilliard and Tokyo String Quartets.

Since 1983, Mr. Riebl has been a professor at the University Mozarteum Salzburg. In addition, he has been Visiting Tutor at the RNCM in Manchester and holds the International Chair for Viola at the Conservatoire in Birmingham. He has given numeorus master classes worldwide, and in the U.S. he has taught at Curtis, Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, Eastman and Rice University, as well as has been part of the faculty at the Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival. Many of his students have won international competitions and have become professors at music conservatories or members of leading orchestras and string quartets.

He is artistic director of the Internationale Sommerakademie Bad Leonfelden, Austria and has recorded for RCA, Pan Classics and Hyperion Records.

In 2011, Mr. Riebl developed, together with luthier Bernd Hiller, a five string tenor viola, on which he performs Schubert's Arpeggione sonata, J.S. Bach's lute version of his fifth cello suite, his sixth cello suite, his sonatas for viola da gamba, Beethoven's first cello sonatas, op. 5, Mozart's clarinet concerto (the original basset clarinet version) as well as recently written works for his instrument.

Mr. Riebl performed a Naumburg Looks Back concert on his Five String Tenor Viola to celebrate his 40th anniversary as the winner of the 1982 Naumburg Viola Award on November 7, 2022. Garth Knox wrote Toccata for Thomas as a Naumburg commission to commemorate the event.

As part of his Naumburg award, Mr. Riebl was given two commissioned works: Ralph Shapey's Evocation III, given its premiere on October 24, 1982 in Alice Tully Hall, and Gunther Schuller's Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, premiered on March 6, 1988, by Mr. Riebl and the American Composers Orchestra conducted by Gunther Schuller at Carnegie Hall.

Excerpt from The New York Times review, October 24, 1982

Music: Debut in Review

"The duo concert by Thomas Riebl, violist, and Susan Tomes, piano at Alice Tully Hall was splendidly professional in its own right. Mr. Riebl played with virtuoso intonation, an impressively steady bowing arm and a warm and sophisticated approach to music.

Hindemith's Sonata (Op.11, No. 4) began with a subdued lyric quality and ended with playing of great energy. Schubert's magical "Arpeggione" Sonata was filled with tenderness, and Mr. Riebl, who is Viennese, allowed its dance rhythms to flex and contract in that wonderful Central European way. Schumann's "Marchenbilder' were also touchingly played.

Ralph Shapey's "Evocation No. III for Viola and Piano" was as evocative as its name, featuring long expanses of melodic line that tested Mr. Riebl's excellent bowing skills to their fullest." Bernard Holland

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