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Joel BelgiqueJoël Belgique has performed at Italy’s Spoleto Festival, Alaska’s CrossSound Festival, Wyoming’s Grand Teton Music Festival, and Michigan’s Interlochen Center for the Arts. In Portland, he is Principal Viola of the Oregon Symphony and has performed with the Oregon Symphony String Quartet and the faculty of Portland Summer Ensembles. He also is the Principal Viola and Orchestra Manager of the Astoria Music Festival and a frequent guest with Portland-based band Pink Martini – once in New York City where the band played in Carnegie Hall and on “Late Show with David Letterman.”

He helped to establish the not-so-serious viola ensemble The 4 Violas, which performs in some of Portland’s most distinguished brew pubs and has developed a cult following. The group gave several concerts at the 2004 International Viola Congress in Minnesota; Joël’s arrangements 1812 Overture for 4 violas and multitple-sized pop-guns and the Strauss mock tone poem Also Sprach Sancho Panza were hits. Other arrangements included The Hustle, Macarena, and A Fifth of Beethoven -or- the Four take the fifth. They also performed a complete cycle of Hindemith viola sonatas, to a capacity crowd, no less.

As a chamber musician, Joël has collaborated with Elmar Olivera, Leonard Pennario, Igor Gruppman, Bayla Keyes, Ralph Matson and in Portland with the Ethos Quartet and the Third Angle Ensemble. In Portland’s premier New Music ensemble Fear No Music, he has performed works by Schnittke, Svoboda, Penderecki, Berio, Kurtag, and others. With the other principal players from the Oregon Symphony, he was a member of the Oregon Symphony String Quartet which performed regularly throughout the region. At Interlochen he has presented major pieces of chamber music with other faculty and coached adult chamber musicians and ensembles.

In addition to a private studio of fine young violists, Joël is on faculty at Portland State University. He is currently working on his first recital CD with renowned pianist Cary Lewis. It will include sonatas by Jacob Avshalomov, Rebecca Clarke, Tomas Svoboda, and Marion Bauer.