Dr. Christina Placilla
Associate Professor of Strings and Music History
Dr. Placilla teaches the WSSU Chamber Orchestra (String Ensemble), String Chamber Music, String Majors and Minors, Music History Courses and Non-Western Music. She is currently the research mentor for students in the Department of Fine Arts who participate in Research Symposium at WSSU and the North Carolina State Undergraduate Research Symposium. Dr. Placilla is on faculty during the summer session at North Carolina School for the Arts Intensive Chamber Music Institute where she teaches viola and chamber music.
Dr. Placilla is a viola soloist, chamber musician, scholar and teacher. She earned her Bachelor of Music in performance at California State University, Long Beach, her Master of Music at the Hartt School in West Hartford, Connecticut and her Doctorate of Musical Arts in viola performance at the University of Colorado. Her major teachers have included Adriana Chirilov, Steven Larson, Lawrence Dutton, Erika Eckert and Barbara Hamilton. She has performed in masterclasses with Roberto Diaz, principle violist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Lawrence Dutton, violist of the Emerson String Quartet, Robert Vernon, principal violist of the Cleveland Orchestra, Roger Tapping, violist of the Takacs String Quartet and Paul Coletti, world-renowned viola soloist.
Dr. Placilla has given solo and chamber music recitals in California, Colorado, Connecticut, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, South Carolina Sydney, Australia and Madrid, Spain. She competed the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition on the Isle of Man in 2000. Ms. Placilla is a former concerto winner in the La Primavera Concerto Competition. She was also the recipient of several scholarships and fellowships, such as the Gabor Ormai Scholarship and the Time/Warner Fellowship awarded at the Henry Mancini Institute. She has been a member of numerous chamber music ensembles including the Placilla-Cheng Duo, the Rothko Trio, Performance 20/20- The Honor’s Chamber Music Ensemble at the Hartt School, Hartt Contemporary Players and California State University, Long Beach University String Quartet. While in Performance 20/20, Christina was an artist-in-residence at Bennington College in Vermont. She is currently a member of the Placilla-Rice duo with Dr. Karen Rice and Ensemble Argos. Her first solo CD Remembrances from Home is currently in production under the Centaur Record Label. Dr. Placilla has been invited to be a guest artist with Madrid Chamber Music International to perform a series of concerts in March 2006 in Madrid, Spain. With Ensemble Argos, Dr. Placilla has twice been invited to perform at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. Dr. Placilla has played in professional symphony orchestras, ballet orchestras, and opera orchestras throughout the United States. Prior to moving to Winston-Salem, she was also a founding member of the Paul Turner Pops Orchestra (Hollywood, California) and has served as one of the principle arrangers for the band, as well as leader of the string section. She has also been invited as guest artist to perform with faculty at Salem College, Wake Forest University and Converse College.
Besides being an active performer, Ms. Placilla is also a musicology scholar. She was the second prizewinner of the David Dalton Research Competition in 2000 for her article on Romanian Nationalism and the Viola Works of Enescu and Golestan that was subsequently published by the Journal of the American Viola Society. She was a recipient of the Beverly Sears Research Grant in 2001 that allowed her to travel to Ireland and do research on Arnold Bax at the Boole Library at University College, Cork where a repository of the composer’s works are held. Her doctoral dissertation was a historical, theoretical and ethnomusicological analysis of the viola and piano works of Arnold Bax. She was able to publish part of her dissertation as an article in the Journal of the American Viola Society in 2007. She has recently been invited to give a lecture recital of George Enescu’s Concertstücke for viola and piano in December 2005 at Festival commemorating the 50th anniversary of the death of George Enescu in New York City.
An active clinician, Dr. Placilla has given masterclasses and orchestral clinics in Colorado, California, Connecticut, Texas, Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina and North Carolina. She is known for her research on the pedagogy in Chamber Music and has been invited to present lectures and masterclasses at the 2009 American String Teachers Association Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, the 2010 American String Teachers Association Conference in Santa Clara, California and the 2009 North Carolina Music Teachers Association Conference in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Dr. Placilla currently serves on the boards of the North Carolina Chapter of the American String Teachers Association as the NC Coordinator of the National Honors Orchestra. She has previously served on the board of the the North Carolina Music Teachers Association as the Coordinator of the Senior Division Competition.
Christina lives in Winston-Salem with her husband, Ryan Peller and their three dogs- Jamey, Sydney and Reilly.
Office: (336) 750-2531