Christina Placilla

Position: Associate Professor Department: Music

Contact Info

Office: 208 Fine Arts Phone: 336-750-2531 Fax: 336-750-2522


Christina 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 viola teachers have included Adriana Chirilov (Pacific Symphony Orchestra), Steven Larson (University of Harford and the Adaskin String Trio), Lawrence Dutton (University of Hartford and the Emerson String Quartet), Erika Eckert (University of Colorado and formerly of the Cavani Quartet), and Barbara Hamilton (University of Colorado and the Colorado Chamber Players).

Christina has given solo and chamber music recitals in California, Colorado, Connecticut, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Sydney, Australia and Madrid, Spain. Dr. Placilla has played in professional symphony orchestras, ballet orchestras, and opera orchestras throughout the United States. She currently is active as a chamber musician in the Piedmont Triad Area and is the violist in the Placilla-Rice duo, the Winston Quartet and in Ensemble Argos, a flexible chamber music ensemble and piano quartet. She has released a CD entitled Remembrances from Home on the Centaur Label with pianist Hector Landa.

Dr. Placilla has presented on chamber music pedagogy several times at the National American String Teachers Conference, South Carolina ASTA Conference and North Carolina MTNA. She has had two peer-reviewed musicological studies on Viola and Piano works published by the Journal of the American Viola Society. Christina has also recently co-authored non-juried books based upon her chamber music research entitled We Are the Music Makers: A Graded Guide to Chamber Music, Volume I- String Quartets, Volume II- String Trios, and Volume III-Chamber Music for Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Cello and Piano through Createspace. She additionally published the children's book Lola the Viola and Her String Instrument Family.

She has been the recipient of a number of grants and fellowships including: Ping Fellowship awarded by Consortium on International Educational Exchange (2013), WSSU International Faculty Development Grant (2013), Winston-Salem Arts Council Regional Artist Grant funded by the National Endowment for the Arts (2007-2008), the Mr. Holland's Opus Grant (2005), and the Beverly Sears Travel Grant (2002). She has been the recipient of the following awards: Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, Port Erin, Isle of Man: Invited Quarterfinalist (2003), David Dalton Research Competition sponsored by the American Viola Society- Second Place (2000), and La Primavera Concerto Competition- Winner (1997).

Christina currently teaches the upper string studio, the Chamber Orchestra, upper division music history courses, and developed General Education courses such as Music and the Movies and Political Music at Winston-Salem State University. From 2006-2012, she was on faculty during the summer session at University of North Carolina School of the Arts as artist in residence of viola and chamber music.

In addition to her teaching, Christina is currently serving as the Chair of the Winston-Salem State University Faculty Senate (2013-2015) and as a member of the UNC Faculty Assembly.

Educational Background

  • Doctor of Musical Arts- Performance, University of Colorado
  • Master of Music- Performance, University of Hartford
  • Bachelor of Music- Performance, California State University, Long Beach

Research and Project Interests

  • Chamber Music Pedagogy
  • Chamber Music Performance
  • Viola Performance
  • Nationalism in Chamber Music
  • Chamber Music of Joseph Haydn
  • Nationalism in Music- Ireland, Spain, Romania