VIOLIST, Professor of viola
Tony’s viola odyssey began in the fifth grade, when he heeded the call of his youth orchestra conductor to help her solve the staffing issue of having only three viola players (and an over-abundance of violins).
Scoping out the principal violist—tall, handsome, an accomplished gymnast and popular with the pretty girls—Tony thought the viola might help him achieve some of those same qualities.
Gymnastics was never in the cards, but the viola playing worked out.
As violist of the Avalon String Quartet, Mr. Devroye has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris, Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango in Bogotá, and the Shrine of St. Thérèse in Juneau, Alaska. The quartet’s diverse performance projects – and their recordings on the Cedille, Bridge, and Albany labels – have showcased a repertoire ranging from Beethoven, Bartok, Brahms and Berg to Stacy Garrop, Harold Meltzer, Leo Sowerby and Florence Price.
Outside of the quartet, Mr. Devroye has frequently performed for Chicago’s beloved Rush Hour Concerts, a free summer chamber music festival for which he also served as Artistic Director for five years. In this capacity, he curated points of entry for listeners to explore programs ranging from Baroque performance practice to contemporary premieres and collaborations with poetry and dance. With adventurous programming and engaging pre-concert commentary Tony illuminated musical connections for both novice listeners and seasoned concertgoers.
Mr. Devroye’s other performing activities include recitals with pianist Daniel Schlosberg, chamber music concerts with major orchestra principals, and playing the dulcet principal viola solo from Giselle in the pit of the Joffrey Ballet. Since 2010 he has been a regular substitute with the Chicago Symphony under Riccardo Muti, including CSO tours to New York, Vienna, Warsaw, and Mexico City.
Known for his gutsy, colorful and nuanced playing—and the communicative clarity of his performances—violist Anthony Devroye has helped people deepen their connection to great music for over 20 years.
An innovative and inspiring educator, Mr. Devroye is Professor of Viola at the Northern Illinois University School of Music. He has also presented guest masterclasses at over a dozen universities including Northwestern and UCLA, and has spent summers teaching at Interlochen, Madeline Island, and the Icicle Creek Center for the Arts.
Mr. Devroye holds a bachelor’s degree in Biological Science from Columbia University in NYC, where he pursued concurrent music study at The Juilliard School. Again, the music won out: he went on to earn a performance diploma from the Curtis Institute. His viola teachers included Michael Tree, Roberto Diaz, Toby Appel, Heidi Castleman and Misha Amory. Tony plays a 2001 viola made by Gabrielle Kundert in Olney, Maryland.