Joan DerHovsepian holds the position of Associate Principal Viola of the Houston Symphony Orchestra and is currently serving as Acting Principal. She joined the viola section of the Houston Symphony in 1999, hired by Christoph Eschenbach, and began serving as Associate Principal in the fall of 2010. Ms. DerHovsepian was Principal Viola of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra for two seasons and played in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. She has appeared as guest principal viola with the Cincinnati Symphony. As a soloist, she has performed the Walton Concerto, Penderecki Concerto, Vaughan Williams Suite for Viola and Orchestra, Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante, the viola concertos of Telemann, Handel/Casadesus and J. C. Bach, and Wolff’s Italian Serenade for Viola and Chamber Orchestra. Ms. DerHovsepian has performed in orchestras under the batons of great maestros including Leonard Bernstein, Simon Rattle, Riccardo Muti, Christoph Eschenbach and many others.
Ms. DerHovsepian is an Artist Teacher of Viola at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, instructing students in viola orchestral repertoire and chamber music. Students who have come through her orchestral repertoire course have gone on to win positions in the Cincinnati Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, Houston Symphony, Metropolitan Opera, North Carolina Symphony, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Pittsburgh Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Utah Symphony, Washington National Opera, and many other ﬁne ensembles. She is regular guest faculty for the New World Symphony and has given master classes in the study of orchestral excerpts at the New England Conservatory and for the viola students of the Juilliard School.
Ms. DerHovsepian participates annually at the Mimir Chamber Music Festival, the Grand Teton Music Festival, the National Orchestral Institute, and as Principal Viola of the Peninsula Music Festival. She was the violist of the award-winning Everest Quartet, top-prize winners at the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. Ms. DerHovsepian was the second-prize recipient of the Primrose International Viola Competition. Ms. DerHovsepian holds a Bachelor and Master of Music degrees and the Performer's Certiﬁcate from the Eastman School of Music, studying with James Dunham. She also attended the Hochschule fur Musik in Freiburg, Germany, where she studied with violist Kim Kashkashian.