Bruce Owen has been the assistant principal viola of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans since 1999, after having been in the viola section as one of the founding members of the musician run orchestra. He has also performed with the Columbus, Dallas, and Baltimore Symphonies.
Bruce earned his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees at the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati where he was the teaching assistant to Masau Kawasaki. He also spent two years at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna, Austria, studying with Hatto Beyerle, formerly of the Alban Berg String Quartet. In addition, his training included coaching with the LaSalle and Tokyo Quartets.
In 2006, he founded Musaica, a chamber ensemble made up mostly of LPO colleagues, which presents a regular series of concerts featuring both new and less frequently heard works. The group, which was hailed by the New Orleans Times-Picayune as “a triumph of musicianship and adventurous programming” won the Gambit “Tribute to the Classical Arts” award for best chamber music concerts of 2007 and 2019 and has been nominated every year in the “best chamber music” or “best new work” category. Musaica’s website is www.musaica.org.
In New Orleans, Bruce is the professor of viola at Loyola University’s School of Music where he is also a member of the James Carter String Quartet. In addition, he is the instructor of viola at Southeastern Louisiana University. Bruce has done master classes around the country including visits to the music schools at University of New Mexico, Texas Tech University, University of Southern Mississippi, University of Colorado, Florida State University, and the University of Oklahoma, among others. He has also served on the board of the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra (GNOYO) and teaches at GNOYO’s annual summer festival.
During his summers at the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder, Bruce enjoys climbing Colorado’s 14ers (the 54 peaks higher than 14,000 feet), of which he has done 42 as of 2019. Besides hiking, Bruce also enjoys biking, photography, writing, and traveling by train.