Japanese-Norwegian violist Masumi Per Rostad has been described as an expressive and elegant musician. As a member of the Pacifica Quartet, with whom he performs over 90 concerts a year, he won a 2009 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance and the Cleveland Quartet Award, in addition to being named Musical America’s 2009 Ensemble of the Year.
Masumi has participated in the Marlboro Music Festival and performed as violist for the Spoleto USA and Skaneateles chamber music festivals. Collaborative highlights include performances with the St Lawrence, Emerson Quartets, Yo-Yo Ma, and Menahem Pressler. He has toured and recorded with the International Sejong Soloists and the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra. He can be found on recordings for Cedille Records, Naxos, Tzadik, Windspell Productions, and Musical Observations.
The Third Street Music School Settlement in New York City, where he began his musical studies at age three, presented him with the ‘Rising Star Award’ for musical achievement in 2008. Mr. Rostad received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School, where he was awarded the Lillian Fuchs Award for outstanding graduating violist. At Juilliard he studied with Karen Tuttle and was her teaching assistant. He has also served on the faculty of the Northwestern University School of Music. He counts Paul Zukofsky among his great musical mentors.
He performed the world premiere of Michael White's Viola Concerto in Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall with conductor James DePreist after winning the Juilliard concerto competition in 1999. He also gave the New York premiere of Paul Schoenfield's Viola Concerto with the Juilliard Symphony. The New York Times described it as "magnificently performed," and New York Magazine heralded him as “headed for the big career.”
Masumi is an artistic planner and founder of DoCha (www.DoCha.org), a collaborative effort among University of Illinois community members to experiment with new and fun ways to present chamber music. The festival, which began in April 2010, intends to represent the first generation of classical musicians in the 21st century who feel they have a responsibility to carry forward the traditions of their art form while adapting to the changing world.
Currently, Masumi lives with his wife, Milena, in Bloomington, IN, where he is a professor of viola at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music. He is also on the faculty of the University of Chicago.