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Tatjana Mead Chamis Returns to Utah to Pay Tribute to Boguslavsky

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When renowned violist Tatjana Mead Chamis first tried the viola, she did not take to it at all.

But thanks to her former instructor Mikhail Boguslavsky, “I completely fell in love with it and never went back to the violin.”

On Sunday, March 9, 2014, Mead Chamis returns to Utah to pay tribute to Boguslavsky at a benefit concert at 7:30 PM in Libby Gardner Concert.

“I owe my entire career and life in music to Mikhail,” explained Mead Chamis. “He taught me for a reduced fee because my family had four musicians to support.”

Associate principal viola of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 2003, Mead Chamis has appeared in the most prestigious international concert halls and as a recitalist and chamber musician. She has performed with virtuosi Emmanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham, and Lynn Harrell, among others.

But while Mead Chamis had many talented teachers, and attended the esteemed Curtis Institute of Music, her experience with Boguslavsky, with whom she started studying at 14, was transformational.

“He imparted his passion for music,” said Mead Chamis, “He could describe it in beautiful language and it came right from the heart.”

Mead Chamis, who will perform with pianist Heather Conner, dedicates the first half of the program to his memory. Boguslavsky, who co-founded the Moscow Chamber Orchestra and later taught on the University of Utah music faculty, liked to start a recital with solo Bach.

Mead Chamis kicks off the program with J.S. Bach’s Cello Suite No. 4 in E-flat major, one of the last pieces she studied with Boguslavsky before leaving Utah to attend Curtis.

On the program’s second half, Mead Chamis will play Brazilian composer Francisco Mignone’s Three Brazilian Waltzes, which she recently recorded for a forthcoming CD.

This piece was among many beautiful works for viola that Mead Chamis collected during a 2012 sabbatical year in Brazil with her husband, Brazilian composer and conductor Flavio Chamis.

Mead Chamis is excited to collaborate on this concert with University of Utah Professor Heather Conner, a colleague from Curtis, to further Boguslavsky’s legacy.

Foreseeing the obstacles ahead for a young musician, Boguslavsky often told her, “Only go into music if you can’t live without it.” She followed his advice.


Other pieces on the program include Brahms’ Sonata in F minor, Hindemith’s Viola Sonata Op. 11 No. 5, and Zimbalist’s virtuosic Sarasateana.


Proceeds from Mead Chamis performance go to the Boguslavsky Scholarship Fund, which was founded at the University of Utah in 2007 to provide scholarship support to string students to pursue advanced study in chamber music. For more information call 801-587-8352.

Last Updated: 3/22/23