Ms. Callus currently holds the appointment of Professor of Viola at the Bienen School of Music, Northwestern University. In high demand as a visiting professor, she has taught over 200 master classes around the world at such prominent institutions as the Royal Academy of Music in London, The Juilliard School in New York, New England Conservatory, Rice School of Music, Indiana University, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, The Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen and The Royal Norwegian Academy in Oslo, She has served as Chair at the Primrose International Viola Competition and adjudicated other major competitions for such organizations as the Coleman Chamber Ensemble Festival and the American String Teachers Association. A regular guest clinician, she has appeared for ASTA, International Viola Society Congresses and Suzuki Association of the Americas music conferences. In 2005 Ms. Callus was invited as the guest of honor for the Australia’s “Year of the Viola” Festival. Ms. Callus served as the President of the American Viola Society and was credited for creating several educational programs that are still providing assistance to students around the country.
Hailed as “one of the world’s greatest violists” (American Record Guide), and “one of the foremost violists of her generation” (Fanfare magazine), Helen Callus continues to captivate audiences with her lyrical tone, technical command, and profound artistry. Sought after as a recitalist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist, Ms. Callus has performed with such world-class ensembles as the Tokyo and Juilliard String Quartets and the BBC Concert Orchestra.
While maintaining an international concert calendar, Ms. Callus’s career also includes distinguished work as an award-winning recording artist. Her 2002 debut recording, “Portrait of the Viola,” was met with high critical acclaim, with the American Record Guide noting, “Only really great artistry can hold a listener in thrall like that, and that is the artistry of Helen Callus.” She has since made recordings of works of Walton, Prokofiev, Vaughn Williams, J.S. Bach, Gordon Jacob, Giya Kancheli, and more. Gramophone gave the Walton disc its highest recommendation, and observed, “Helen Callus plays with a sumptuous tone matched by flawless intonation to give the most beautiful account I have ever heard of the Walton Concerto.” The recording was named Orchestral Disc of the Month by Britain’s Classic FM Magazine, and “the most beautiful Walton on disc” by the 2006 Penguin Guide to Compact Discs.
Ms. Callus has delighted audiences around the world, including performances throughout Europe, Russia, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and is much in demand at international chamber music festivals such as the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, the Palaces of St. Petersburg Chamber Music Festival (Russia), and the Dilijan Chamber Music Series in Los Angeles.
Ms. Callus can be heard regularly on American Public Media’s Performance Today, in interviews on National Public Radio and Public Radio International, and has performed frequently on American Public Media’s Saint Paul Sunday.
Born in Orpington, Kent, Ms. Callus graduated from London’s Royal Academy of Music, and was bestowed an Honorary ARAM (Associate of the RAM) and FRAM (Fellow) for her achievements in the field. She continued her graduate studies at the Peabody Conservatory in Maryland with violist Paul Coletti, where she served as his Assistant.
Ms. Callus plays on a viola made for her by Gabrielle Kundert which is a copy of the ex-Primrose Amati.