Violist Christine Rutledge is a musician and educator of eclectic interests and talents. She is equally at home with performances of the most cutting-edge new music, works from the standard repertoire, and performances on baroque viola. She has commissioned, premiered, and recorded new music by such composers as Claude Baker, Zae Munn, Jeremy Dale Roberts, C. P. First, and David Gompper, with whom she frequently collaborates with the Center for New Music. Her performances and recordings (The Blissful Violist, String Trios of Paul Hindemith, and David Diamond: Chamber Works for Strings and Piano) have been praised in such publications as The Strad, Fanfare, the New York Times, and The New York Concert Review.
In an effort to provide violists with a larger and historically accurate body of baroque repertoire, Rutledge founded Linnet Press Editions. Her transcriptions of works by Telemann, J. S. Bach, Biber, Roman, and Pisendel have been widely received for their historic accuracy and performer-friendly presentations. Rutledge has expanded Linnet Press Editions to include new editions of many out-of-print music from the English Romantic period, especially works written for the virtuoso violist Lionel Tertis. Her technique book, The Violist’s Handbook, has sold hundreds of copies throughout the world.
Recent performances and master classes and presentations on baroque performance practices include those in Germany, Sweden, South Africa, New York City, University of Michigan Oberlin Conservatory, Arizona State University, University of Arizona, University of Northern Arizona, University of Kansas, and Bowling Green State University.
Currently Rutledge holds the position of Professor of Viola at the University of Iowa. She has served on the executive board of the American Viola Society, and is president of the Iowa Viola Society. For six years she was Assistant Principal Viola of the Louisville Orchestra and violist of the Ceruti Chamber Players and the Kentucky Center Chamber Players. She has also been a member of the faculty at the University of Notre Dame. Festival appearances include Interlochen Center for the Arts, Bay View Music Festival, Roycroft Music Festival, Sewanee Summer Music Center, "Brunch with Bach" series at the Detroit Institute of Art, Manitou Music Festival, Hot Springs Music Festival, and the Fontana Chamber Arts Festival. Rutledge currently serves as an artist/faculty member at the Bay View Music Festival.
Rutledge is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music as a student of Karen Tuttle and Michael Tree, and the University of Iowa with William Preucil, Sr. She is also a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy, where she was honored as Valedictorian and recipient of a Young Artist Award. Among her many honors are Prizewinner in the Aspen Festival Viola Competition, an Indiana Arts Commission Individual Artist’s Fellowship, recipient of an Eli Lilly Foundation grant for undergraduate teaching development, as well as several awards from the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts at the University of Notre Dame and the Arts and Humanities Initiative at the University of Iowa.
Rutledge lives in Iowa City with her husband, Mark Russell, and their son Jake. She plays a 17-inch viola made by David Burgess in 1978 and bows by David Samuels.
Excerpts from selected reviews:
“Christine Rutledge was most impressive -- for the large tone she produced and the command that she brought to her many solo passages.” Robert Rhein, South Bend Tribune
“Violist Christine Rutledge seemed to capture perfectly the work’s [Rebecca Clarke Sonata for Viola and Piano] understated, veiled quality...Most impressive was the rich tone achieved in the romantic, ala Ralph Vaughan-Williams, last section.” Matthew Steel, Kalamazoo Gazette
With the Notre Dame String Trio
“A courageously enterprising and impressively well-played program...All three players, viola especially, projected sumptuously.” Harris Goldsmith, New York Concert Review
“...excellent rhythmic articulation, spot-on intonation and superior tonal blend (especially due to the plangent viola of Christine Rutledge)...” The Strad
“Sunday’s performance was brilliant.” Matthew Steel, Kalamazoo Gazette
For the CD “Chamber Works of David Diamond for Strings and Piano”
“...these are thrilling and deeply satisfying performances -- captured in crystal-clear sound -- that leave no margin for error or improvement. An essential contribution to the American chamber-music discography.” Paul A. Snook, Fanfare
“I can’t say enough about the high level of these performances...The rhythmic acuity and dead-on intonation of each of the string-players are nothing short of brilliant.” Craig Zeichner, Fanfare
“The recording is as full of spit and vinegar as the playing; it fairly leaps out of the speakers. Bravo to all concerned!” Lehman, American Record Guide
For the CD “Hindemith String Trios”
“The individual players match reliable intonation with smooth tone production, and their ensemble blend is marvelous. Warm, intimate sound adds a final touch...this Centaur disc is highly recommended.” Fanfare
“The Notre Dame Trio...sounds as if they really enjoy playing Hindemith...you will not be disappointed...” Tully Potter, The Strad