Rebecca Albers, Maiya Papach, and Lisa Sung to Lead UMN Music Viola Studio (2024)

The University of Minnesota - Twin Cities School of Music is excited to announce the appointment of Rebecca Albers, Maiya Papach, and Lisa Sung to lead the viola studio starting Fall 2024. Albers holds the principal viola position of the Minnesota Orchestra, Papach holds the principal viola position of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Sung is a member of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra viola section.

“I am so delighted to welcome three amazing performers and teachers to the U,” writes Patrick Warfield, Director of the School of Music. “While no one can ever replace Professor Emeritus Korey Konkol, Becca, Maiya, and Lisa bring a wealth of professional experience, artistic integrity, and dedication to students to our community. Together they will help us educate the next generation of artist-citizens.”


Rebecca Albers

Rebecca Albers joined the Minnesota Orchestra as assistant principal viola in 2010 and won the position of principal viola in 2017. She has performed throughout the United States, Asia and Europe, making her New York debut at Lincoln Center, performing the New York premiere of Samuel Adler’s Viola Concerto with the Juilliard Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, she performs often at such festivals as the Marlboro Music Festival, Seattle Chamber Music Society Summer and Winter Festivals, and Rome Chamber Music Festival.

Albers is a member of Accordo, a Twin Cities-based chamber ensemble whose members are present and former principal players from the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra. She has toured extensively with Musicians from Marlboro and with the Albers Trio, an ensemble formed with her sisters Laura and Julie Albers, and has been featured on many of the Orchestra’s chamber concerts, performing music by Schumann, Beethoven, Dvořák and Schubert.

Albers is a Distinguished Artist faculty member at Mercer University’s Robert McDuffie Center for Strings in Macon, Georgia, where she shares a viola studio with Victoria Chiang. She has also taught at such festivals as the Perlman Music Program and the Bowdoin International Music Festival.

Originally from Longmont, Colorado, Albers grew up playing violin and harp, picking up the viola at age nine for an ensemble her mother, a Suzuki teacher, was putting together. Albers received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School, where she studied with Heidi Castleman and Hsin-Yun Huang. Her childhood teachers were James Maurer and her mother, Ellie LeRoux.

Maiya Papach

Maiya Papach is the principal violist of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. A member of the orchestra since 2008, she has made solo appearances with the SPCO in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with concertmaster Steven Copes, solo directed Benjamin Britten’s Lachrymae and as soloist in Woolrich’s Ulysses Awakes.

Papach has made frequent national and international appearances as a chamber musician, with a versatile profile in her performances of both traditional and contemporary repertoire. She is a founding member of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), with whom she has performed frequently at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, New York’s Le Poisson Rouge, Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art and dozens of experimental venues. She has toured extensively in the former Soviet Union with the Da Capo Chamber Players, across North America with Musicians from Marlboro, and has made appearances at Prussia Cove (UK), the Boston Chamber Music Society, the Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival, the Chattanooga Chamber Music Festival and Chamber Music Quad Cities. She is also currently a member of Accordo, a Twin Cities-based chamber music group.

Papach is a 2013 recipient of the McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians administered by the MacPhail Center for Music. Through this fellowship and in collaboration with ICE, she co-commissioned a viola concerto by Anthony Cheung, performed at the Mostly Mozart Festival to critical acclaim by the New York Times. She is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory and the Juilliard School, and her principal teachers include Roland Vamos, Karen Tuttle, Benny Kim and Hsin-Yun Huang. She performs on a 19th century Turinese viola by Annibale fa*gnola.

Lisa Sung

Hailed by the Australian Daily Telegraph as a "viola prodigy," Australian-Korean violist Lisa Sung is a laureate of numerous international competitions including the 12th Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and the 10th Gisborne International Music Competition. She has performed the Bartók Concerto at the Sydney Opera House and has played in other renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall, Seoul Arts Center, Berlin Philharmonie, and Royal Albert Hall. She has had the distinct honor of performing for the Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard.

Sung is a guest musician with world-class orchestras including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony. A passionate chamber musician, she has performed alongside distinguished artists such as Gary Hoffman, Paul Neubauer, and Donald Weilerstein, and has worked closely with the Borromeo, Brentano, Emerson, Juilliard, and Shanghai String Quartets.

Originally from Sydney, Australia, Sung recently earned a Graduate Diploma degree from the New England Conservatory, studying under the guidance of Kim Kashkashian. She holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School, where she studied with Paul Neubauer and Cynthia Phelps as a proud recipient of the inaugural Kovner Fellowship. Her previous mentor is Tobias Breider.

Rebecca Albers, Maiya Papach, and Lisa Sung to Lead UMN Music Viola Studio (2024)


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