Violist Daphne Gerling was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and began her musical studies in Boston, MA at the age of four. A graduate of the Walnut Hill School and New England Conservatory, she went on to earn degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Jeffrey Irvine and Lynne Ramsey.
Her performances have taken her to leading venues in the U.S., Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Italy, Austria, and England, and to the Aspen, Bowdoin, Bad Leonfelden, Ciaccona, Encore, NYU, Norfolk (UK), and Sarasota Music festivals. She is a former faculty member of the preparatory departments at Oberlin and CIM, and has also taught at the Cleveland Music School Settlement. From 2001-2004 she taught in the Shepherd School of Music’s Michael P. Hammond Preparatory Division, where she was a Brown Foundation fellow in viola and early childhood music. Concurrently, she held a joint appointment as principal violist of the Houston Chamber orchestra and String Quartet. As a founding member of the Archiano Ensemble and the Rice Chamber Players, she performed in Baltimore and Brazil to critical acclaim.
From 2005-2007 Daphne was a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Music in England, where she undertook the research for her doctoral dissertation entitled “Connecting Histories: Identity and Exoticism in Ernest Bloch, Rebecca Clarke and Paul Hindemith’s Viola Works of 1919.” She was awarded the title of Doctor of Musical Arts from Rice University in May 2007, where she was a student of and departmental teaching assistant to violists Karen Ritscher and James Dunham. During her time in the United Kingdom she was also active as a recitalist, was the violist for the Anglian Ensemble, and was a sought-after teacher in Cambridgeshire. While living in Europe, she also studied with Thomas Riebl and Simon Rowland-Jones.
Dr. Gerling’s students have achieved ‘distinction’ (the highest mark awarded) in the examinations of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, UK, and have won principal chairs in the Texas All-Sate Senior Orchestra and Houston Youth Symphony. They have been accepted to music programs at Oberlin, CIM, the Juilliard School, the University of Texas at Austin and Princeton University, among others. Daphne is an active member of the American Viola Society, serving as a board member for the Virginia Chapter, and the American String Teachers’ Association. She is a past member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, having served as chair for teacher development in the Houston Area Suzuki Strings Association, where she chaired workshops with Barbara Barber and William Preucil Senior.
Since returning to the United States, Dr. Gerling has taught and performed in Virginia, appearing regularly with the Richmond Symphony, notably at the Kennedy Center. She has been a frequent guest at the James Madison University School of Music in Harrisonburg, VA, performing chamber music, teaching master classes, lessons, and adjudicating the 2008 and 2009 concerto competitions. In the summer of 2008 she taught at Rice University and was on staff at the Heifetz International Music Institute in New Hampshire. In October she returned to Brazil to coordinate the viola activities and perform as an orchestral soloist at the Festival de Cordas Nathan Schwartzman in Uberlândia, MG. Recently she has been a guest clinician and recitalist at Illinois State University, and a guest performer at Florida State University’s School of Music. This summer she will be the violist on faculty at the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts. Since August 2008 she has held a Lectureship in Viola at Valdosta State University’s department of music where she is also Director and Master teacher of the South Georgia String Project, violist of the Azalea String Quartet, and principal violist of the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra.