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Violist Seth van Embden enjoys a multifaceted career of orchestral, chamber, and historical playing. He is currently a member of the New World Symphony.


Prior to his position in Florida, Seth was the violist for Crossing Borders Music, a chamber music group devoted to performing diverse works from underrepresented composers across the globe. Additionally, Seth was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the Illinois Symphony, and frequently performed with the Milwaukee Symphony.

Seth is an enthusiastic proponent for historical performance and has attended the Dartington Baroque festival, the Berwick Academy of the Oregon Bach Festival, Tafelmusik's Baroque Summer Institute, and the Valley of the Moon Festival in Sonoma, California, where he performed Mozart’s Kegelstatt trio with historical clarinetist Eric Hoeprich and fortepianist Eric Zivian. He is a founding member of Ensemble Affect, a non-profit dedicated to making period performance practice accessible and approachable. In 2019 he was the recipient of Bourbon Baroque’s Nicolas Fortin scholarship, which has led to many happy collaborations with the Louisville-based group since.

Photo courtesy of StagetimeArts

In addition to performing, Seth is a devoted pedagogue. While in Chicago, Seth was adjunct professor of violin and viola at Joliet Junior College and upper strings faculty for the Oak Park School of Music, where he enjoyed a studio of 30 students. Prior to this, Seth was an elementary orchestra director for the Princeton, New Jersey public schools system. Now in the New World Symphony, Seth enjoys serving as a guest teaching artist at the Iberacademy of Medellín, Colombia.

Seth received his Masters degree from Northwestern University as the recipient of the Charlotte Kickhaefer Davis and Ernest Davis Endowed Fellowship, studying with the renowned soloist Helen Callus. His previous studies consist of a dual degree in viola performance and music education from Rutgers University under the tutelage of Philadelphia Orchestra principal violist CJ Chang, and orchestral studies with Li-Kuo Chang of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

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