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Viola Instruction with Yael Hyken

April 17, 2020

Yael Hyken has had a musical career that has taken her all over the world. Initially a violinist, she switched to viola under the guidance of Prof. David Chen in the Israel Conservatory in Tel Aviv when she was 16.

At the age of 18, she joined the Israeli Army in the unit of “Outstanding Musicians” for a period of 21 months. During this time, she also played with the Young Israel Philharmonic touring to both Germany and China.

After being released from the army, Hyken moved to The Netherlands to pursue her Bachelor’s Degree in Music at the Academy for Music in Rotterdam, where she studied with Prof. Ron Ephrat.

From 2004-2008, Hyken was a member of the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra under Music Director Maestro James Levine. She was also member of the UBS Chamber Orchestra Touring in Canada, USA, Europe and Asia with violin virtuoso Maxim Vengerov.

She has played with many esteemed conductors including Valery Gergeiv, Zubin Mehta, Charles Dutoit, Stephane Deneve, Osmo Vanska, Yuri Temirkanov, Christoph Von Dohnanyi, and Gustavo Dudamel among many others.  Hyken has also performed and toured with a wide variety of award winning artists including Andrea Bocelli, Gil Shaham, Lang Lang, Renee Fleming, Ben Folds, Angelique Kidjo, Macy Gray, Talib Kweli, Cory Henry, Tuneyards, Kishi Bashi, and Jacob Collier.

Hyken studied at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City with both Irene Breslaw and Daniel Avshalomov.

From 2007-2010, she was a fellow with the New World Symphony in Miami under music director Michael Tilson Thomas.

Yael Hyken teaches violin and viola to elementary though high school students and plays with the Palm Beach Symphony, Miami City Ballet, Naples Philharmonic and the Florida Grand Opera in Miami.

Yael Hyken has been principal viola of the Amarillo Symphony in Texas from 2014-2018 and is currently principal viola of the Nu Deco Ensemble based in Miami FL.

Instructional Videos

In this series of videos, Symphony violist Yael Hyken explains musical interpretation, how to prepare for orchestra auditions, practicing rhythm, and good practice habits for the viola.