William Bender hails from Nashville, TN. He is currently studying with Robert Vernon at the Cleveland Institute of Music, pursuing a Master’s Degree. William received his Bachelor’s Degree from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Heidi Castleman and Robert Vernon. At Juilliard, William received the Miriam Klein Scholarship, the C.V. Starr Scholarship, and the Chairman’s Grant. William played Principal Viola in The Juilliard Orchestra under James Levine, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Emmanuel Villaume, Larry Rachleff, and Hans Graf, to name a few. In addition, William played principal in weekly Lab Orchestra sessions directed by New York Philharmonic Music Director, Alan Gilbert, and took part in the New Juilliard Ensemble, directed by Joel Sachs. This year, William is playing Principal with the CIM Orchestra, as well as Associate Principal with CityMusic Cleveland Chamber Orchestra and Blue Water Chamber Orchestra. He has also performed with the Akron Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Pops Orchestra.
William is an avid chamber musician. At CIM, William has coached with the Cavani String Quartet, as part of CIM’s Intensive Quartet Seminar, as well as Anita Pontremoli and Peter Salaff. Last summer was spent at The Perlman Music Program Chamber Workshop, where he performed alongside Itzhak Perlman, and coached with Paul Katz, Peter Salaff, and Hans Jensen. William also took part in a recent initiative of the Perlman Music Program that focused on the preparation and execution of a successful outreach performance. He twice participated in Juilliard’s Chamberfest, coaching with Sylvia Rosenberg, Michael Tree, and Toby Appel. William also took part in Juilliard’s famous Focus! 2014 Festival, an event celebrating the music of contemporary composers.
As a solo performer, William has studied with and performed for Atar Arad, Martha Katz, James Dunham, Hsin-yun Huang, Misha Amory, Steve Tenenbom, Peter Slowik, Jutta Puchhammer-Sedillot, Roberto Diaz, Helen Callus, and Jeffrey Irvine, to name a few. William’s Senior Recital at Juilliard featured his own arrangement of Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 (with chamber orchestra) and Piazzolla’s Le Grand Tango with original choreography created and performed by the beautiful Gemma Freitas (Le Ballets Jazz de Montreal). William is very interested in collaborations across artistic disciplines, and has many creations in the works.
William plays on a gorgeous viola made by Chaudiere. He is also extremely fortunate to play a bow made by Sartory, on generous loan from Ms. Jacqueline Collins.