Randolph Kelly has enjoyed a distinguished and multifaceted career as principal violist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He was hired by André Previn in 1976, and has since played under the direction of Lorin Maazel and Mariss Jansons. Previn once wrote that Mr. Kelly "…transformed his section into what I believe is the best viola section of any orchestra in America."
One highlight of Kelly's tenure with the Pittsburgh Symphony was performing the world premiere of a viola concerto written for him by Samuel Adler. This piece was commissioned by the Orchestra for their 2000-01 season.
In addition to his orchestral career, Mr. Kelly's virtuosity as a soloist and chamber musician has been celebrated around the world. He has recorded and toured extensively with the Los Angeles Piano Quartet. In reviewing a performance of theirs, the German press Passaver Neve stated, "Randolph Kelly is in a class of his own. He has a richness of tone such as one seldom hears…" Additionally, Mr. Kelly has been invited to perform as a guest artist at chamber music festivals in Japan, Australia, Europe, Taiwan and Russia.
As a soloist, Randolph Kelly has appeared on some of the most prestigious concert stages in the world. He performed the New York premiere, in Carnegie Hall, of Sir Michael Tippett's Triple Concerto. He made his European solo debut when Lorin Maazel invited him to play the Walton Concerto with the National Orchestra of France. James DePreist conducted the Oregon Symphony when Kelly played the Bartók Viola Concerto. The review in The Oregonian stated, "…guest soloist Randolph Kelly provided the evening's highlight…it was a breathtaking performance."
In addition to his rigorous performing schedule, Kelly has recorded a wide range of music for the Albany, Naxos, and Music Masters labels. He also appeared on national television, performing Don Quixote as part of the series "Previn and the Pittsburgh."
Randolph Kelly is a graduate of the Curtis Institute, where he worked closely with the esteemed violist Joseph DePasquale. He is presently Professor of Viola at Duquesne University and is committed to performing new music. He generously volunteers his time to educational programs in an effort to bring a wide range of musical experiences to young audiences.