Viola

Surai Balbeisi is active as a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician; a versatile musician, she performs a variety of genre, including classical, baroque, jazz, rock, hip-hop, and electric. She has performed in Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and Radio City Music Hall and appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Today Show, The View, The Martha Stewart Show, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and Saturday Night Live, with artists and groups including Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Kanye West, Jewel, Regina Spektor, The Roots, Il Divo, the Antara Ensemble, the New England Symphonic Ensemble, and Dorian Baroque. She has toured with the Bollywood sensation Arijit Singh; the jazz ensemble the Daughters of Nina Simone; the Opera Show; and the Paris Chamber Orchestra; as well as with the U.K. based band Elbow as back-up singer and violist. On Broadway, she was viola chair for the show Sleigh Bells Swing and is currently substitute viola at The Phantom of the Opera.

In addition to a multifaceted career as a performer, Ms. Balbeisi enjoys working in TV and film. She was the viola consultant and instructor for the film A Late Quartet and performed on ABC’s supernatural drama pilot 666 Park Avenue, NBC’s Mysteries of Laura, and the upcoming Netflix comedy Like Father. She can be heard on Katy Perry’s MTV Unplugged DVD on the Capitol Records label and on VMM and Eye Ball Records.

In addition to an active freelance career in New York City, Ms. Balbeisi is a dedicated teacher. She is a Suzuki trained teacher and Level I certified Orff Schulwerk teacher. She has extensive training in BrainGym, the Alexander Technique, and Dalcroze Eurhythmics. She has taught at Penn State University, the Virginia Commonwealth University Community School for the Performing Arts, Hoff-Barthelson Music School, and the New York Summer Music Festival. She is currently on the faculty at the Manhattan School of Music Precollege and the Diller-Quaile School of Music.

Ms. Balbeisi began her musical training in Amman, Jordan under the patronage of Queen Nour. She holds a BM in violin performance from Pennsylvania State University, a Professional Studies Diploma in viola from the Mannes College of Music, and a Master of Arts from New York University. Her teachers have included Karen Ritscher, Martha Katz, Pedro de Alcantara, and Weigang Li.