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Friction Quartet welcomes new violist, Rachyl Martinez

August 5, 2021

OAKLAND - Friction Quartet is thrilled to announce Rachyl Martinez has joined as their new violist! Rachyl is a fierce performer with a wealth of experience with chamber ensembles across the United States, and an extensive background in music education, who makes invaluable addition to the quartet. 

“Joining a string quartet has always been my biggest dream, and I surely could not have dreamed up a more perfect one than Friction," says Martinez. "Kevin, Otis, and Doug are the most incredibly versatile, deeply touching, and uncannily accurate players I have ever had the pleasure of playing with - but more importantly, they are kind, genuine people. I couldn't be more ecstatic."

“Rachyl is a passionate and enthusiastic performer. The energy and thoughtfulness she brings to musical interpretation and curation is inspiring," says Rogers. "Her commitment to education and inclusivity for all, and particularly for the neurodivergent community, deeply aligns with Friction's goals and mission moving forward. We are so fortunate to be making music with Rachyl!”

You can catch Martinez's first performances with the ensemble in the production of Birds in the Moon in Berkeley and L.A. later this month, and in a recital featuring the premiere of new works by local composers at the Center for New Music on September 19.

Friction Quartet also thanks their former violist Lucia Kobza for her incredible contributions to the quartet, and for navigating the challenges of the past year and half with patience and optimism. They wish her well on wherever her journey takes her next.



About Rachyl Martinez: 

Throughout her career, Rachyl Martinez has sought out every possible chamber music opportunity - attending selective chamber music festivals such as Kneisel Hall and Norfolk, founding Ensemble Elevate in New York, playing at the Colburn Chamber Music Society with Scott St. John and Augustin Hadelich, and becoming a member of Mimesis Ensemble - with whom she performed at Carnegie Hall and the United Nations, and recorded the album Dancing Circles In the Night. Rachyl also attended the prestigious new music festival Klangspuren Schwaz - Tiroler Festival für Neue Musik in Tyrol, Austria.


As a soloist, Rachyl has earned top prizes at the International Hugo Kauder Competition for Viola, the Pasadena Showcase House Instrumental Competition, and the concerto competitions at Wilmington Symphony Orchestra and University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) - where she earned her bachelor's degree on full scholarship with Sheila Browne. The Hugo Kauder Society funded Rachyl's professional music video of Kauder's Kleine Suite für Viola Solo, available on YouTube. Rachyl was also a member of the San Diego Symphony from 2016-17, having earned the position while still attending the Colburn Conservatory for her master's degree with Paul Coletti. 


Rachyl's other musical passion is teaching the Suzuki Method, particularly to young children. Rachyl recently launched the in-person/online hybrid Morph Suzuki Academy - but she has maintained her own Suzuki studio since the early 2000s. She earned her formal Suzuki certificate at the School for Strings with Allen Lieb in 2020. Prior to this, Rachyl was personally mentored in the Suzuki Method by Shelley Beard at the Music School of Delaware (MSD). Rachyl has also taught at MSD Suzuki Day, the Greenwich Suzuki Academy, the Brooklyn Music School, Porterville Summer Strings Academy, and as artist-in-residence at the Bellingham Festival of Music. Rachyl has a special interest in psychology, and particularly enjoys teaching the neurodiverse. 


Rachyl lives very happily with her husband, renowned bassist Marlon Martinez, and their two kitties, Earl Grey and Coffee Cake. Rachyl is passionate about normalizing mental health, and is an #ActuallyAutistic advocate. You will usually find her watching her favorite shows on repeat, spending time with friends, watching movies, or drinking coffee.


Photos of Rachyl Martinez: here*

Rachyl's Website: here

* Photo credit: Samantha Godoy

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