A native of Oregon, Ethan Pernela joined the viola section of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra in spring of 2015. Mr. Pernela completed his Bachelor of Music, Master of Music and Graduate Diploma with honors at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he studied with James Dunham and Martha Strongin Katz.
After receiving a fellowship to the New World Symphony in 2007, Mr. Pernela won a viola position in the Honolulu Symphony under the baton of Andreas Delfs. Other orchestra engagements include the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Saint Louis Symphony, Portland Symphony, World Symphony Orchestra of Korea, Aspen Festival Orchestra, Verbier Chamber Orchestra and the Verbier Festival Orchestra, where he served as principal violist. Mr. Pernela also performed in festivals including Taos School of Music, Yellow Barn, Kneisel Hall, Musicorda and the Interlochen Center for the Arts. Orchestral concert tours have taken Mr. Pernela to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore as well as much of Europe and the United States.
An active chamber musician, Mr. Pernela has been a member of Chamber Music Hawaii’s Galliard String Quartet as well as the Ebb and Flow Arts modern ensemble. He has collaborated with artists including Ray Chen, Karen Gomyo, Augustin Hadelich, Chee-Yun Kim, Christopher O’Riley, Jon Kimura Parker, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Donald Weilerstein and Joyce Yang. His passion for chamber music comes from his work with Eric Rosenblith and Raphael Hillyer at New England Conservatory, where his quartet was accepted into the Honors Ensemble Program.
Mr. Pernela performs on a viola crafted in Chicago in 1954 by renowned violin makers Carl Becker Jr. and Sr.
When not playing viola, Ethan Pernela enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife, cellist Joanna Morrison, and their daughters Zoe and Madeleine.