Barbara is currently Artistic Director and Violist with the Colorado Chamber Players, a position she has held for 28 years. Dr. Hamilton was a Teaching Artist at Denver School of the Arts from 2013-2018, and coordinated the chamber music program. She served as principal violist with the Eastern Music Festival from 1990-2005. Barbara has played as principal violist and soloist with the Colorado Symphony, the Orquesta Ciudad de Barcelona, and the Orquesta de Valencia (Spain). She was a member of the New York Philharmonic for one season. Dr. Hamilton received the DMA from Yale School of Music in 1992, where she completed a dissertation on the Alexander Technique and Musicians. She was a prize winner in the Fischoff, Aspen Festival and Woolsey Hall Competitions, as well as the Young Artists of YM-YWHA (New Jersey).
For the past seven years, Barbara has explored the study and performance of the Baroque, including studies at the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute and at the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute. She is fascinated by the timbres of period instruments. Barbara has studied Baroque Violin/Viola, Viola d’Amore and performance practice with Thomas Georgi Stefano Marcocchi, Marilyn McDonald, Peter Harvey, Jeanne Lamon, Ivars Taurins, Robert Mealy and Cynthia Roberts.
While living in Spain, she played with the acclaimed “Cuarteto Martin y Soler”, including tours of Mexico, Scandinavia, and Europe. The quartet played on numerous occasions for the Royal Family of Spain. Dr. Hamilton has performed frequently as a soloist, the Valencia premiere of Penderecki’s Viola Concerto, with Maestro Penderecki conducting. She taught viola, chamber music and Alexander Technique for 7 years with the National Youth Orchestra of Catalunya, Spain (JONDE). Dr. Hamilton currently teaches, coaches and adjudicates with the the Denver Young Artists Orchestra and TASHCO.
Barbara studied with Jesse Levine and Karen Tuttle. She gives master classes and seminars throughout the USA, Asia and Europe. In the 1990’s, she toured Europe with the Orquesta Ciudad de Barcelona, the NY Virtuosi and the American Sinfonietta, including concerts in the Grosse Saal/Vienna, the Concertgebauw, Leipzig Gewandhaus, and the Tonhalle. Dr. Hamilton returned to teach at the Yale School of Music in 1998, and taught on the faculty of University of Colorado/Boulder in 2003. She has served as president and founding member of the Rocky Mountain Viola Society, and served 2 terms on the board of the American Viola Society.
Some of Barbara’s esteemed chamber music partners have been Lynn Harrell, Franco Gulli, Julia Fischer, Dmitri Sitkovetsky, David Krakauer, Sharon Isbin, Jesse Levine, Jeffrey Kahane, Larry Combs, Patricia McCarty, Charles Castleman, Derek Bermel, and Daniel Damiano (Berlin Philharmonic). She has participated in summer festivals as a performer and teacher, including the Aspen Festival, Grand Tetons, Yale at Norfolk, Garth Newell, Rocky Ridge, and June in Buffalo.
In August 2004, Barbara traveled to Beijing, China, where she participated in the 1st International Summer Music Academy, under the auspices of the Central Conservatory. While in Beijing, she performed chamber music with Daniel Gaede (concertmaster, Vienna Philharmonic) and prominent Chinese musicians Wing Ho, Yibing Chu and Linan Diang from the Central Conservatory, as well as working with student violists from 5 Chinese cities.
She has recorded for the Centaur, Bluebird, CBS Masterworks, PollyRhythm and Harmonia Mundii labels. She and husband Paul Primus are proud parents of Josh, computer and programming genius, and Lily, harp prodigy.