Ethan Ford Heath, a native of Rochester, Minnesota, US, began playing the viola at the age of nine. He graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy and continued his studies at the Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard School and the Cleveland Institute of Music. His teachers included John Graham, Samuel Rhodes, Robert Vernon, Heidi Castleman, Masao Kawasaki and Yizhak Schotten.
Heath’s performing career began at the age of 13 when he performed as concerto soloist with orchestra. After coaching with such artists as the Juilliard, Cleveland, Muir and Colorado Quartets and pianists Samuel Sanders and Anton Nel, he has appeared as chamber musician in venues such as Alice Tully Hall and NYU’s Miller Theater in New York City; at many festivals including the Aspen, Sarasota and Park City Music Festivals; at the Breckenridge Music Festival, where he also performed as concerto soloist with the National Repertory Orchestra; and in venues around Hong Kong. He continues to play chamber music with various colleagues at every opportunity.
Heath has worked to increase the repertoire of contemporary viola music, and successfully commissioned the “Concertpiece for Viola and Piano” from the well-known American composer David Diamond.
Heath is an active orchestra musician, having held the position of Assistant Principal Viola in the Akron and Canton Symphonies, and performing with numerous other groups such as the North Carolina Symphony, the New World Symphony, the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, the Asian Friendly Festival Orchestra in Fukuoka, Japan and the Guangzhou Symphony in China. Since joining the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in 1998, he has also been invited to play as Guest Assistant Principal of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta on their 2004 European Tour.
Heath has been teaching regularly since coming to Hong Kong, at various international schools, ESF schools, independent music academies and privately, as well as having been an Adjunct Faculty member at Hong Kong Baptist University. His students have received awards of Distinction in many grades of the ABRSM tests; have achieved the levels of ABRSM Diploma, Licentiate, and Fellowship; and have twice won categories of the Hong Kong Schools Music competition, including the Violin Concerto 18-and-Under Category.