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    Grammy-Nominated Violist Keith Lawrence

    kippyI am extremely honored to introduce to you a powerhouse of a musician: Mr. Keith Lawrence. Keith is an accomplished violist with talent, style and presence that earn him large crowds of adoring fans. You might know him from the Grammy-nominated group Quartet San Francisco, for which he played for several years.

    Keith was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to parents Valerie and Ronald Lawrence. He is the youngest of 3 brothers. Keith’s passion for music started at the age of eight. In the public school systems in Pittsburgh, every student was required either to take a singing class or to learn to play a musical instrument. Keith chose to play the clarinet, which he excelled at.

    At age 11, Keith began to play in the school orchestra. Keith recalls, “All of my friends played musical instruments in the orchestra, and I was the class clown and would cut up for them all the time, so I decided to play in the orchestra to be closer to them.” Keith first tried playing the violin and then the cello, neither of which suited him. Finally he decided that the viola was the instrument for him.

    Keith dedicated himself to music and education for the next several years, maintaining a challenging, but rewarding, schedule. During his summer months Keith would attend Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, MI. He also attended the pre-college music prep program at Duquesne University. He later attended prestigious Oberlin Conservatory, where he earned his undergraduate degree. His graduate degree was earned at DePaul University School of Music.


    Keith has also traveled extensively. While based in Chicago, he toured with his Oberlin University quartet in Denmark, Australia and Italy. He performed and taught master classes for about 2½ years. While Keith was on a tour, his older brother became sick. Keith decided to return to Chicago and care for him. In Chicago, Keith was invited to participate at the Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles. He won a scholarship and did a month long intensive program focusing on film and alternative music styles.

    In December 2007, Keith received a call from Jeremy Cohen, who invited him to audition for the viola position in Quartet San Francisco. This proved to be a successful audition and within several months, Keith found himself thrust into the limelight in San Francisco. Keith performed with Quartet San Francisco until January of 2013.

    You can see Keith perform September 5, 6, 7 with the Berkeley Symphony and renowned opera singer Placido Domingo at the Greek Theater in Berkeley. You can also catch him playing with The California Symphony, The Santa Rosa Symphony and The Berkeley Symphony this season. You can additionally watch Keith play with Synchronicity Strings and Quartet San Francisco on YouTube.

    Keith’s music is for sale online at iTunes, CDBaby, and Amazon. Keith is also a bartender at the Edge Bar in San Francisco! For more information about Keith and his work, please visit his Facebook page: www.facebook/keithlawrence.

    Violinist Kippy Marks entertains audiences worldwide with his inspirational compositions and lively performances that draw from classical, jazz, blues and dance. http://www.kippy