Christopher Whitley Violin & Viola Faculty

Canadian violinist Christopher Whitley is an engaging and versatile performer. From Baroque music to free jazz Christopher is committed to exploring and performing music of all styles. He is a dedicated chamber musician and collaborates regularly with young composers in both the Bay Area and Canada.


He is a founding member of the Thalea String Quartet, the first quartet-in-residence at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The Thalea String Quartet has performed recitals in the US, Canada, and Italy and has worked with members of the Juilliard Quartet, the Kronos Quartet, the Alexander Quartet, and the Ives Quartet. During their residency at the Banff Centre in June of 2015 they worked with renowned chamber musicians Gilbert Kalish, Alexander Tait, and Mark Steinberg.


Christopher has performed at a number of music festivals including the Toronto Summer Music Festival and the Domaine Forget Chamber Music Academy. He has performed on period instruments at the Boston Early Music Festival and the Valley of the Moon Music Festival and appeared at the 2010 CMJ Music Marathon in New York, performing original compositions for violin, cello, and electronics. An avid proponent of contemporary music, Christopher has performed as a member of NOVUS NY, Trinity Wall Street Church’s resident contemporary ensemble, and performed as both concertmaster and soloist of the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble. He studied composition at McGill with composer Chris Paul Harman and has worked with a number of esteemed improvisors including Lori Freedman, Malcolm Goldstein, Iva Bittova and Marc Ribot. Christopher received his Bachelor’s of music at McGill University studying with Mark Fewer and continued his studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with Ian Swensen.


Aside from his regular private and group teaching Christopher has performed numerous outreach concerts in the US and Canada. He has run workshops introducing students to improvisation and spontaneous composition and has helped facilitate music classes at schools in San Francisco.