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Bethlehem Hadgu



Instrument: Viola




Bethlehem Hadgu was born in Eritrea, Asmara in 2000 and immigrated to the US in hopes for a
better future filled with education and opportunity with her family as a Political Asylee in 2007.
She began studying viola privately at the age of 14 on full scholarship with violist Laura Cahn
when she discovered her talent, strong drive, and passion when she was being mentored by a
student in the music buddies program which she participated in her 8th grade year. Music
Buddies is a mentorship program for kids who have the financial disadvantage of not being able
to have the privilege of taking private lessons and it gives them the chance to take lessons from a
teenager who plays in the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra for free. In that year of 2013,
she won a viola from the annual Potters Violin instrument giveaway. She entered the National
Symphony Youth Fellowship program a year later as a sophomore in highschool which is a full
scholarship program and began studying with violist William Foster in the National Symphony
Orchestra. She has attended music festivals such as the Indiana Summer String Academy and
Bowdoin International Music Festival both on full scholarship studying with Rebecca Henry and
Jeffery Irvine. She has also attended the Perlman Music Program Chamber music Workshop in
2019. She has performed chamber music with cellist, Merry Peckham, and got to play with
Itzahk Perlman. She has also been principal of The Juilliard Orchestra as well. She has had
masterclasses with members of the Pacifica Quartet, Emerson quartet, Ying quartet, Hilary Hahn,
Dan Foster, Ricardo Cyncynates, Cynthia Phelps, James Ehnes, and Kim Kashkashian. She has
performed in venues like the Italian Embassy, The Lyceum, Ronald Reagan Institute, and the
Kennedy Center Millenium Stage numerous times. She’s performed in the presence of Yo-Yo
ma and also got to work with him as a citizen artist at the Kennedy Center. She’s had the honor
of performing for the United States Ambassador’s husband’s funeral of Mandy Ourisman. She is
now playing on a Douglas Cox viola on a generous loan to her from the Virtu foundation.
Bethlehem is a proud recipient of the Kovner Fellowship program at The Juilliard School
studying under the tutelage of Carol Rodland. Bethlehem is a huge advocate for giving everyone
access to classical music because with the power of classical music it can change lives and can
unify humanity and everyone deserves to have that opportunity no matter their financial
standing, because classical music is for everyone. She wishes to share her unmeasurable passion
for music with its God like quality and abilities to transform us as human beings and feed our
souls. Giving us a life full of color as opposed to black and white. And music truly has been the
love of her life.

Hear her play

Bethlehem Hagdu.PNG
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