Fitz Gary picked up the viola at the age of ten in the public school system. With the guidance of great teachers, a hearty stab at those 10,000 hours, and some luck, Fitz found himself sawing away with like-minded peers at the Cleveland Institute of Music and The Juilliard School, where he received his undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Fitz is a native of Charlottesville, Virginia, but his performing career hurled him across the United States, Europe, and Asia to roam the corridors of such venues as Carnegie Hall, London’s Royal Albert Hall, and Japan’s Suntory Hall. Whether you would call him a jet-setter or vagabond, Fitz wasn’t done globe-trotting; selected as a 2013-2014 Fulbright Scholar, he studied with Barbara Westphal at the Musikhochschule in Lübeck, Germany, nestled by the Baltic Sea. The school subsequently awarded him the illustrious (though he had never heard of it) DAAD prize for an outstanding international student, as well as his second master’s degree. While in Germany, Fitz also performed with the Grammy-Award-winning NDR Sinfonieorchester (Elbphilharmonie) in Hamburg as a member of their Academy.
Homesick, Fitz did eventually return to the States, though wanderlust is never sated. He is a Clinician Ambassador for the string company D’Addario, and presents the “Strings 101” clinic to K-12 and college-level musicians, sharing knowledge of all things strings. More recently, Fitz served as the President of the Feldman Chamber Music Society in Norfolk, Virginia, affording him the opportunity to present great chamber ensembles to the community.
Worthy of note, in 2012 Fitz started a project called Music Feeds Us, a chamber music series which ran for seven seasons, and raised over 175,000 meals for partner food banks in Virginia. Championing social awareness and hunger relief through string quartets was proof enough that classical music can inspire the power for good.
Dressed in tails, Fitz has the pleasure of periodically performing with some of America’s most prestigious ensembles, including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and a smattering of others. When they call, he goes, to indulge the wayfarer inside, and because performing great music with others is truly a privilege, despite the attire.