Department of Music Welcomes Four Exceptional Studio Faculty

3 min read

The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music is pleased to announce that four exemplary artists have accepted their offer of an appointment in the Department of Music, including award-winning violist Che-Yen Chen, professor of viola, and new lecturers Boris Allakhverdyan, principal clarinet of the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Georgy Goodall, principal timpanist for the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra; and Joshua Ranz, principal clarinet of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and utility/bass clarinet for the Pacific Symphony Orchestra.

“The addition of these four exemplary artist-teachers to our faculty will add range to the music department’s studio teaching,” said Travis Cross, music department chair. “It also advances our mission to connect our students with the broader Los Angeles music scene through our relationship with principal artists from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and others.”

Among the school of music’s new ladder faculty is Taiwanese-Amercian violist Che-Yen Chen, who joins the Department of Music as professor of viola. A highly sought-after soloist, educator, chamber and orchestral musician, Chen is a founding member of the critically acclaimed Formosa Quartet. He is the first-prize winner of the 2003 Primrose International Viola Competition, and he has been described as an artist whose “most impressive aspect of his playing was his ability to find not just the subtle emotion, but the humanity hidden in the music” (San Diego Tribune). His recordings with the Formosa Quartet can be found on EMI, Delos, and New World Records, and the quartet’s current project, From Hungary to Taiwan, will be released with Bridge Records in the 2018-19 season. Chen has served as principal violist of the San Diego Symphony and Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and he has appeared as guest principal with Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Before joining UCLA, Chen served on the faculty of USC Thornton School of Music, Indiana University South Bend, University of California, San Diego; San Diego State University, California State University Fullerton, and McGill University. WATCH: Schumann, Marchenbilder Op. 113 for Viola and Piano


Boris Allakhverdyan, lecturer in clarinet, has served as principal clarinet of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 2016. His performances have been called “superlative” and “inspired” by the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times praised his “energetic, vibrant solos.” Prior to joining the LA Phil, he served as principal clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the associate principal clarinet of the Kansas City Symphony. A founding member of the Prima Trio (Grand Prize and Gold Medal winner of the 2007 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition), he previously taught at the Peabody Conservatory. WATCH: Dinicu/Heifetz Hora Staccato

Timpanist and percussionist Gregory Goodall, lecturer in percussion, is principal timpanist of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra and a founding member of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Goodall, a UCLA school of music alumnus, is also an in-demand studio musician, with performances on over 800 film scores. His list of credits includes the popular scores to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, La La Land, Cars 3, The Secret Life of Pets, Frozen, Monsters Inc., Ice Age, Life of Pi, Avatar, Toy Story, Titanic, Forrest Gump, Air Force One, and Jurassic Park. His teaching experience includes serving on the faculties of California State University Long Beach; and the University of California, Santa Barbara. Goodall joins Theresa Dimond as lecturer in percussion, offering UCLA percussion majors expertise across a broad range of classical performance genres.

Joshua Ranz, lecturer in clarinet, has been hailed in the Los Angeles Times for his “stunning rendition” of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto and his performance of the Copland Clarinet Concerto was called “exciting.” He is principal clarinet of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and New West Symphony, and, since 1997, utility/bass clarinet of the Pacific Symphony. He is an in-demand studio musician, having played on more than 150 soundtracks. His most recent teaching experience was at Biola Conservatory of Music, where he taught for over a decade. He also previously taught at Pomona College and Long Beach City College. LEARN MORE