Donald McInnes is an orchestral soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and educator. He has also made a lasting contribution to music by inspiring a wide array of contemporary composers to create works to highlight his particular talents.
As a soloist, McInnes appeared with the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, CBC Radio Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, and many others. He has collaborated with such significant musicians as Leonard Bernstein, Yehudi Menuhin, Janos Starker, Lynn Harrell, Yo-Yo Ma, Menahem Pressler, and Paul Tortelier.
Such composers as William Schuman, Vincent Persichetti, William Bergsma and Robert Suderberg have added to the viola literature thanks to commissions forged by McInnes. As a teacher, he has been affiliated with institutions including the University of Michigan, University of Washington and the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. Since 1985, he has been a member of the faculty of the USC Thornton School of Music, in the position once held by his teacher, William Primrose. His own students carry a tradition forward, in leading orchestras, universities and conservatories throughout the world, while also winning competitions such as the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, the Morning Musical Club National Competition at Washington’s Kennedy Center, and the CBC National Competition in Vancouver, B.C.
McInnes has been a regular participant in such summer music festivals as those of Marlboro, Banff, Gstaad, Interlochen, the International String Workshop, and the Music Academy of the West, where he was honored with their Distinguished Alumnus of the Year award in August of 2012.
His active recording career includes standard and contemporary repertory, with recordings on the Columbia, RCA, Deutsche Grammophon, and Angel (now EMI) labels.