Dr. Minor Wetzel is passionate about teaching students of all levels. The spectrum of his current class of students ranges from intermediate to the highest professional levels. He understands that each individual has strengths and weaknesses. It is his goal to help each student find their innate gifts as well as their unique technical challenges and to help put them on an upward trajectory of development as players and artists.
Dr. Wetzel has had the opportunity to study with the best teachers. His most prominent and influential teachers have been William Primrose, Camilla Wicks, Roland Vamos, Donald McInnes, Yizhak Schotten, and current Colburn Conservatory of Music faculty member, Paul Coletti. He has also studied under one of the most prominent string music educators, Robert Culver, at the University of Michigan. He stands on the shoulders of these giants of pedagogy in his efforts to help each of his students reach their greatest potential.
Dr. Wetzel has pursued the solo aspect of playing and was a prizewinner in the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition. He has played regularly as a soloist with local orchestras and with orchestras across the United States. As a chamber music and orchestral repertoire teacher at USC’s Thornton School of Music, and as a visiting lecturer in viola performance at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music and UC Santa Barbara’s Department of Music, he has been able to apply his experience in this area of solo performing to successfully coach his students in auditions for international competitions as well as auditions for undergraduate and graduate programs at top universities in the United States.
Dr. Wetzel has had the opportunity to perform chamber music with world-class artists such as Christian Zacharias and Janine Jansen. With this experience, and as a chamber music coach at USC and UCLA, he has been able to help chamber music groups reach their highest performance goals.
Dr. Wetzel has had a three-decade orchestral career on a world-class level. He has had the good fortune to perform eight seasons with the San Francisco Symphony and for the last 24 years, the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the direction of Herbert Blomstedt, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Gustavo Dudamel respectively. It is this long history of orchestral experience that has allowed him to help the next generation of orchestral players prepare for and win orchestra auditions at the highest levels in the United States. Wetzel has also had the opportunity to write the curriculum for and direct the orchestral repertoire classes at USC and UCLA.
It is his wish to help each of his students understand the value of classical music in our world and to help them achieve great things through good instruction and hard work.