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Nancy joined the viola section of the National Arts Centre in 1979, having moved to Canada in 1977 with her husband Douglas (who was principal trumpet with NACO for 25 years). A student of Prof. Francis Bundra at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), Nancy achieved a BMusEd (1968), and a MM (1969 Honours). Additional studies were completed at the Aspen Festival (with Lillian Fuchs, and Rolf Persinger), and the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. Prior to moving to Ottawa; she performed with the Princeton Chamber Orchestra (Nicholas Harsanyi, cond.), the Bach Aria Group of New York City, and the Toledo Symphony Orchestra in Ohio (principal viola, 1975-77).
Former principal viola of the Ottawa Symphony (for both Brian Law and David Currie), Nancy was also a charter member of Thirteen Strings, and violist for one season with the Tabaret Ensemble. She has been active in the Music for a Sunday Afternoon Series at the National Gallery, appearing in concert with Lillian Fuchs, Misha Maisky, Gilbert Kalish, Paul Neubauer, Trevor Pinnock, Jaime Laredo, and Pinchas Zukerman. An equally dedicated teacher, Nancy conducted the Ottawa Junior Youth Orchestra for several years, and now works regularly with the viola section of the Ottawa Youth Orchestra, coaches chamber music, and maintains a studio of young viola students. She was co-chairman of the National Coalition for Music Education in the Schools, Ottawa Chapter, and remains dedicated to achieving their objectives. The Sturdevants have three children; Rebecca, Beth, and Rob.
Nancy Sturdevant plays a Nicolas Lupot viola (Paris 1806) on loan to her from the Pinchas Zukerman Instruments Foundation for the NAC Orchestra. The viola was donated to the Foundation by Paul Serson.