Portland State University’s College of the Arts has announced the recipient of the Kamelia Massih Outstanding Faculty Prize 2023 in the Arts is Tomás Cotik, associate professor of violin in the School of Music & Theater. The award recognizes individuals who bring innovation to their discipline, demonstrate excellence in performing and/or fine arts and exemplify PSU’s commitment to community engagement.
Hailed by Michael Tilson Thomas as “an excellent violinist,” Argentinean native Tomás Cotik is internationally recognized as a soloist, chamber musician, and associate professor of violin at Portland State University. A sought-after recording artist, Dr. Cotik has released seventeen CD recordings for Naxos and Centaur Records, which have earned hundreds of rave reviews from international press, including Fanfare, Downbeat, The Strad and the Washington Post. He performed as a rotating concertmaster with the New World Symphony and worked with famed conductors Michael Tilson Thomas, Valery Gergiev, Marin Alsop and many more, and with artists ranging from Joseph Kalichstein to Franklin Cohen, and from Natalie Cole to Chick Corea. A dedicated educator and mentor, Cotik joined the faculty at Portland State in 2016. He brought his passion for collaboration with artists from other disciplines, including his recent “Ombra Musici” project, co-created with digital artist Dave Colangelo, which featured giant videos of Cotik performing musical selections, projected outdoors on buildings in public spaces.
George Colligan, member of the selection committee, had high praise for his colleague in the School of Music & Theater. “Tomás Cotik is extremely active as a performer and educator. He continues to do amazing work as a recording artist on an international level. His work is not simply high-quality performance; it also always includes a scholarly research component. The School of Music & Theater is extremely lucky to have Tomás Cotik as a member of our faculty.”
The Kamelia Massih Endowment for the Arts was established in memory of former PSU student Kamelia Massih. It was funded after her passing in 2010 with gifts from friends, family and colleagues, as well as by a donation from Massih’s brother, PSU alumnus Fariborz Maseeh, through the Massiah Foundation. Past faculty award winners include jazz musician Darrell Grant, former opera program director Christine Meadows, graphic design professor and artist Kate Bingaman-Burt, and PSU Chamber Choir director Ethan Sperry.