Journal of the AmericanViola ocietyS V olume 25 Number 1 Sall y Beamish’ Bratschintentag 2008 s Viola Concer The Storyteller: Features: tos Viola V25 N1 3/16/09 12:36 PM Page 102 Viola V25 N1 3/16/09 12:36 PM Page 1

Journal of the American Viola Society A publication of the American Viola Society Spring 2009 Volume 25 Number 1 Contents

p. 3 From the Editor

p. 5 From the President

p. 7 News & Notes: IVS News ~ In Memoriam ~ South Africa Viola Congress Feature Articles

p. 13 Bratschistentag 2008: Dwight Pounds reports from Düsseldorf, Germany

p. 19 The Storyteller: ’s Viola Concertos: Sally Beamish details the influences behind her viola concertos


p. 33 Alternative Styles: David Wallace kicks off “The Year of the Electric Viola”

p. 39 In the Studio/Student Life: Jodi Levitz highlights San Francisco Conservatory’s successful viola composition project

p. 49 Modern Makers: Eric Chapman reveals the inspiration behind Thomas Meuwissen’s award-winning

p. 53 New Music Reviews

p. 59 Recording Reviews

p. 63 At the Grassroots

On the Cover:

Arman Viola d’Amour, 1978 Image courtesy of Armand P. Arman Revocable Trust

Arman, the renowned American artist originally from France, frequently incorporated string instruments in his artwork.

For more of his artwork, please visit http://www.armanstudio.com/ Viola V25 N1 3/16/09 12:36 PM Page 2

Editor: David M. Bynog The Journal of the American Viola Departmental Editors: Society is published in spring and fall Alternative Styles: David Wallace and as an online-only issue in summer. At the Grassroots: Ken Martinson The American Viola Society was founded Fresh Faces: Lembi Veskimets for the promotion of viola performance In the Studio: Karen Ritscher Meet the Section: Michael Strauss and research. Modern Makers: Eric Chapman ©2009, American Viola Society New Music: Ken Martinson ISSN: 0898-5987 Orchestral Training Forum: Lembi Veskimets Recording Reviews: Carlos María Solare Student Life: Adam Paul Cordle Consultant: JAVS welcomes Dwight Pounds articles from its AVS National Board of Directors readers. Submission Officers deadlines are Juliet White-Smith, president (2011) Nokuthula Ngwenyama, president-elect (2011) December 15 for the Kenneth Martinson, secretary (2010) Michelle Sayles, treasurer (2010) Spring issue, April 15 Helen Callus, past president (2009) for the Summer online Board Members issue, and August 15 Claudine Bigelow (2009) Sheila Browne (2010) for the Fall issue. Send David M. Bynog (2012) submissions to the Kirsten Docter (2011) Michael Fernandez (2009) AVS Editorial Office, David Holland (2010) Kathryn Plummer (2011) David M. Bynog Deborah Price (2010) [email protected] Carol Rodland (2009) Ann Roggen (2011) or to Marcus Thompson (2011) Madeleine Crouch, Lembi Veskimets (2010) Louise Zeitlin (2009) 14070 Proton Rd., AVS General Manager Suite 100 Madeleine Crouch Dallas, TX 75244 AVS National Office 14070 Proton Road, Suite 100 Dallas, TX 75244 (972) 233-9107 ext. 204

The JAVS offers print and web advertising for a receptive and influential readership. For advertising rates please contact the AVS National office at [email protected]

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the Saint Paul area in September, I Our Alternative Styles department hope you will attend the performance always features new and interesting of her recent viola concerto, Under ways of looking at the viola, and this the Wing of the Rock, by Sabina issue kicks it up a notch by going elec- Thatcher and the Saint Paul Chamber tric. David Wallace has interviewed . four of the leading artists on the elec- tric viola in the first of a multi-part Jodi Levitz writes about another excit- series. If you, or your students, have ing composition project for our com- ever had an interest in electric instru- bined In the Studio and Student Life ments, this article is essential reading. departments. Working with the com- It provides useful information about position faculty at the San Francisco electric performance, whether you are Conservatory, she instituted a project interested in it as a full-time career, or Violists are innovators! From experi- pairing student violists with com- as a means to improve your playing on ments in the size and shape of the posers. The results have been success- the acoustic viola. instrument to an openness to perform ful and rewarding for Jodi and the stu- new music for the instrument, violists dents involved. If you are a teacher, I This issue also marks the close of our in the twentieth century reinvented hope the article will give you some yearlong celebration of the 40th the instrument, greatly elevating its ideas for a similar project at your insti- anniversary of the International Viola once-poor image. Nearly a decade into tution. (Composition projects like Society. Dwight Pounds reviews the the twenty-first century, violists con- these are not limited to students at the recent festivities at the Bratschistentag tinue the innovative trend with their university level. If you are teaching at in Düsseldorf, Germany, where several interest in performing new music and the high school, middle school, or dedicated violists (Tabea exploring new modes of expression. even elementary school level, encour- Zimmermann, Ronald Schmidt, and This issue of the JAVS showcases some aging compositions by your students is John White) were awarded honors. vibrant people who are continuing the a great learning experience.) If you are Please also check out Michael advancement of the viola. a student, I hope you will seek out Vidulich’s IVS News for more details your fellow classmates and persuade on these awards and other activities Over the past twenty years, Sally them to write music for you. The happening on the international viola Beamish has emerged as one of the process of performing a composition scene. most distinctive voices among con- specifically written for you is quite temporary composers. A violist herself, thrilling, as Jodi so eloquently states in it should come as no surprise that she her article. We are very happy to make would write for the instrument. In her the full scores of the compositions by Cordially, “Storyteller” article, she provides valu- Devin Farney and Joshua Saulle, as able insight into her viola concertos. well as a lovely duet by Ilya Demutsky, David M. Bynog These concertos are lyrically attractive, freely available on our website. Please JAVS Editor technically demanding, and very pop- visit http://www.americanviolasoci- ular with viola soloists. The works ety.org/scores.htm to download these continue the progression of the con- works. certo form that was greatly enhanced in the twentieth century. If you are in

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The David Dalton Viola Research Competition Guidelines

The Journal of the American Viola Society welcomes submissions for the David Dalton Viola Research Competition for university and college student members of the American Viola Society. Entries must be original contributions to the field of viola research and may address issues concerning viola lit- erature, history, performers, and pedagogues. Entries must not have been published in any other publication or be summaries of other works. The body of the work should be 1500–3500 words in length and should include relevant footnotes and bibliographic information. Entries may include short musical examples. Entries must be submitted in hard copy along with the following entry form, as well as in electronic format for either PC or Mac. Word or WordPerfect format is preferred. All entries must be postmarked by 15 May 2009. The American Viola Society wishes to thank AVS past president Thomas Tatton and his wife, Polly, for under- writing first prize in the 2009 David Dalton Viola Research Competition.

Send entries to: AVS Office, 14070 Proton Road, Suite 100, Dallas, TX 75244. A panel of viola scholars will evaluate submissions and then select a maximum of three winning entries.

Prize categories: All winning entries will be featured in the Journal of the American Viola Society, with authors receiving a free one-year subscription to the Journal and accompanying membership to the American Viola Society. In addition: 1st Prize: $300, sponsored by Thomas and Polly Tatton 2nd Prize: Bartók’s Viola Concerto by Donald Maurice and Facsimile edition of the Bartók Viola Concerto 3rd Prize: An Anthology of British Viola Players by John White and Conversations with William Primrose by David Dalton

David Dalton Viola Research Competition Entry Form Please include the following information with your submission to the David Dalton Viola Research Competition. Be sure to include address and telephone information where you may be reached during summer. Name ______Current Address ______Te l e p h o n e ______E m a i l a d d r e s s ______Permanent Address ______Telephone ______Email addre s s ______University/College ______Academic Level: Fr / So / Jr / Sr / Grad Topic ______Word Count ______

Current AVS member? Yes / No If you are not a current AVS member, please join AVS by including $22 student membership dues with your submission, along with a membership enrollment form, which can be found in the current issue of JAVS.

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The AVS continues to explore ways to Lastly, the American Viola Society lower expenses while maintaining the announces the first biennial Maurice quality of our programs, including this Gardner Composition Competition. important publication. Please know The winning work will be premiered at that your continued support of the the 38th International Viola Congress, organization through memberships, which will be held at the College- donations, and advertising is greatly Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, appreciated, especially during these Ohio, from June 16–20, 2010. Please tough economic times. If you are inter- stay tuned for more detailed informa- ested in advertising your business, tion by visiting the AVS website. Many product, educational institution, or the thanks to former AVS Board member like, please contact the national office Michael Palumbo for spearheading this at [email protected], or the project along with the assistance of JAVS Editor, David Bynog, at composers Libby Larsen, Joan Tower, [email protected]. Our advertising Paul Elwood, and violist/composer Dear AVS Member, rates are extremely reasonable, and Scott Slapin. your business will be made visible to As I peer out my office window, I look violists around the country and the Warmly, with anticipation to the coming of world. warmer weather. The days are length- Juliet White-Smith ening, and as winter recedes I await the Likewise, I encourage you to patronize sense of renewal that accompanies our supporters, especially those who springtime. have purchased advertisements in the journal. They are delighted to make Just as seasons change, transitions take their products and services available to place in the viola world. We mourn the you and greatly appreciate your contin- loss of one of our viola greats, Jesse ued support. Let your friends and col- Levine, who passed away in November. leagues know how important they are At the time of printing, Mr. Levine’s to us by recommending their services. legacy was being celebrated in a Memorial Concert at Yale University. I I take this opportunity to remind you am grateful to Dwight Pounds who of the upcoming 37th International graciously stood in for me and read a Viola Congress to be held at the letter of tribute at the event. We are University of Stellenbosch outside pleased to inform our membership that Cape Town, South Africa, this sum- a copy of the photo of Mr. Levine mer. Please see details on page 11 for accompanying his obituary in this issue information regarding the program and will soon be donated for permanent registration. I look forward to seeing display in the Primrose International many of you there! Viola Archives at Brigham Young University.

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Dear Violists, Robert Schumann Hochschule, Düsseldorf, Germany, to mark the founding of the Viola Happy New Year to one and all! Forschungsgesellschaft, the predecessor of both the IVS and the German Viola Society. I had the honor Last year was the first term for your new IVS team: to present the 2008 Silver Viola Clef to Tabea Michael Vidulich, president; Ronald Schmidt, past Zimmermann and the 2009 Silver Viola Clef to president; Tom Tatton, vice president; Ken Ronald Schmidt (long-time serving GVS & IVS Martinson, secretary; Donald Maurice, treasurer officer and IVS congress host). It was also my privi- (January to June 2008); Claudine Bigelow, treasurer lege as Australian & New Zealand Viola Society (June 2008 to present); Carlos María Solare and president emeritus to confer ANZVS Honorary Max Savikangas, executive officers; and Ann Membership upon John White of the United Frederking, webmaster. Kingdom. The Bratschistentag was a wonderful few

In early 2008 the French Viola Society/Les Amis de l'alto was welcomed as our newest and twelfth IVS section, and we are hopeful that viola societies will soon be formed in Brazil and Poland. Our present IVS sections include: American (USA), Australian & New Zealand, Canadian, Chinese, English, French, German, Nordic (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden), Nigerian, South African, Spanish, and Welsh. We welcome your assistance with violist contacts where there are no viola soci- eties. Please contact one of our Executive Secretaries:

Carlos María Solare [email protected] Max Savikangas [email protected] Bratschistentag 2008; Top: Helga and Heinz Berck; Front Row (left or me (Michael Vidulich) [email protected] to right): Dwight Pounds, Michael Vidulich, Ronald Schmidt, John White, Uta Lenkewitz (photo courtesy of Carol White) The 2008 International Viola Congress was held in days (all too short) of viola concerts, recitals, presen- Tempe, Arizona, with the American Viola Society's tations, viola competitions, and good company. Primrose International Viola Competition. Those attending were treated to a wide variety of outstand- This year we look forward to the first International ing performances, lectures, master classes, and other Viola Congress to be held in Africa. The South African events. Many took the opportunity to visit the Viola Society with host Hester Wohlitz will hold the Grand Canyon and other Arizona sights. The IVS event from July 27 to August 1 in Stellenbosch (near Silver Viola Clef award for 2007 (for outstanding Cape Town), South Africa. This congress promises to contributions to the viola and/or the IVS) was pre- be an event not to be missed! Web information is still sented to Donald McInnes. being updated at www.miagi.co.za

In November, 40th anniversary celebrations were In addition to all the viola events to be held in held at the annual Bratschistentag held last year at the Stellenbosch (which is the “wine growing area” of

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South Africa), visitors can see other sights including Music as Professor of Viola for four and a half nearby Cape Town, whale watching, and trips to decades. John was a founding member of the Alberni Kruger National Park and neighboring Victoria Falls. Quartet, a member of the Stadler Trio, and a mem- ber of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. All the best for 2009, and I hope to see you in South Africa! He established the first British Viola Society; has host- ed an amazing four International Viola Congresses Michael Vidulich, (1978 (London), 1984 (Isle of Man), 1994 (Isle of International Viola Society President Man), 1998 (Glasgow)); and has been a leading force and organizer for the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competitions. His involvement in viola and chamber music recitals throughout the United Kingdom over the decades are too numerous to list. John has per- formed and presented at numerous International Viola Congresses over the years, and he is regarded as the foremost scholar on Lionel Tertis.

Over the years, John White has championed the cause of British violists and British composers of viola music. Without his research, his viola sheet music editions, and his recording/compact disc edi- tions, much of British music might still be unknown. His arrangements for multiple violas (from Handel to Harding) are a joy for both ama- teurs and professionals alike and are often performed at viola congresses and viola events. As an author, John has written two books on the viola. His first book, An Anthology of British Viola Players (published by Comus Edition, 1997), is a 260 page book cover- Michael Vidulich and John White ing the major British violists since the 1840s. His second book, Lionel Tertis: The First Great Virtuoso of First ANZVS Honorary Membership Awarded the Viola (published by Boydell & Brewer, 2006), is a 408 page book covering the life, music, work, and At the award presentation ceremonies of the 2008 times of the famous violist. Bratschistentag, the first ANZVS Honorary Membership was conferred upon John White, In 2000 at the 28th International Viola Congress FRAM (Fellow of the ), of held in Linköping, Sweden, John was presented an Harlow, England. The award certificate was designed IVS award in recognition of his many achievements by Charlotte van Ash, ANZVS committee member, in the viola world. John grew up in Yorkshire, and in and presented to John White by Michael Vidulich, addition to music, he is a great fan of cricket and has ANZVS president emeritus and IVS president. been involved for many years with the Yorkshire County Cricket Club. ANZVS Honorary Membership recognizes a non- ANZVS member whose career has exponentially fur- Congratulations to John White, (the first) “ANZVS thered the place of the viola on an international scale. Honorary Member.”

John White’s contributions to the viola internation- – Michael Vidulich ally have been—and continue to be—truly outstand- ing. He was associated with the Royal Academy of

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"Jesse dearly loved his students and our school," says its dean, Robert Blocker. "In his quarter- century on our faculty, he shared his commit- ment to the highest standards of artistic excel- lence. His major contribution to the School of Music was inspiring his students to discover their distinct musical voice, and his influence will be felt for generations. We are deeply sad- dened by the loss of a wonderful artist, teacher, colleague and friend, but are grateful for the contributions to music and to our school."

As a violist or a conductor, Levine performed in Europe, South America, Israel, Australia, Mexico, and throughout the United States. He was principal violist of the Buffalo, Dallas, Baltimore, and New Jersey symphony orches- tras. He was the music director of several , most recently the New Britain Jesse Levine (photo courtesy of Irene Haupt) (Connecticut) Symphony Orchestra. Previously, he was the music director of the Norwalk (Editor’s note: In November 2008 the viola com- Symphony Orchestra, the Orquesta del munity lost a great advocate for the instrument Principado de Asturias in Spain, the Chappaqua with the passing of Jesse Levine. The following Orchestra (New York), and the Feld Ballet (New item is reprinted courtesy of the Yale Bulletin at: York City). http://opa.yale.edu/news/article.aspx?id=6261) Levine was a guest conductor of many orches- tras in the United States and abroad. Known for New Haven, Conn. Jesse Levine, a renowned his work in contemporary music, he was fre- violist and conductor who taught at Yale's School quently invited to conduct the Buffalo of Music for 25 years, died at his home on Nov. Philharmonic Orchestra in its annual North 11 after a long fight with pancreatic cancer. American New Music Festival and participated in the annual June-in-Buffalo Festival. In the Levine was professor in the practice of viola and dual role of conductor/teacher, he led the chamber music and coordinator of the string National Youth Orchestra of Spain in Madrid, department at the Yale School of Music since the Youth Orchestra of Andalucia in Seville and 1983. the Youth Orchestra of Catalonia in Barcelona,

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Stravinsky elegy on stage with the composer (and introducing him to his mother), as well as several missions to Argentina as a cultural ambassador for the U.S. State Department. He studied principally at Mannes College of the Arts. He also studied conducting with Igor Markevitch in Monaco.

A job playing the Harry Belafonte show in New York gave Levine his first commercial success. He used his first payments from the show to purchase the viola that served him for his entire career.

In his last days, Levine was still teaching—giv- ing life to what he called "viola power." Violinist Charles Haupt with Jesse Levine in 2006 He is survived by his wife, Jill Pellett Levine; his Spain. As a member of the Bruch Trio he has sons, Alexander and Josh; and his sister, Lisa recorded the music of Max Bruch, Rebecca Nowakowski. Clarke, Jean Francaix, Gordon Jacob, and Mozart for Summit Records. The School of Music is planning a memorial concert on Sunday, Feb. 22, at 2 p.m. in Battell Levine previously served on the faculties of the Chapel, corner of College and Elm streets. State University of New York at Buffalo, Sony Brook and Purchase, and the Peabody Donations in Levine's memory may be made to Conservatory of Music in Baltimore. He pre- Pancreatic Cancer Research at the Yale Cancer sented master classes at conservatories and festi- Center, 157 Church St., New Haven, CT vals in Spain and France. 06510, or online to the Pancreatic Action Center Network (www.pancan.org), 2141 Levine was born in 1940 in the Bronx in New Rosencrans Ave., Suite 7000, El Segundo, CA York City to a family of first- and second-gener- 90246. ation Jewish Polish immigrants. As his father was a cellist, he was raised in a home filled with music. Levine took up the viola at an early age and spent his formative years studying with William Kroll.

Early career highlights included summers as principal violist at Tanglewood, performing the

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The South African Viola Society would like to invite Bell. The international concert and recording artist you to the 37th International Viola Congress, to Jerzy Kosmala (USA) will also feature as one of the South Africa and the beautiful Cape Province, and— high-profile performers at the congress. An erstwhile more specifically—to the campus of Stellenbosch student of William Primrose, Dr. Kosmala has University, just a forty-five minute drive from Cape served as a jury member of virtually all of the most Town! The 2009 Viola Congress, from July 27, 2009, prestigious international competitions, including the to August 1, 2009, promises to be a unique experi- Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition (Isle ence, with participants being introduced to South of Man) and the Primrose International Viola African indigenous music and focus placed on local Competition (USA). developmental education initiatives. With MIAGI’s involvement, a truly South African flavor will be • David Dalton (USA) will give a lecture on William ensured by the inclusion of performances of indige- Primrose, while Dwight Pounds (USA) will talk nous stringed instruments. To find out more about about Changing from Violin to Viola. Pirkko the 37th International Viola Congress, the South Simojoki (Finland) will introduce the Colourstrings African Viola Society, and MIAGI, please visit method for violin, as adapted for viola. Matthew www.miagi.co.za. Online registration forms and Dane (USA) will talk on the viola repertoire of details about fees and other costs, as well as our con- Kenneth Harding, Claudine Bigelow and Myrna tact details, are available at this website. A few high- Layton (both USA) on the PIVA ARCHIVE, and lights of the program (subject to change) include: Michael Masote (SA) on classical music in the years of apartheid rule in SA. There will also be lectures The congress will offer an assortment of events for and workshops exploring the role of the Alexander viola enthusiasts and professionals, from master classes Technique and Yoga in the life of a musician. and lectures, to recitals and orchestral concerts. The full program and updates can be viewed at the official • New viola repertoire performed by outstanding congress website (www. miagi.co.za), but some high- soloists with the South African Viola Congress lights to look forward to include the following: Orchestra, including: Approaching Northern Darkness, by Kenneth Jacobs, featuring Sheila Browne (USA) as • The complete works for viola by Paul Hindemith, soloist; Jakarta for Violin, Viola, Percussion, and performed over two days by students of the South Marimbas, by David Snow, performed by Penny and African-born violist, Louise Lansdown, from the Steven Kruse (USA); and Concertino for Viola, Flute, Royal Northern College of Music in the United and Chamber Orchestra, by Stefans Grové, featuring Kingdom. To complement this unique event, Jean-Louise Moolman (viola) and Helen Vosloo Luitgard Schader (Germany) will give an interesting (flute) as soloists (SA). lecture on Hindemith as a composer, and original manuscripts of Hindemith’s works as well as his • Numerous lectures and recitals, including perform- viola will be on display. ances by Juliet White-Smith (President of the American Viola Society), Jutta Puchhammer-Sédillot • The British-born violist Roger Chase will give a per- (President of the Canadian Viola Society), Karin formance of the stunningly beautiful viola concerto, Wolf (President of the German Viola Society). Rosa Mystica, by the South-African composer W. H. Christine Rutledge (USA) will expound on Baroque

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seller: Jerry Weseley Harris ornamentation, Carlos María Solare (Germany) will phone: 503-579-2134 introduce the viola d’amore, while Elmarie Van Der Vyver (SA) will discuss the Viola Sonata by Stefans address: 11200 SW Tanager Terrace, Grové (SA). Kobus Malan and Anthony Caplan will Beaverton, Oregon 97007 give an enlightening lecture-demonstration on tradi- tional compositions and instruments from South email: [email protected] Africa and Africa. asking price: $ 20,000 We are greatly looking forward to welcoming the viola community to a unique experience, not to be maker: Stanley Kiernoziak - Chicago missed. back length: 16" Sincerely, description: Magnificent viola in mint condition. This is NOT a student instrument, Hester Wohlitz, South Africa Viola Society but rather a viola for the highest level Robert Brook, Director MIAGI professional player. Sale also includes a Brauch bow and red satin bow case. Instrument may be played at a designated location in the Portland.

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by Dwight Pounds the founding of the Viola Forschungsgesellschaft in Kassel, West Germany, in 1968. The VFG was the parent organization that eventually led to the found- ing of the International Viola Society and all nation- al member sections, including the American Viola Society. A special program commemorating this his- toric event featured a review of the evolution of this single organization into an international body with twelve national sections as members. Guest speakers included: Professor Jürgen Kussmaul from the Schumann Conservatorium; IVS President Dr. Michael Vidulich from Auckland, New Zealand; for- mer GVS Chairperson Uta Lenkewitz; current GVS Chairperson Professor Karin Wolf; former IVS and AVS President Dr. David Dalton from Provo, Utah; founder of the original British Viola Society, John White, FRAM (Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music); and Dr. Ronald Schmidt, Past IVS President, current Second Chairman of the GVS and organizer of the celebration. Professor Marina Louw Professor Karin Wolf, GVS Chair, addresses delegates at the from South Africa delivered a formal invitation to all 40th Jubilee Celebration (all photos courtesy of Dwight delegates to attend International Viola Congress Pounds) XXXVII in Stellenbosch University, near Cape Town, in 2009. Mrs. Lenkewitz prepared and published a For those North Americans and others not familiar concise history of the GVS, and during her presenta- with Bratschistentag either as a word or a function, it tion reviewed very important events in the history of literally means “violists’ day” and refers to the annual both the GVS and IVS. Additional foreign delegates three-day celebration of the viola sponsored by the included guests from Israel, Switzerland, Italy, and German Viola Society on the years they do not host a Poland. The event concluded with the presentation congress. Considering that the last GVS-sponsored of the IVS Silver Viola Clef for 2009 to Dr. Ronald viola congress was held in Kronberg in 2004 and the Schmidt for leadership and many years of contribu- next one will be in Dresden in 2011, several tions to the GVS and IVS. While this ceremony Bratschistentage have been held in this interim with normally would have taken place at the 2009 two remaining on the schedule. The structure of these Congress in South Africa, Dr. Schmidt understand- events is very much like a congress, with a broad ably preferred that the presentation be made in his range of displays, play-ins for the delegates, its own home country and in the presence of his colleagues competition (Walter-Witte-Viola-Wettbewerb), and friends of many years, therefore it was agreed recitals, lectures, master classes, and featured concerts. that he would receive the silver clef in Düsseldorf.

The 2008 celebration at the Robert Schumann An interesting footnote to the three-day Conservatorium in Düsseldorf was particularly Bratschistentag: International Viola Congress I in important since it marked the 40th anniversary of Ulm, West Germany (August 31–September 1,

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had also arrived early, and together we began our explorations. The conservatorium was a short five- minute walk from our hotel and quite easy to find. It consists of two buildings, one of which houses administrative offices, studios, practice rooms, a snack bar, and other facilities. The second building, the conservatory auditorium and a very short walk from the first, is in an expansive open area and quite conveniently removed from the busy streets that bor- der the main building. The auditorium itself has superb acoustics; is equally comfortable and suitable for almost any solo, chamber, or ensemble grouping; and enjoys ample space for flexibility in seating, thanks to a very modern and somewhat unconven- From left to right: Carlos María Solare, translator; Dr. tional design. One of the conservatorium secretaries Michael Vidulich, IVS President; and Dr. Ronald Schmidt, and our original guide to the facility confirmed that recipient of the 2009 IVS Silver Viola Clef visiting performers occasionally find the auditorium 1973), and Congress II in Bad Homburg, West “challenging.” Germany (September 14–15, 1974), were two-day events and were lightly attended; with Congress III in Ypsilanti, Michigan—the first North American international viola congress—(June 27–29, 1975) the venue was expanded to three days and garnered over four hundred delegates. Congresses IV, V, and VI, in Bad Godesberg, West Germany; Rochester, New York, USA; and London, England, respectively, were also three-day affairs. David Dalton, mentioned above, organized Congress VII in Provo, Utah (July 11–14, 1975), as the first four-day congress. The point amidst these statistical reviews is that the German three-day celebration of Bratschistentag is now larger with more participants and events than some of the earlier congresses. Or if one prefers, the Exhibit violas in afternoon sun first two very tentative congresses were little more than trial Bratschistentage, but they set in motion November 7, 2008: Bratschistentag’s first day began annual viola events that would have international with a group play-in attended by about a dozen del- ramifications in merely three years and which have egates and conducted by Gerhard Dierig, violist with continued for some thirty-six years. It is also interest- the Kölner Gürzenich Orchestra. The elimination ing to note that the 2008 Düsseldorf Bratschistentag round of the Witte Viola Competition began in the hosted seventy-six delegates, almost twice the number Kammermusiksaal (Chamber Music Hall) of the who attended the 2000 International Viola Congress Robert Schumann Hochschule with a variety of XXVIII in Linköping, Sweden. nationalities represented among the contestants. Jurists included Professors Hariolf Schlichtig from I personally make it a point to arrive at the site of the Munich Musikhochschule, Karin Wolf from the activity at least one day early to adjust to new time Rostock Musikhochschule, Jürgen Kussmaul from the schedules, check out facilities, and learn the local Robert Schumann Hochschule in Düsseldorf, Andra geography. I was very pleased that Michael Vidulich Darzins from the Stuttgart Musikhochschule, and

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Roland Glassl from the Frankfurt Musikhochschule. Later that afternoon and preceding the 40th anniversary cele- bration, the Cassalla-Quartett from Kassel with Rüdiger Spuck as featured viola soloist opened their program with Telemann’s Viola Concerto in G Major, TWV 51:G9. Anyone familiar with the history of the Viola Forschungsgesellschaft could not help but note the fact that the quartet violist was none other than Dietrich Bauer, co-signer of the Pöllau Protocol and thus co-founder of the VFG. Following the historical celebration, Spuck and the quartet concluded the afternoon festivities with a per- formance of the reconstructed J. S. Bach Concerto in E- flat Major for Viola, Strings, and Basso Continuo. The evening concert featured many outstanding viola students from the studios of Professors Kussmaul, Lila Brown, Bernhard Oll, and Emile Cantor. The names of these stu- dents reflected the international appeal of the Schumann Hochschule and the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen alike: Soo-Jee Jung, Borge ten Hagen, Svetlana Berova, David Kecker, Min-hyung Yoo, Veronika Weiser, Haraold Hufnagel, Nin-Marlena Vornhusen, Seyena Mostaed, Suzan Narin, Jenny Stölken, Priscila Rodrigues, and Seul Ki Ha.

Maria Hoffman, Mezzo Soprano, and Erich Theiss, piano, who performed Brahms’s Zwei Gesänge with violist Seul Ki Ha

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November 8, 2008: The second day began much as November 9, 2008: The 2008 Bratschistentag’s final the first, with Dierig’s play-in and the closing round day was relaxed and featured only three events: a of the Witte Competition. The afternoon was given matinee concert by the prize winners of the Witte to Bernhard Zanders’s slide presentation on The Competition, a viola ensemble who called them- Amati Method—17th Century Violin Construction in selves “die wilden Bratschen (the wild violas),” and an Cremona. evening program by the Düsseldorf/Schumann Conservatory-based Orpheus Quartet. This quartet The 2008 Bratschistentag was very much a local was an interesting ensemble whose members repre- affair, the 40th anniversary celebration of the found- sent the international flavor of the student body: ing of the VFG possibly excepted, but the featured first violinist Mark Gothoni is Finnish, second vio- event of this three-day celebration of the viola was linist Timothy Summers is American, violist Emile nothing less than world class—a recital by the great Cantor is Dutch, and cellist Laurentiu Sbarcea was violist, , and her accompanist, born Romanian but has been a German citizen for Daniel Heide. Romantic and twentieth century fifteen years. selections provided a varied and well-selected pro- gram and featured Franz Schubert’s “Arpeggione” Sonata (possibly the best I ever heard); Hans Werner Henze’s Sonata for Viola and Piano in One Movement; Max Reger’s Suite No. 2 in D Major for Solo Viola, op. 131d; and Rebecca Clarke’s Sonata for Viola and Piano, an all-in-all exquisitely per- formed concert that resulted in a standing ovation. Her encore, Liszt’s Romance Oubliée, proved a per- fect conclusion to a superb concert. Before playing her encore, Ms. Zimmermann was presented the 2008 IVS Silver Viola Clef by IVS President Dr. Michael Vidulich for excellence in performance, recording, and teaching. Several of the visitors, myself included, shared with our German friends Orpheus Quartet and event hosts that this single concert without doubt made all the effort and expense of the trip worthwhile. The performance level in the Witte Competition was consistently high, even among contestants who did not advance to the final round. The judges did not award a first place but recognized three second- place and one third-place winners. Second-place fin- ishers: Peijun Xu performed the H. I. F. Biber Passacaglia for Solo Viola and the first movement of Vieuxtemps’ Sonata for Viola and Piano, op. 36; Benedikt Schneider performed the first movement of the Stamitz Concerto in D Major and the Penderecki Cadenza for Solo Viola; Corina Golomoz performed the Prelude to J. S. Bach’s Suite No. 5 for Solo Viola and the Enescu Concert Piece for Viola and Piano. Third-place finisher Veit Benedikt Hertenstein performed two pieces by Vieuxtemps— Elegy and the Capriccio for Solo Viola. Of these, Tabea Zimmermann, viola, and Daniel Heide, piano

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the performances of Peijun Xu and Corina Golomoz impressed me as particularly outstanding—I have every reason to think that we shall hear more from them in the future.

The concluding program included two quartets and one quintet and ended the Bratschistentag on a high note, no pun intended: Franz Joseph Haydn’s String Quartet in A Major, op. 20, no. 6; ’s String Quartet No. 10 in E-flat Major, op. 74; and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s String Quintet in D Major, K. 593, aided by guest violist, Professor Karin Wolf. It was a pleasure to hear the Orpheus and this program, considering that string quartets are rarely performed at viola congresses.

Thus concluded the 2008 Bratschistentag. What a pleasure it was to be reunited with friends and col- leagues we had not seen in years, to commemorate their unforgettable contributions to the viola, and to meet many of the current and future leadership of the GVS and IVS. Dietrich Bauer, one of the origi- nal signers of the Pöllau Protocol, was with us, as were other GVS and IVS organizational stalwarts Dietrich Bauer, co-signor of Pöllau Protocol such as Uta Lenkewitz, Heinz Berck, Hans Lauerer, Boguslava Hubisz-Sielska, David Dalton, John White, Michael Vidulich, Ann Frederking, Carlos María Solare, and Ronald Schmidt. Likewise I could Dr. Dwight Pounds is past executive secretary of the not help recalling the 20th anniversary celebration in International Viola Society, photographer of many vio- Kassel in 1988 and note that many people who had lists, frequent contributor to the Journal of the played key roles in founding the organization had American Viola Society, and has served on the AVS either passed on or could not be with us due to ill executive board multiple times (more than thirty years health or advancing years—Berta Volmer, Janos total). He is the author of The American Viola Czakó (both deceased), Franz Zeyringer, Wolfgang Society: A History and Reference and Viola for Sawodny, Miroslav Miletiç, and Günter Ojstersek to Violinists. name but a few.

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by Sally Beamish

Early Career

I have been fascinated with the concerto form since my first vio- lin teacher, my mother, put a Vivaldi concerto in front of me to try and revive my waning interest at the age of nine. I had been playing the piano since age five, and it was strongly linked to com- posing. The violin was more of a struggle and didn’t come natural- ly. But when Mum told me what a concerto was, I was hooked. It was something about the drama of it: the soloist, like an actor or a storyteller, standing in front of the orchestra, relating to orches- tra, conductor, and audience as protagonist and central character; an immediate focus to the music, Sally Beamish (photo courtesy of Ashley Coombes) unlike the impersonal back view of a conductor, or the diplomacy and politesse of chamber music. orchestra. “A concerto!” I begged, “winging it” for the first few breathless with excitement. At the rehearsals by guessing the notes. I As for composing, I had been end of term I was the soloist in a even decided to have a go at the doing so since my mother taught “piano concerto” that lasted all of National Youth Orchestra on me to read music at age four, and two minutes—my first orchestral viola (though I was continuing to it had never occurred to me that work. play the violin). I was surprised to it might be a man’s province. I be accepted, but not as an official attended a girls’ school in London It was this teacher also who member of the viola section. with a visionary head of music encouraged me to try the viola. Instead, I was a “general musi- who encouraged every girl to ful- There were several gifted violinists cian,” which meant I was allowed fill her potential, regardless of at school who went on to become to sit in any section of the orches- gender, at a time when “compos- highly regarded professionals. But tra during rehearsals (though I er” was synonymous with “great no one played the viola, and here chose to stay with the violas!) and master.” In my second year at the was my way in to some classy also qualified for composition les- school, age twelve, Mr. Morgan quartet playing. I taught myself sons with Alan Richardson and invited me to write for the school the clef during school lessons, Herbert Howells.

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When I left school, the social life While at the RNCM I applied to to achieve any kind of decent I had enjoyed as a teenager change to composition, but was level, and for a term, reduced to through orchestral playing led me turned down—I think wisely—as the indignity of open strings only, to apply for the Royal Northern I was a million miles away from I practiced for hours every day— College of Music in Manchester the then current trends of new bitterly lonely and free of all dis- (RNCM); not on piano (my first complexity and Darmstadt. I was tractions. Giuranna did relent by study) but on violin. My ambi- mystified by a lot of the new asking me to be the class accom- tion was to have a job in an music I was hearing and still panist, and through this I learned orchestra to support my compos- searching for my own voice. I a great deal of viola repertoire, as ing, which I assumed would never decided to take a post-graduate well as having the huge privilege earn me a living on its own. year and wondered about compo- of playing with Giuranna himself sition, but was turned down when he wanted to demonstrate a I was assigned to the Polish virtu- again, this time by King’s College work to the class. oso Bronislaw Gimpel at the London, who asserted that they RNCM. He was inspirational could not enroll a student who On returning to London, I was both as a person and as a player, wrote in A minor. I had taken surprised to find myself in and I adored him. However, he along a little sonata I wrote in demand both as a chamber player was not really a teacher, and I was 1975 as a gift for Gimpel, and as a member of several con- not advanced enough to be able inspired by his beloved temporary music groups, includ- to learn from example alone, Wieniawski concerto. He had ing the London Sinfonietta and however stunning his playing already programmed my sonata in Lontano. All this time, in was—and it was. I taped all his a London recital—though he died Manchester and in Detmold, I records and listened to them over before this could happen. had been composing. Not very and over again, but I couldn’t find much—maybe one piece a year, the fluency in my own playing to Having also failed to secure a bur- usually for a player-friend, a fact get anywhere near what I was sary to study composition in Italy, which meant that most of my hearing. I knew I wasn’t progress- I accepted a King Edward VII early works were performed. Now ing, but had become so fond of scholarship to study viola with that I was working with “real” him that I hadn’t the heart to Bruno Giuranna in Detmold, composers, I had the opportunity change to a different violin Germany. However, when I went to beg some lessons. When teacher. Instead, I told him I was to play for him, he refused me, Luciano Berio conducted the changing instrument and enrolled irritated by my “British dilet- Sinfonietta, I took along one of with the English violist Patrick tante” attitude. I made the mis- my scores, which he graciously Ireland. take of excusing my sketchy per- looked at, and he invited me to formances with the fact that I also study with him. By this time I My playing developed, and I played the piano and composed. had met my then-husband, the began to tackle some of the big He said he didn’t care how many cellist Robert Irvine, and was viola repertoire: the Walton con- instruments I played; I had to expecting my first child, so a year certo and several of the play the viola in tune. In the end in Florence wasn’t possible. Hindemith works. I relied on a I persuaded him to hear me again, Another composer who conduct- natural but approximate talent. on the first day of term, in ed the Sinfonietta was Oliver My playing was unpredictable, in Detmold. This time, my sheer Knussen. At one rehearsal he spite of excellent teaching from determination paid off, and he pointed at me, saying, “So, you’re Patrick and then the Israeli Atar grudgingly accepted me into his a composer!” It turned out he’d Arad. class. I knew now that I had to seen a piece I had entered for a concentrate on one thing in order competition. It hadn’t won, but

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and moved north. Scotland was vibrant with new ideas and opportunities. One of the first things that hap- pened was an invitation to write a symphony as part of a Scottish/Icelandic exchange. I was embraced by the musical community and also benefited from the strong cultural heritage that pervades the arts in Scotland. And, after years of never settling to any musical path for very long, I knew that I had found my way.

The Arts Council Bursary paid for a year’s childcare while I established a work routine (I soon discovered that my original idea of composing at the kitchen table while the babies slept was not realistic). Something about paying for those working hours took away any self-consciousness about whether what I was writing was any good. I simply had to Sally Beamish in 1988 (photo courtesy of Jim Four) keep going; otherwise the child-minding money had been wasted. nevertheless Olly was intrigued by this composing viola player. On a series of train journeys between The other part of the plan was that I would stop concerts he gave me my first composition “course,” playing. Of course I’d had to find another viola as I and helped me to forge a language that has remained still had concerts to play, particularly with the with me ever since. Raphael Ensemble, a string sextet. I bought a beauti- Becoming a Composer ful but battered unnamed Italian viola, which I grew to love almost as much as the one that was stolen. Several things came together in 1989 to cause a And then—well, I couldn’t bear to leave the Raphael. major rethink. Firstly, I was finding the freelance life So I carried on with that, traveling up and down increasingly difficult. I didn’t want to leave my son with one or two babies, babysitters, and all the para- in the care of nannies while I toured abroad, and as phernalia that goes with that kind of life. It was a both Robert and I were working full-time, the baby nightmare—except that I loved the playing. Then ended up being passed from pillar to post. And the Hebrides Ensemble was formed in Scotland, and Robert was missing his native Scotland. I was invited to join. In their first concert they played a piece of mine that had had its premiere in Then one morning in 1989 we came downstairs to London to a small audience and no press. But in find the house had been burgled, and my viola was Scotland, as part of a debut concert by this new gone. The viola, which was a mint-condition group, it was well-covered by the national press. It Gabrieli made in Venice in 1749, had been lent to proved to be my launch as a composer. me by a doctor in Inverness—a friend of Garth Knox, who had also played on it for a while. It was a terrible shock, and I found it hard to get over the The First Viola Concerto guilt and regret, even though the owner himself was forgiving and philosophical. The only way I could In 1993 I had a phone call from the violist Philip move on was to think of it as a sign. It was a small Dukes asking me to write a viola concerto. Having step to decide that I should be composing. When my broken into orchestral writing through the sympho- application for an Arts Council Bursary was success- ny, I had already written two concertos, one for oboe ful, this strengthened my conviction further. and one for violin. Both of these were based on sto- After that, everything seemed to happen very fast. In ries: the oboe concerto, for Douglas Boyd, on a 1990 we rented a farmhouse in Stirlingshire, Scotland,

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Scottish Borders ballad, “Tam Lin”; and the violin ishment when he called on New Year’s Eve 1994 to concerto, at the suggestion of the soloist, Anthony say that he had secured the premiere, with the Marwood, on Remarque’s novel All Quiet on the and , at the Western Front. The idea of soloist as storyteller was 1995 Proms. certainly featuring in these first forays into concerto form. I found the input of the soloist very impor- The idea of story was at the forefront of my mind, tant—any ideas they might have—gaps in the reper- and I decided to base the piece on the story of Saint toire, favorite techniques, things to avoid, and above Peter’s denial of Christ, from the New Testament. It all, the individual and unique sound of the player. is a story with which most people would identify—a story of human weakness and betrayal in the face of Philip was quite sure he wanted to play my concerto the true cost of commitment and the agonizing at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall. He was remorse of failure. The story reads like a film, cutting young, enthusiastic, and determined. I went along from scene to scene to give a three dimensional pic- with his vision, but have to admit to being a little ture of simultaneous events. I cast the work in a sin- skeptical, and I remember clearly the thrill of aston- gle movement, playing out two contrasting scenes—

Raphael Ensemble with Sally Beamish (far left), c. 1987 (photo courtesy of Peter Rauter)

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Peter (viola) dejected outside; Jesus in the courtroom (rather in the manner of the string halo around inside. One issue always has to be addressed in a con- Christ’s voice in the St. Matthew Passion). This is certo for viola—that of balance. I decided to cast brutally interrupted by a brassy fanfare—the crowing Peter’s scenes as chamber interludes. The three of the cock. denials, which are structural pillars, feature a single “questioner” in each case: clarinet, then cello, then The final section (piangevole) ranges from despair and horn. Peter is characterized by perfect and augmented anger to an eventual gentle optimism. It incorporates fourths (ex. 1). an inversion of the horn theme, so that it rises to the end, leaving a question mark hanging in the air. The courtroom scenes are the orchestral “meat” of the piece. These tuttis become increasingly intense plays on a “cut-away” viola by Hiroshi until four fortissimo chords, with whip, indicate the Iizuka, which, as he pointed out, means that the striking of Jesus. This is followed by the final denial, extremities of the instrument are more accessible. I in which the questioner is the horn. This harks back have written very high for the viola in this work and to the opening of the concerto, in which the somber also used a lot of double stops—harking back to procession from Gethsemane is depicted using the Hindemith and Shostakovich. This use of double horn to represent Jesus, with the viola, Peter, follow- stops was to reappear in the second concerto. ing behind (in canon) (ex. 2). The experience of my first performance at the In this context, Peter’s last denial is to Christ him- London Proms was memorable. It was stiflingly hot, self, and I have surrounded the horn with strings as it often is in the Royal Albert Hall in August. I Example 1. Beamish, Viola Concerto No. 1, mm. 135–44 (first cadenza).

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Example 2. Beamish, Viola Concerto No. 1, mm. 17–30.

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was heavily pregnant with my third child and had were all my gaming, mead and mirth serious doubts as to whether I would make it down At tempest-tested granite crags onto the platform before the applause stopped. I the ice-winged tern would taunt wondered whether to request a wheelbarrow. I am spray-feathered ospreys overhead told I was the first-ever pregnant composer to take a would soar and scream bow on the Albert Hall platform. The second is based on a two-note “cuckoo” motif The Second Viola Concerto first heard on the bassoon. The cuckoo in this con- text is seen as malevolent, even sinister (ex. 4). In 1998 I was invited to be composer-in-residence And heralding his summer hoard of pain with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra by its artistic the gowk [cuckoo] repeats his plaintive geck manager, Gregor Zubicky. He was an old friend, an foreboding bitterness of breast oboist whom I’d met at the International Musicians’ Seminar at Prussia Cove in Cornwall in 1984. A Soft-bedded bloods cannot conceive mutual friend was the violist Tabea Zimmermann, what some men suffer as abroad and Gregor suggested that one of my works for the they travel tracks of exile residency should be a concerto for her, conducted by her husband David Shallon. The work would be a Reckless of that, my thought is thrown co-commission with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra beyond my heart's cage now. My mind is cast and have its premiere in Scotland in January 2002. upon the sea swell, over the whale's world

I had recently been sent a beautiful new translation The music is mocking and ironic in character, with a of the ninth-century Anglo-Saxon poem The Seafarer fragile and transient middle section—the half-heard by an artist friend, Jila Peacock. The translation was cries of banshee-like spirits (ex. 5). by Charles Harrison Wallace, whose Scottish and Swedish ancestry had led him to use words that res- onate in both Scandinavian and North Scottish lan- guages. The translation reflected a Nordic view of life’s journey, using the metaphor of a sea voyage that comes to rest in “Heaven’s haven.” I was struck by its vivid imagery and wrote a short piece for solo violin inspired by the text.

In 2000 I was asked by the “Summer on the Peninsula” Festival to make a setting of the poem for narrator and piano trio with Jila’s Seafarer prints pro- jected as part of the work, and in so doing I began to hear more orchestral textures and to want to explore the material further. I took material from both works as the themes for the new concerto, not so much telling the story as painting broad descrip- tive canvases taken from the imagery in the poem.

The first movement suggests wave shapes, seabirds, and ideas of conflict and exploration (ex. 3).

All I ever heard along the ice-way was sounding sea, the gannet's shanty whooper and curlew calls and mewling gull Seafarer print by Jila Peacock

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Example 3. Beamish, Viola Concerto No. 2, movt. I, mm. 1–18.

Tabea, in memory of David. When I sent her the The last movement is essentially a set of cadenzas score, I was even more anxious than usual, hoping exploring material from the first two movements, set that she would accept the dedication. I heard noth- against a gentle string refrain and resolving into a sim- ing for months and began to wonder if I had made a ple hymn-like passage which ends the concerto (ex. 6). mistake in presuming to link the work to her loss. But then, about six weeks before the premiere, I had Come, consider where we have a home, how a message from her saying she was “looking forward we can travel to it, how our travail here to learning it.” She hadn’t looked at it yet! We met will lead us to the living well-head ten minutes before the first rehearsal in Edinburgh, and heaven haven of our Lord's love and I was astounded at the insight she had into the work and the ease and beauty of her interpretation. While I was writing the concerto, Gregor phoned The premiere was conducted by Joseph Swensen. with the terrible news that David Shallon had died from an asthma attack in Japan while touring with 2001 had been an extremely busy year, with the Tabea. The last movement took on a new signifi- commission of my first opera, Monster, as well as cance with this tragic “wake-up call” to the brevity several orchestral pieces. I split work on the second and transience of life. I dedicated the concerto to viola concerto between three distinct periods

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Example 4. Beamish, Viola Concerto No. 2, movt. II, mm. 170-76 (measures among movements are continually numbered).

through that year, sending each movement to the songs for beating the cloth—sung by Harris tweed copyist as I finished it. When I received the final makers. I had found it inspiring, and the idea score back from him, I found that I had marked all jumped into my head of basing the concerto, in three movements Andante. While this was appropri- some way, on these songs. ate in a way, Andante literally translating as “going” or even “traveling”—I decided to qualify the three I got hold of a copy of Carmina Gadelica—Gaelic Andantes as irrequieto (restless), malevole (malicious), songs and prayers collected by Alexander Carmichael and riflessivo (reflective). in the nineteenth century—and found a poem called “Lullaby of the Snow,” supposedly sung by a young The Third Viola Concerto mother to her child, fleeing the massacre at Glencoe.

When a documentary about my concertos was made A hard frost no thaw shall subdue, by Mike Newman for the BBC later that year, the The frost of the grave which no spring shall make green, short notice meant that Tabea would not be available A lasting sleep which morn shall not break, as soloist. The BBC suggested a BBC Young Artist, The death-slumber of mother and child. , and this was the beginning of another important viola connection. After he had Heavenly light directs my feet, performed the “Seafarer” concerto, both on film and The music of the skies gives peace to my soul, in several concert performances, he asked me to Alone am I under the wing of the Rock, write him his own concerto. This work was commis- Angels of God calling me home. sioned by the Scottish Ensemble, an ensemble of excellent string soloists based in Scotland. (Excerpt from “Lullaby of the Snow,” from Carmina Gadelica: Hymns and Incantations, translated from The premiere of this third concerto was scheduled the Gaelic by Alexander Carmichael). for autumn 2006. In March of that year, when I should have been well underway with composing it, The story is that an officer heard the sound of a I was startled by a phone call asking me for a few child crying, and a young soldier was dispatched to words about the new piece for the Ensemble’s kill it: brochure. I happened to be at the Edinburgh Harp The soldier came upon the mother lulling her child to Festival with my harpist daughter, and we had just sleep the sleep of death amid the snow. And it chanced attended a workshop on Gaelic waulking songs— that the gentle croon of music that the child’s mother

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Example 5. Beamish, Viola Concerto No. 2, movt. II, mm. 289-300 (measures among movements are continually numbered).

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Example 6. Beamish, Viola Concerto No. 2, movt. III, mm. 524–45 (measures among movements are continually numbered).

was singing in the snow was the very same music as he I think this has been my most freely composed work had last heard when he left his kin and his home many to date, following instinct rather than any set com- a day and a year before that. The soldier wrapped the positional techniques. When I was writing the piece woman and her child in his plaid, gave them what in 2006, I traveled to the North Sea Jazz Festival in food and drink he had, and left them, to overtake his Rotterdam to hear the saxophonist Branford comrades. On the way he slew a wolf and showed the Marsalis play my saxophone concerto, The Imagined officer the blood upon his sword. By the mercy of God Sound of Sun on Stone. I have always felt that the and through the soldier’s compassion mother and child viola has something in common with the saxo- survived. Descendants of the child are still living, and phone—a human, speaking quality, which is some- the tradition is current and believed throughout the dis- how flawed and yet passionately and touchingly tricts of Appin and Lochaber (“ibid.”). expressive. Hearing Branford at this point influenced the sound world of the piece, and there are clear jazz The title of the concerto, Under the Wing of the resonances, both in the harmonies and in the impro- Rock, is a line from the lullaby—and refers not only visatory feel of the solo line. In 2008 I made a new to the crag that hides the mother and child, but also version for alto saxophone and strings, which has to the wings of angels and of the “Rock,” the “Son just received its premiere at the Celtic Connections of Tears” Himself. Festival in Glasgow, with Branford and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra strings, with Garry The piece is inspired by Celtic song and psalm, Walker conducting. beginning and ending with an extended, quasi- extemporary slow section for the solo viola (ex. 7). Under the Wing of the Rock was premiered in Dundee in the autumn of 2006 by Lawrence Power with the The central section, marked Allegro, is a restless Scottish Ensemble directed by Jonathan Morton. It counterpoint, drawing on rhythms and chants from is one of the most frequently performed of my con- Celtic working songs (ex. 8). certos, with performances in 2009 by Nils

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Example 7. Beamish, Under the Wing of the Rock, mm. 1–20.

Mönkemeyer with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra my viola works. This is perhaps surprising, as I have (February), Lawrence Power with the Manchester always tried things out on the piano. But I felt that Camerata (February), and Sabina Thatcher with the flaws in my own technique would create limitations. Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (September). I wanted the idea of the sound to be paramount and not to be too aware of the inevitable difficulty of I have recently completed another work with solo executing the passage. I have been incredibly fortu- viola—this time partnered by solo harp, string quar- nate in my interpreters and have avoided linking the tet, and string orchestra. This was commissioned by works in any way to my own imagined or real limi- the Isle of Purbeck String Festival, Dorset, England, tations as a performer. I have been told by all three for performance by amateur strings with professional soloists that I definitely don’t write idiomatically for soloists. It is entitled Rhapsody on Themes from Hafez the instrument! This could be because I have enough and develops material from two recent song cycles of inside knowledge to know what is theoretically pos- mine, which set poems by the fourteenth-century sible and to dare to stretch the boundaries. Persian poet Hafez. It will be premiered in March 2009, with Amy Stanford as viola soloist. Sally Beamish is known internationally as a concert composer. She has received commissions from the USA, Playing the viola is the perfect passport to the heart Japan, Australia, Scandinavia, and Europe, and her of orchestral and chamber music, and by this hands- music has been broadcast worldwide. on experience I probably learned as much about composing as I could have done by studying it for- Further Resources mally and certainly a great deal more about working with players. I suppose it was inevitable to be asked Excerpts from The Seafarer, translated from the to write for viola, but I have to confess I have never, Anglo-Saxon by Charles Harrison Wallace. The ever attempted even the smallest passage from any of complete poem may be found at:

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Example 8. Beamish, Under the Wing of the Rock, mm. 72–87.

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www.cichw.net/index.htm British Viola Concertos. NDR Radiophilharmonie. Sally Beamish’s website: (http://www.sallybeamish.com/) Garry Walker. With Tatjana Masurenko (viola). Jila Peacock’s website: http://www.jilapeacock.co.uk Coviello Classics. COV 30507. © 2006. (Includes Philip Dukes’s website: http://www.philipdukes.com Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, by William Lawrence Power’s website: Walton; Concerto No. 1 for Viola and Orchestra, http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/a.asp?a=A83 by Sally Beamish; and Lachrymae, by Benjamin Tabea Zimmermann’s website: Britten.) http://www.tabeazimmermann.com/ Imai, Nobuko. Viola Bouquet 2: Chaconne. With Sally Beamish is published by Norsk Musikforlag: Roland Pöntinen (piano). Philips, 468 314-2. © Norsk Musikforlag A/S 2000 (Includes works by J. S. Bach, Ralph Tlf: 00-47 23 00 20 10 Vaughan Williams, Rebecca Clarke, Frank Bridge, Fax :00-47 22 42 44 35 and Sally Beamish (Pennillion)). [email protected] Performances as Violist Scores may also be obtained from the Scottish Music Centre: Raphael Ensemble. Brahms String Sextets. Hyperion, http://www.scottishmusiccentre.com/sally_beamish/ CDA66276. © 1988.

Other works for viola by Sally Beamish include: ———. String Quintet, op. 97 and String Sextet, Pennillion op. 48 by Antonín Dvorák. Hyperion, That Recent Earth CDA66308. © 1989. Sonata for Viola and Piano Between Earth and Sea, for flute, viola, and harp ———. String Sextet in D Major, op. 10, by Erich Korngold and Verklärte Nacht, op. 4, by Arnold Discography Schoenberg. Hyperion, CDA66425. © 1990.

Viola Compositions ———. String Sextets. Hyperion, CDA66516. © 1992. (Includes Sextet, by Bohuslav Martinu; Beamish, Sally. River. Swedish Chamber Orchestra. Three Madrigals, by Bohuslav Martinu; and Sextet, Ola Rudner. With (cello), Philip by Ervín Schulhoff.) Dukes (viola), and Gordon Hunt (oboe). BIS, BIS-CD-971. © 1999. (Includes Viola Concerto Pari Passu. James Hughes (chromatic harmonica), (No. 1), Cello Concerto “River,” and Tam Lin.) Richard Wright (guitar), Sally Beamish (viola). Marus, 908949. © 1989. (Includes works by Franz Schubert, Ludwig van Beethoven, Igor Stravinsky, and Gordon Jacob.)

———. The Seafarer. Swedish Chamber Orchestra. Ola Rudner. With Tabea Zimmermann (viola). BIS, BIS-CD-12411. © 2007. (Includes Viola Concerto No. 2 (“The Seafarer”), Whitescape, and Sangsters.)

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by David Wallace poser. As they share their stories in coolest hair and clothes in the their own words, I encourage you entire orchestra. My stand partner Since the JAVS Alternative Styles to think about how you might told me that in addition to being a column began in 2003, it has incorporate a little more electricity top-level New York freelancer, broadened our horizons by increas- in your careers. Martha was a composer, a fearless ing our knowledge of repertoire, new music champion, and an elec- styles, pedagogy, and violists who I first met Martha Mooke in the tric violist. Soon afterwards, I spied have broken new ground. In this mid 1990s when we shared a ride her Enharmonic Vision CD at a spirit, I hereby declare 2009 The to a regional orchestra gig in New record store, bought it, and went Year of the Electric Viola and Jersey. Neither one of us said home to bask in some of the most invite you to venture into a power- much, but she caught my atten- haunting and ethereal timbres I ful realm that is exciting for teach- tion because she definitely had the had ever heard. Martha’s original ers, students, and performers alike.

Once again, I have a confession to make. I never had any plans to be anything other than an acoustic performer. For that matter, as a student, I didn’t know that the possibility of electronic bowed instruments existed. Sure, I had heard a few of the plugged-in clas- sical/pop crossover projects that were making the rounds in the late 80s and early 90s, but I could not correlate them with my dreams, ambitions, or sonic identity as a classical violist.

The four violists you are about to meet opened my mind, broadened my perspectives, and made me a true believer in the incredible potential electric performance offers all string players and teach- ers. Moreover, each has made a pri- mary impact on the musical world as a performer, pedagogue, or com- Martha Mooke

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harmonic language, emotional ment. Along the way I’ve discovered was so impressed that he hired scope, and her ability to layer com- some perhaps subtle ways of Martha to perform with him in plex rhythms demonstrated a pro- approaching improvisation or Carnegie Hall and play on his foundly creative voice and an extended techniques depending on recording of Heathen. Good things entirely original musical vision. whether I’m playing an acoustic or come to those who rock … Like many electric string players, an electric instrument. Martha’s inspiration to plug in A few years after Martha’s came from legendary jazz violinist Martha’s explorations ultimately Enharmonic Vision CD convinced Jean-Luc Ponty: led her to extensive commission- me that electronic performance ing, collaborating, and composing. offered viable options for the seri- The first time I heard Jean-Luc Yamaha’s design teams in ous classical violist, I met Mark Ponty’s album A Taste for Passion, I Hamamatsu, Japan, have since Wood. We were both teaching at was impressed and captivated by his sought her services as a consultant the Mark O’Connor Fiddle Camp playing and the sonic landscape that to help them develop new electric in Tennessee, and he was generous he created. It opened up a new musi- instrument prototypes. enough to spend an afternoon cal universe, and I saw the unlimit- helping me try out his hand-built ed possibilities available to me that I In 2001, she created and subse- instruments and take my first steps hadn’t realized before. quently has produced ASCAP’s into the world of effects pedals. I Thru the Walls contemporary was hooked! Electric performance Mooke began buying recordings music series, which features com- now became an aesthetic and a by Ponty and other jazz violinists poser-performers like her who defy compositional need. I commis- who were using electronics, includ- genres and boundaries. Currently, sioned him to build me a six-string ing Didier Lockwood and Michal Martha writes for all combina- fretless Viper viola that he expertly Urbaniak. She also started listening tions, including acoustic, electro- designed to the same length and to the Turtle Island String Quartet acoustic, and electric instruments. specifications as my modern and studying their approach to jazz Alexander Tulchinsky acoustic on acoustic instruments. When asked about her performing viola. Since that time, Wood has career, Martha responded: been very open about his own I gradually got up the nerve to go journey and struggles in becoming into my room; close the doors, win- I’ve had the great fortune of playing an electric musician, a patent- dows, and shades; and start playing in many diverse venues, from private holding instrument builder, an along with the recordings. From homes, to clubs, to outdoor Emmy-award winning composer, there I started improvising and ulti- amphitheaters with my electric setup. and a multi-platinum-selling mately composing: first for solo elec- While I enjoy the act of performing, recording artist. tric viola and growing from there. it’s sometimes the after-show—where the audience comes up and asks Mark grew up in a classical-music- Rather than view electric viola as a questions, or tells me how my music loving family where he played viola separate discipline, Mooke views it has affected them, or that I just in a string quartet with his three as a complimentary outgrowth of introduced them to something totally brothers. At the age of twelve, her new music work: new (in a positive way!!)—that is Mark experienced “a major collid- the most rewarding part of the event. ing of passions”: I think that my expanding into the electric field came hand in hand There was also the time David I was in love with the Beatles, the with exploration of extended tech- Bowie happened to be in the audi- Allman Brothers, Frank Zappa, Igor niques and experimentation of non- ence when she was performing one Stravinsky, and Franz Schubert. I traditional performance practice on of her solo shows at The Cutting naturally wanted to blend what an otherwise “traditional” instru- Room in New York City. Bowie inspired me. I started to play songs

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from records on my viola by ear. Led Although Mark valued his experi- ing place for me because the guitar is Zeppelin’s “Kashmir,” that was the ences and training at Juilliard and not really a bass instrument, and it’s tune that did it for me: a great rock the Tanglewood Music Festival (as not a mandolin. I added an E-string tune that fits the viola like a glove! a scholarship student under because I needed the additional tre- Leonard Bernstein), he ultimately ble range to do Hendrix and Van Mark’s viola teacher did not share felt compelled to leave the exclu- Halen riffs, and I wanted the full his enthusiasm: sionary environment of the conser- depth of the guitar and bass, so I vatory. added strings below the C-string. He wanted to execute me at dawn! As an excited music student, I want- During my second year at Juilliard, I In terms of timbre, Mark drew ed to share everything with my realized I had to pursue my own inspiration from hard rock gui- teacher. I quickly found out some vision. I left Juilliard and studied tarists, as well as his brother’s drag people were receptive; others were not. with John Graham and Walter motorcycle: Fortunately, I was able to study pri- Trampler privately, just to give being vately with Eugene Becker from the a classical violist one more shot. It If you hear early recordings of me, age of fourteen to sixteen. I adored was the best way for me to experience you will hear the roar of that motor- him; I could tell him anything. But a peak of the viola world—the last cycle in my sound, because I was my the second I walked into Juilliard as remaining few moments of my classi- brother’s pit crew man; I changed the a college student and switched to a cal viola pleasures were those tires and everything. He would race new teacher, the party was over! moments with Graham and his phe- on his motorcycle, and he would nomenal approach to contemporary fine-tune the tone of his engine. That music and Trampler’s incredible sound became part of my first explo- insights on Hindemith. Let’s be really rations of tone. clear, I’m a pure violist. I never played violin; never studied it. I Gradually, Mark began to build a think and feel in the midrange. I career that would include record- think and feel as a violist—I have a ing, performing, touring, compos- violist’s ear for harmony. I think it’s ing, producing, arranging, scoring important that the reader under- for television, and developing his stand the commitment I made, but own line of instruments and effects thank God I got real about what I pedals. In 1989, Mark released his wanted to do with my life. first solo album, Voodoo Violince, which led to appearances on The Mark began to experiment with Tonight Show with Jay Leno, building his own electric instru- CNN, CBS, ABC News, and ments since “there were really no other television networks. Soon cool-looking [or great-sounding] afterwards, Mark had the opportu- electric violins to buy” at that time. nity to compose arrangements, Eventually, he began to expand his record, and tour with Billy Joel, electric viola’s range by building Celine Dion, and Mariah Carey. prototypes with five, six, seven, or As a co-founder and arranger for Mark Wood with a Viper more strings: The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Mark kept his non-classical pas- Mark tours extensively and has sions to himself and a few trusted Expanding the range of the electric sold several million CDs. friends, including his roommate viola was repertoire-motivated. All Nigel Kennedy and violinist my heroes were guitarists (they still Another highlight was getting to be Schlomo Mintz. are). The viola was the perfect start- in Kanye West’s hip-hop Pepsi com-

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mercial version of “The Devil Went Like Wood, Asha turned to gui- opera with an electric string sec- Down to Georgia” featuring rapper tarists as role models for her new tion. She is probably also the only Nas and violinist Miri Ben-Ari. My musical approach: violist to perform a solo rendition role? The Devil, of course! of “The Star-Spangled Banner” I've always loved classic rock. When I for a Boston Red Sox game at Recently, Mark has gained wide- went electric, I began listening to a Fenway Park. spread attention for his Electrify lot of the guitar greats’ solos—B.B. Your Strings residencies, which King, Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, Although Asha is best known for enable string educators and orches- Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page—and her performances on her seven- tra directors to provide electric began to translate that type of music string Wood Violins Viper, she still pedagogy and performance oppor- and soloing to my instrument. teaches and performs extensively tunities for their students. on her acoustic viola and believes

Around the same time I began playing one of Mark Wood’s elec- tric violas, violist Asha Mevlana was also beginning to explore the world of amplified viola. Asha has always been willing to share her insights, as well as thought-pro- voking questions that have led me to new discoveries in pedagogy and performance. Although Asha is the newest person of our four to plug in, her reason was the same as Stuff Smith, the first known vio- linist to amplify: she was fighting to be heard above a loud band.

After years of classical training, I Asha Mevlana began to explore alternative styles. When I graduated from college, I Asha also studied many of the clas- that her unplugged playing has moved to New York City and joined sic string solos from the rock benefited from going electric: a rock band that played several times repertoire, like the violin jam at a week at smoky clubs around the the end of the Who’s “Baba After a strict classical upbringing, city. I was worried about putting my O’Riley,” which she has performed playing electric has allowed me to expensive viola in danger from spills with Roger Daltrey. explore the different sounds and or theft. Besides that, the sound of effects that I didn't know were possi- my acoustic viola was not cutting Asha’s time studying the rock and ble on a violin or viola. When I go through the hard-hitting drums and pop repertoire was well spent as back to playing my acoustic viola, I electric guitar, so I bought my first she has gone on to perform with have a lot more freedom in my play- electric: a five-string Zeta. I loved several of her own bands, as well ing and am much more experimen- being able to be heard over the rest of as Gnarls Barkley, the Black Eyed tal—trying to figure out how to imi- my band and "compete” with the Peas, Alanis Morissette, Mary J. tate some of the electric sounds, using electric guitar. Blige, Cheap Trick, and for Dee slides, different bow pressures to Snider’s Van Helsing’s Curse, a rock obtain different sounds, etc.

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Playing electric has made me realize show them classical and contempo- To underscore the symbiotic con- that all sounds can be cool. For rary styles, first on my traditional nection between her classical and example, I never would have instrument (violin or viola) and then electronic work, Daryl has been dreamed of playing "distorted" on would amplify (usually using a five- known to play Telemann’s Canonic my acoustic viola, but now in cer- stringed acoustic/electric or full solid- Sonatas as electric viola solos by tain gigs and situations, I will adjust body electric) using sound effects. The using a Boss digital delay pedal. my bow pressure to get a more dis- electronics really helped to boost cre- torted sound on purpose and don't ativity. In addition to classical and con- feel the need to play "pretty" all the temporary music, Daryl’s electric time. performance and teaching encom- pass many different styles, includ- Asha’s discoveries are echoed by ing blues, rock, jazz, and fiddling. Daryl Silberman, whose excellent Though she is highly experienced work I came to know through col- and accomplished as a performer laborating on workshops and serv- (performances and/or recordings ing on ASTA’s alternative strings with Guns N’ Roses, Depeche committee. A Knilling Master Mode, and Al Stewart, to name a Clinician, Daryl has taught for few), Daryl prefers to consider her- numerous organizations including self “an eye-opener who loves MENC, ASTA, Yamaha, the Alan inspiring and motivating players de Veritch Viola Institute, Suzuki and teachers.” festivals, and the Australian Strings Association Convention, for whom When asked what advice they she was also a featured performer. would give students and musicians She has also directed her own alter- Daryl Silberman who wish to explore electric viola, native styles string camp at the all four of our violists had helpful Crowden School in Berkeley, Some teachers have expressed fear advice. Daryl suggested: California. Given Daryl’s tremen- that electric performance or alter- dous contributions to the alterna- native styles might have a negative Consider going five-string! You get all tive strings scene as a teacher, clini- effect on their students. Daryl’s the advantages of going electric on a cian, and high school orchestra experience has caused her to con- viola, but you can add one extra conductor, it comes as no surprise clude otherwise: string—low F or high E. When the that teaching was what inspired instrument is a little smaller, you can her to plug in: I've always maintained that by get around it so much easier, and exploring improvisation and contem- unlike an acoustic, length and size I started doing clinics for string porary music, you can unlock your don’t have as big of an impact on teachers and students, K-12 and col- inner musician, which can make you tone. Just add a little more bass or lege, for Knilling String Instruments a much more expressive classical treble by adjusting the EQ settings in ’95. Though I knew that explor- player. I know that my Bach became on your amp or sound system. ing contemporary styles on a tradi- ten times better once I allowed myself tional instrument was motivating to the freedom to explore in different I like to say, ‘Leave your classical me, I wanted something motivation- styles! Interestingly, my exploration attitude at the door’ when going elec- al and exciting to the students— into contemporary music coincided tric. An electric instrument is never using electronics turned out to be for a few years with an exploration going to feel or sound like your classi- that extra something I needed. I cre- of Baroque music. cal ax. You have to embrace the new ated a clinic program where I would world of electrics in order to find the

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right one for you—consider budget, fit, weight, and the ple who work there are extremely friendly and helpful. type of sound you’re looking for. It’s very important that you try out instruments from a maker or dealer who Mark Wood underscores the importance of entering a understands the equipment and how to set it up. When new, creative mindset: this isn’t the case, it sounds terrible, and people falsely assume that that’s how electric violins and violas sound. First and foremost, view it as electric playing. Don’t think of your electric instrument as a loud viola. You I also recommend taking time to explore effects! I always want to look at it as a vehicle that can explore sounds, find myself fascinated by wanting to create music appro- textures, and techniques that you cannot achieve on your priate to the sound effect I am exploring. acoustic instrument. See it as an opportunity to expand your imagination as an artist. Asha Mevlana recommends a social approach: If you find you or your students are just spinning your Talk to everyone you know who plays an electric instru- wheels by trying to replicate your acoustic experience on ment. Talk to electric guitar players. Try out electric an electric viola, turn on a drum machine. When you instruments before you buy them to see what works for hear drums playing in a jazz, country, or rock way, it you. There is a lot of trial and error and asking advice in puts your headspace into an area that’s outside of your the beginning. There is no right or wrong rig, just what classical experience. That’s always a good trigger point to sounds good to you. Also, once you’ve purchased an elec- start exploring non-classical technique and styles. tric instrument, take your instrument to a Guitar Center or Sam Ash or another music store that has equipment Martha Mooke advocates the “Nike motto approach”: that you can use. I've done this many times, and the peo- Do it!!! Ask questions (I’m available by e-mail); search Back issues of the Journal of the the Internet (sites like www.electricviolinshop.com), and go out to your local music store. Decide your budget, then American Viola Society what kind of instrument (maker, how many strings, etc), are available for purchase through and then what gear to add (if any) between the instru- the AVS National Office. ment and amplifier or PA. Single issues: $5 per copy. Back Issue Bonus Pack: To contact any of these artists, hear their music, or learn much more about their remarkable careers, $50 for collection of all issues please visit their websites: currently in stock. For more information or to place a Martha Mooke: http://www.marthamooke.com back issue order, Mark Wood: http://markwoodmusic.com contact AVS General Manager Asha Mevlana: http://www.ashamevlana.com Madeleine Crouch Daryl Silberman: http://www.daryls.com Email: Be sure to tune in to this summer’s online JAVS issue, [email protected] which shall include Martha Mooke’s extensive discog- Phone: raphy of electric violists! 972-233-9107 ext. 204 Address: David Wallace will be teaching electric viola and other alternative styles at the Mark O’Connor Strings AVS National Office, Conference in New York City this July. 14070 Proton Rd. Suite 100 Dallas, TX 75244

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by Jodi Levitz This is how the first Viola Project ten for solo viola, or viola and was born in 2004. The San electronics; and if the student Perhaps the most exciting Francisco Conservatory of Music composer had already composed a prospect about relocating back to is a unique institution, where a work for a solo string instrument, the United States and assuming new professor with the small germ the addition of piano or second the position of Professor of Viola of an idea receives such support instrument was given by special at the San Francisco Conservatory and enthusiasm from her col- permission on a case-by-case basis. of Music (SFCM) was the possi- leagues that a project like this can We decided on this last point bility of collaboration with other be initiated literally with a conver- because we wanted the composers faculty members, both performers sation near the faculty mailboxes to learn how to write for a solo and composers. One of my first at the very end of the spring voice and wanted to nurture their faculty recitals included an out- semester. understanding of the attributes of standing work called API for our instrument. viola, violin, and percussion writ- And so, we were off and running. ten for violin professor Bettina Dan Becker, outstanding compos- Dan quickly got the student com- Mussumeli and me by Elinor er and composition professor, was posers on board by e-mail over Armer, an esteemed member of directing the weekly composition the summer, and he sent me a list the composition faculty at SFCM. seminar (at the time a required of the composers interested in the The compositional process Elinor class for all SFCM student com- project. That first year we had used was both fascinating and posers). In this class we offered thirteen composers volunteer. personal. She got to know both the students an opportunity to Dan and I then had a long phone Bettina and me, heard us play in participate in the project, provid- conversation in which he gave me duo several times, and composed ed they gained the approval of some information about the com- a work that remarkably showcased their private teachers. posers—each one’s style, personal- our playing styles. Participation was optional, and ity, and compositional back- although the compositions were ground, and I shared the same This experience brought me to a to become part of each composer’s information about the violists. We simple conclusion: why shouldn’t overall portfolio, no grading was then matched each viola student my students also have the incredi- involved for the individual com- with a composer, especially aim- ble experience of working with a positions. The composers worked ing to match the skill level of the composer one-on-one in develop- on the compositions with their instrumentalist with the propensi- ing a new work for the viola? In private teachers, as well as having ty of the composer to write com- addition, Elinor’s skill in writing a general discussions in composi- plicated music with high technical work for specific performers’ tion seminar regarding writing for demands. styles—and not just an instru- the viola. ment—impressed me so much We also looked for intangibles, that I couldn’t help but wonder We established parameters for the often matching composers and how a skill like this could be new compositions: the composi- violists with like personalities. developed and nurtured in our tions were to be no longer than Conversely, we might pair con- young composers. five minutes; they were to be writ- trasting personalities in an

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attempt to inspire both musicians the violist becomes joint compos- would make extreme efforts and to explore outside their comfort er of the work, but so the com- stretch their technique to new zones. (If this sounds a bit like poser can get immediate input on heights to perform “their” works. matchmaking, it is! I’m very the feasibility of the composition. It was a terrific experience to pleased to say after four Viola Also, the performer learns how to observe a viola student who Projects and one String Project deal with the real-life situation of would complain that an etude was that Dan and I have gotten so imposing reasonable deadlines on “impossible” tackle a Viola Project good at this we could open up a professional colleagues. composition that was a much matchmaking service for instru- harder challenge with enthusiasm mentalists and composers.) This There were many levels of contri- and without complaint. Several system worked well, so we have bution by the violists, especially times in lessons I would ask a followed the same format for regarding form or style. Once or composer to simplify a passage, every subsequent Viola Project. twice a violist suggested a small only to be contradicted by my Of course, if a violist and com- motive, but that was quite rare. In student, who assured me he or she poser requested to work together, general, the discussions were on a could handle the passage with that request was always honored. more technical level regarding more practice. An example of this what is possible on the viola and is the third movement of Devin Once the assignments were made, what was truly not. These discus- Farney’s Four Exploitations (ex. 1). the violists and composers were sions pushed both violist and The performer, Morgan encouraged to meet so the violist composer to test their limits. The O’Shaughnessey, insisted on per- could play for the composer. I composition students, of course, forming the work as written, ably also opened up all my lessons to also worked extensively with their handling the harmonics despite the composition students so they teachers on the pieces throughout my glaring insistence that they could listen to their violists, par- the semester. were unfeasible and unworkable. ticularly any solo works they were It was thrilling to be proved working on at the time. Once a work was completed, my wrong. students would bring it to their The project began early in the fall lessons, often with the individual This made me realize the power semester of 2004, and a concert composers present. This proved to of “ownership” of a work. This date was fixed for early December. be a wonderful learning experi- new composition was the stu- An important aspect of the learn- ence for all. I made a point to be dent’s and the student’s alone. ing experience was the communi- extremely literal with the student This cannot be underestimated as cation process between performer composers, especially regarding a motivational device for any and composer. We deliberately ambiguous notation. It’s essential musician. We are constantly asked did not insist on a universal dead- to remind them that hopefully to perform works that have been line for the completed composi- their music will be performed for performed countless times before, tions because we wanted the per- many years, and not all future which creates its own challenges former and composer to be interpreters will have the benefit and motivations. But to perform a responsible to each other. I would, of their oral explanation of “what work written specifically for us is of course, ask my students how they really meant.” The improve- taking on a responsibility and things were going. If the answer ment in clarity and skill in subse- challenge that is unique. The idea was anything like “we haven’t met quent versions proved this was an that this privilege should be in a while, and I haven’t seen any essential point for the composi- reserved for fully-formed profes- drafts yet,” I’d encourage them to tion students to grasp. sional instrumentalists is absurd. pursue their composer and ask for drafts, even if they were prelimi- The project had many unforeseen The first Viola Project concert nary. The point of this is not so benefits for my students. They was highly successful, and the

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Example 1. Farney, Four Exploitations, movt. III.

results encouraged us to continue Viola Project works again, to great a current SFCM student! Some of in subsequent years. We had thir- success. The memory of these my students also chose to use teen works performed that first young musicians championing their Viola Project works for year, from simple melodic pieces “their” new works so convincingly entrance auditions to graduate to highly complicated, difficult in an ancient venue—a cloister schools requiring contemporary works. Besides the solo works, dating from 1000, or the court- works. Air, by Joshua Saulle, there was one work for viola and yard of a beautiful medieval cas- reproduced below, was one such piano and an electronic work for tle—for an audience of apprecia- work (see sample score). It was viola and two dogs (the dogs were tive Italian music lovers is one written for SFCM former under- pre-recorded, in case anyone was that will stay with me forever. graduate student Matthew Davies, wondering). SFCM records all the who later performed it for his Viola Project concerts, as well as In addition, several students have New England Conservatory grad- binding the finished scores for our chosen to perform their works uate audition. library. again in recitals and juries. At that time, we held violin and viola As the years progressed, we had The summer after this first Viola juries together, and it was very Viola Projects 2, 3, and 4, and on Project was completed, several of fun to watch my violin faculty November 22, 2008, we had our my students attended a summer colleagues struggle to identify the first String Project concert. We festival I was running in Italy. unknown composer of a work, expanded the idea to include all They all chose to perform their only to be told the composer was string instruments, including

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duos. The level of the works was and composers for the project not to start your own Viola Project. outstanding, and I was gratified to be turned into a dreary assign- In just a few short years, we could to see how fully the rest of the ment. I would wake up in a cold introduce thousands of new works string students embraced the proj- sweat imagining the concert date for the viola, and nurture the next ect. Over the years we have intro- would arrive and not a single generation of violists to become duced forty-eight new works for work would be ready, but so far champions of new music for the solo viola. that hasn’t been the case. There instrument. have been a few instances where a The benefits of the project have performer has refused to perform To download the complete scores to been numerous and long-lasting. a work because they were given the Saulle and Farney works, as My students developed their tech- the piece too late to learn it, and a well Ilya Demutsky’s Scherzo for nique in ways I could have only few cases where a composer was Two Violas (also from the SFCM dreamed and with an urgency and unhappy with the final perform- Viola Project), please visit sense of purpose that was ance, but even these cases have http://americanviolasociety.org/scores admirable by any standard. It’s provided valuable learning experi- .htm one thing to try and get a tricky ences for instrumentalists and passage of the Bartók Concerto composers. Jodi Levitz is Professor of Viola and just so, but it’s a totally different Chamber Music, and Chair of the motivational experience to stand For anyone considering taking on String Department at the San in front of your peers and a com- a project like this, I have several Francisco Conservatory of Music. poser and advocate for the value suggestions. First of all, it’s terrifi- She performed throughout the world of a composition that has been cally important that the composi- as principal violist of "I Solisti written especially for you and tion faculty is on board and will- Veneti" and violist of the Ives your instrument. This sense of ing to mentor their students with Quartet, and has recorded for the ownership of a work and pride in the project. Also, one has to be Erato, Naxos, and Dynamic labels. being an advocate for the viola as open minded about the styles and She holds B.M. and M.M. degrees a solo instrument is a tangible types of compositions, especially in Viola Performance from the driving force that inspires and electronics. It was an extremely Juilliard School. motivates. My student Morgan valuable experience for performers O’Shaughnessey put it this way, to break out of their comfort “The project added a new dimen- zones to work with looping sion to my musicianship and my devices, improvisation, various music making. I got to actually percussion instruments, etc. Some work with the composer, elimi- of the younger students had never nate the guesswork of interpreta- performed a work by a living tion, and get permission from the composer! composer to give the work a per- sonal imprint.” Student composer Devin Farney put it best when he told me, “It’s Guiding the project has been a a great opportunity for the com- privilege and a pleasure. The posers to ‘get our hands dirty’ hardest aspect for me personally with the violists and learn the ins was to try and motivate without and outs of the instrument.” I micromanagement. After the ini- would encourage every viola tial introductions are made, the instructor at an institution with a onus must be on the performers willing composition department

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Program Note: Theoretically speaking, the main Air: for Unaccompanied Viola was point of interest is in the use of a premiered at the San Francisco Air: for Unaccompanied Viola, is tritone substitution in place of a Conservatory of Music on December the product of the San Francisco traditional dominant. Instead of A- 1, 2006. Conservatory Composition flat being the tonality that pulls the Department's annual Viola Project, piece back to its tonic of D-flat, it A Word on Notation: an extraordinary opportunity for is D major (the chord a tritone the composition students to col- away from the dominant of D-flat) Throughout the piece, some dou- laborate with viola students in cre- that either leads us away from D- ble stops contain small noteheads. ating new works for the instru- flat at first, and then leads us back. These notes are to be considered ment. Similarly, A-flat is arrived at as a optional depending on the ability second stable key area by using its of the performer, and should only This piece was the direct result of a tritone substitution, A major. be performed if they can be exe- suggestion by a dear friend, to cuted in performance easily and whom the work is dedicated, that For writing this piece, I must thank musically. my habit of composing by using a Josué Aceves for the suggestion that computer notation program and brought it all about, Jodi Levitz, One or two places use a dashed MIDI sequencer was becoming a Dan Becker, and Felipe Gomez for slur or tie. This indicates that crutch and causing me to lose organizing and producing the Viola although a note will most probably touch with my inner ear. So I Project, and Matthew Davies for all need to be rearticulated, it should decided my next piece would be his help and expertise, and for a be done as smoothly as possible. written entirely at the piano, with wonderful premiere. pencil and paper. And the result was quite surprising. The piece tumbled out in about three weeks (lightning quick by my standards), and I felt so satisfied with it after the first draft that I changed very Heritage Insurance services little, only simplifying a few things to make the piece easier to play 1/4 page and more idiomatic.

In the process of writing a piece the “old-fashioned way,” I also felt more deeply connected to and aware of what I was writing. I think this is the reason the piece came out to be so much about melody, harmony, form, and lyri- cism.

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Thomas Meuwissen at work by Eric Chapman Thomas Meuwissen builds instru- urements, or an antiqued or new ments with character and charm— look, the result is a creation tailor- It is said that artistry is 1 percent instruments that, like del Gesù’s, made to the performer. Meuwissen inspiration and 99 percent perspi- are not fussed over but built with states his credo quite clearly: to ration. When a violist possesses a secure hands and a distinctive create “new instruments that tune truly exemplary instrument, the artistic sense. He considers the the rich legacy of the past to the perspiration is much reduced, and player’s requirements to be of para- needs of today’s musicians, and the performance is more enjoyable! mount importance. Most of his reconcile tradition and science, The cutting power, speed of violas are made on commission, so craft and arts, history and person- response, and elegant sound of a he is able to cater to the prefer- ality.” Thomas Meuwissen viola will far ences and playing demands of each exceed the assumed 1 percent of artist. Whether it is a particular Born in Belgium in 1966, inspiration. type of sound, comfortable meas- Meuwissen was raised in a family

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of architects and scholars. Music and art were envi- and Anselmo Belosio. Meuwissen’s work is perhaps ronmental staples. While he considered careers in most influenced by Andrea Guarneri, founder of the sculpture and architecture, he opted instead Guarneri dynasty. Much time has been spent for violin making. After graduating from the studying several Andrea Guarneri violas: one Newark School of Violin Making in played by Nobuko Imai, one played by Igor England, he had the honor of working with Oistrakh, and the ex-Primrose that is now in Premysl Spidlen, one of the great Prague Berlin. makers of the century. He later honed his skills in the work- Meuwissen’s favorite model is shop of noted viola maker his own, inspired by Frédéric Chaudière. Guarneri, but adapted to suit contemporary From 1993 to 2006, demands. Violists can Meuwissen served as select from three sizes the “violin maker in (40.5, 41, and 41.5 cm) residence” at the and choose finishes or Royal Conservatory styles depending on in Brussels, where the preferences: the refined legacy of Eugène work of the Amati or a Ysaÿe looms large in more robust Guarneri the hallowed halls. approach. The viola by Such a distinguished Meuwissen known best position provided access to to this author is the latter. It is a instruments of the greatest superb example that combines masters—instruments whose beauty and sound. owners enlisted help with acoustical adjustments. His Built in 2003–04 while in day-to-day rela- Italy, the maker tions with fellow selected wood that musicians also closely resembles the provided useful Oistrakh viola. In feedback and col- this case, the back laboration on is Italian; the top his own most was found in recent cre- Switzerland. The ations. arch duplicates his ideal arch His preferred found on the viola models Guarneri. The include the work re-curve at the of the Brothers edges is deep and Amati, Andrea stunningly beautiful. Guarneri, Giacomo Graduation thicknesses Gennaro, Carlo Tononi, are quite full, and the

Meuwissen viola (2005 Mittenwald International Competition silver medal)

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thickness patterns are slightly asymmetrical. somewhat covered or nasal, this is probably not the Meuwissen notes that this combination of arch and type of viola for you. This instrument is like playing a graduation leaves “enough strength and a Strad—anything you play, the audience hears. On little resistance to give the player the possi- the other side of the coin, the violist need not bility to sculpt the sound. This might make worry about being covered by the violin or cello in the viola somewhat stubborn to a quartet or the brass in an orchestra. play in the beginning, but contributes to its charac- Lewis Rosove, the former assis- ter and color range tant principal violist of the later on.” Milwaukee Symphony and now Adjunct Professor of The viola possesses Viola at the University of enormous power Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and speed, which was asked to comment definitely requires on the 2004 Meuwissen due diligence from viola. “For thirty min- the player. The utes,” he writes, “I threw user-friendly shoul- a veritable ‘minefield’ of der slope and rib orchestral and solo music height increase the at the Meuwissen. To say pleasure of playing. that the instrument came The scroll is elegant, and through with flying colors is an the quarter-cut maple back understatement.” The first has a slight ripple effect that thought that came to his mind enhances visual interest. was, “I really trust this instru- Each string has character ment. When I needed consum- and responds mate depth and power effortlessly in without a hint of the extreme breakup or distortion, upper positions. it was there. Quick The vibrant and response and purity complex over- of tone at all tone struc- dynamic levels, ture makes even with har- the instru- monics? No ment ring problem whatso- like an ever. In short, the organ. Even Meuwissen is a tuning is classic example of enjoyable. a modern instru- ment whose acoustic If your ideal viola maturity belies its age. sound is dark and Bravo!”

Meuwissen viola (2005 Mittenwald International Competition silver medal)

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While Meuwissen is not well known in the United AVS History & Reference Guide States, numerous honors and accolades have been bestowed on this maker and his work in Europe. The 1/4 page viola pictured in this article is the Silver Medal from the 2005 Mittenwald International Competition, one of Europe’s most important. A cello received the Silver Medal at the Manchester Cello Competition in 2007. In addition to his membership in the International Entente, he has received numerous other awards to accompany the high praises of many distinguished artists.

His waiting list for new instruments is lengthening, but it is never too late to join the line.

Eric Chapman is a founder of the Violin Society of America and a long-time contributor to the Journal of the American Viola Society. The owner of Eric Chapman Violins, Inc. in Chicago, he has been com- mended for distinguished service by both the AVS and the VSA.

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by Ken Martinson This newly available edition of buy a copy of this collection for Tertis transcriptions is presented in the Coates alone. This issue’s column features newly a very crisp, clean, and professional available works for viola and piano. manner. I also very much enjoyed The notes, photographs, and the selections in this compilation, discography information all add to A Lionel Tertis Album: although some more than others. I the value and attractiveness of this Concert Pieces for especially loved Pierné’s Sérénade edition. There is also a unique edi- Viola and Piano (pub- and Scott’s Cherry Ripe. The Delius torial choice done in this edition lished 2006) Serenade, from the drama Hassan, that I have never seen before: the I. Etude, op. 42, no. 4, by was also very nice and strikingly fingerings that appeared in the Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915) much easier to play than the other Tertis viola parts are only included II. “Serenade,” from the drama movements. My favorite selection in the piano score and not in the Hassan, by Frederick Delius in this book was actually Eric published viola part. I actually (1862-1934) Coates’s First Meeting (Souvenir). I applaud this decision; I know that III. First Meeting (Souvenir), by had not been aware of this com- I personally prefer seeing clean Eric Coates (1886-1957) poser before playing this work, and viola parts, and I usually end up IV. Romance in F, op. 28, no. 2, I was extremely surprised at how changing most fingering sugges- by Robert Schumann (1810- beautiful it was. This is the one tions I see anyway. In particular, I 1856) work in this compilation that is have read and observed that Tertis V. Sérénade, op. 7, by Gabriel actually not a Tertis transcription, has an affinity for going out of the Pierné (1863-1937) but rather an original work that way to play high up on strings VI. Cherry Ripe, by Cyril Scott was written for Tertis. The notes in (this can especially be seen in the (1879-1970) the music state that it was written fingerings published in the VII. “Chant de Roxane,” from the for Tertis in 1941, but he never Vaughan Williams Suite, which is opera Le Roi Roger, by Karol gave an actual premiere of the edited by Tertis). I have, as a rule, Szymanowski (1882-1937) work, only a “private” performance been against these kinds of finger- (from the violin arrangement by for the composer. Coates was a ings for projection reasons, but I Pawel Kochaƒski (1887-1934)). violist himself, and he had studied am glad they were included in the viola with Tertis at the Royal piano part so I can at least draw Difficulty: Level 5 (I, IV, V, VI); Academy of Music in 1906. Given some ideas from them. Level 4 (III, VI); Level 2 (II) the high quality of the work, I am Duration: I: 2 minutes; II: 2 min- a little surprised that Tertis didn’t My only other critique about this utes; III: 8 minutes; IV: 2 and a promote it more, but I am certain- collection is a specific transcription half minutes; V: 3 minutes; VI: 3 ly glad it is included with this edi- choice that Tertis made as far as minutes; VII: 5 minutes tion. Strategically, this was an some double stops. In this spot— excellent editorial choice by White measure seventeen in the Arranged by Lionel Tertis (1876- and Josef Weinberger edition; I Scriabin—he chooses intervals of 1975) and compiled/edited by don’t think it would have sold well seconds, thirds, and fourths very John White as an entity on its own. However, high up on the A and D-strings. I after becoming familiar with it, I can’t help but wonder if there was would say that every violist should a better way to voice this. It is so

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awkward that I would actually in a work like this, where the dark Difficulty: Level 5 wince before making the commit- viola tone fits the elegiac, remem- Duration: 26 minutes ment to learn and perform it. bering qualities the composer Commission by: Ross Other than that, I highly recom- wrote in the work. The work is not DeBardelaben mend that violists obtain a copy of written in twelve-bar blues, as the this wonderful edition. title might suggest, but rather it By Stephen Danyew (b. 1983) grasps the sadder, “bluesy” moods This compilation is published by: of the jazz idiom. Technically I really enjoyed listening and play- speaking, the work is not too chal- ing through this work, and I espe- Josef Weinberger Limited lenging, and would make a pleas- cially enjoyed the harmonic lan- 12-14 Mortimer Street ant and easy to put together guage Danyew uses. I thought I London W1N 3JJ encore. I wouldn’t recommend heard an Eastman influence in his Tel: +44 (0) 20-7580 2827 making this the only encore, how- harmonic language, and I con- Fax: +44 (0) 20-7436 9616 ever, because of the mood and its firmed this hunch after reading his E-mail: [email protected] soft ending; it would probably be bio and discovering that he is cur- Web: www.josef-weinberger.com best as the second encore in a rently pursuing a master’s degree at group of three. The ending does the Eastman School. Parts of his Elegiac Blues (2005) climb up to a high D, which music reminded me of a couple of might not make it ideal as a teach- modern, “trendy” composers like Difficulty: Level 4 ing piece for younger students; this Michael Torke, Joseph Schwanter, Duration: 6 minutes work is really meant for older pro- and Stephen Hartke. I also appreci- Premiere: Michelle Walker (viola) fessionals. Originally written for ated the boldness of the “thinner” and Debbie Heath (piano) at cello, the composer made this viola piano writing; it was kept fairly sim- Rhodes College, Memphis, TN, version shortly afterwards. I have ple and not chordal by any means, February 2006 not seen the cello version, but I but more brittle, like the accompa- Dedication: In memory of Richard would guess that much material is niment of the Shostakovitch Viola Toeman at the same pitch range, placing it Sonata. I also really love modern more on the A-string of the cello. music that sounds fresh in its har- By Paul Patterson (b. 1947) monic language, yet has a universal This work is also published by: appeal and is accessible from the This “bluesy” feeling piece is a first listening, as this work is. charming new addition to our Josef Weinberger Limited repertoire. It is especially wel- 12-14 Mortimer Street Each of these three movements has comed because it helps to fill a London W1N 3JJ an independent “fantasy” character, hole in our repertoire of serious Tel: +44 (0) 20-7580 2827 but they are glued together in a original jazz pieces for the viola. Fax: +44 (0) 20-7436 9616 very subtle way with an underlying Too often I think violinists, cellists, E-mail: [email protected] motive that takes many forms as it and bassists get to have the most Web: www.josef-weinberger.com is developed. The first movement, fun in this style of writing, and “Andante furioso,” is in 2/4 or 6/8 this piece proves that the viola can Three Fantasies for time, and is characterized with fit the jazz idiom just as well. In Viola and Piano driving rhythms and very aggres- fact, in some ways it perhaps fits (2008) sive playing using a droned open better, given the natural dark and I. Andante furioso D-string. The rhythmic motives somber moods our instrument is II. Delicato, rubato are sparingly used, which helps to capable of. This is especially true III. Allegro animato define the character of the move-

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ment. The second movement, “Delicato, rubato,” is in the key of F-sharp major. The third movement, “Allegro animato,” is also very driving and “Coplandesque” with its frequent meter changes Dampits between 3/4, 5/8, 8/8, 3/8, etc. This was truly a very exciting work with a powerful ending, and I very much look forward to 1/4 page more viola music from this up-and-coming young composer!

This work is available directly from the composer at: www.stevedanyew.com (score and part of the complete first movement are available here) [email protected]

Key to the Difficulty level chart: 1 Very Easy 2 Somewhat Easy 3 Intermediate 4 Somewhat Difficult 5 Difficult 6 Very Difficult

Please send all scores for review consideration to:

Kenneth Martinson 2751 SE 24th Place Gainesville, FL 32641

Geoffrey Ovington

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by Carlos María Solare Konstantynowicz, except that he was active on the free jazz scene in Warsaw, Poland, before moving to Morton Feldman: The Viola in My Life I-IV. Marek Norway as a member of the Trondheim Symphony Konstantynowicz, viola; Cikada Ensemble, (he no longer seems to play with them, though). Norwegian Radio Orchestra; Christian Eggen, cond. Konstantynowicz is also a founding member of the ECM New Series 1798. Oslo-based Cikada Ensemble, specializing in con- temporary music and no stranger to improvised Back in 1986 I took part in a viola festival that bore music. The performances by all concerned are irre- the title “The Viola in my Life.” Of course, it proachable, allowing each detail of the score to be included Morton Feldman’s composition(s) of that clearly heard, and the recording quality is typical of name except for the last one, which—requiring a full ECM’s reputation. orchestra—was beyond the festival’s means. Live per- formances of Feldman’s music being quite rare, this recording represents my first acquaintance with the Rubinstein: Viola Sonata, op. 49; Violin Sonata, op. complete cycle. At forty minutes, it is short if com- 13. Nokuthula Ngwenyama, viola/violin; Jennifer pared to, say Feldman’s string quartets (these clock Lim, piano. EDI Records EDI0241. in at around 100 and 370(!) minutes respectively), and it can, of course, always be sampled one piece at A Beethoven look-alike, Anton Rubinstein was one a time. Heard as a cycle, however, the music casts a of the great pianists of the nineteenth century, with a very special spell. In the first piece, the solo viola is reputation rivaling that of . As a compos- set apart from the accompanying ensemble by the er, he was thoroughly trained in Berlin under the fact that almost every note has a dynamic compo- famous Siegfried Dehn, who had also taught nent (crescendo or diminuendo), while the ensemble Mikhail Glinka. However, while the latter went back (flute, violin, cello, piano, percussion) remains in the to his Slavonic roots to become the “Father of background. It is as if a tune were straining to break Russian Music,” Rubinstein adopted a more loose from the surrounding sparse textures and quiet Westernized style, influenced by Schumann and sonorities. This proceeding is enhanced in the sec- Mendelssohn. Both the pieces recorded here reflect ond piece, with dynamic changes present in all parts. Rubinstein’s tremendous talent as a keyboard lion, The orchestration is slightly larger and more colorful with piano writing that is almost orchestral in its (flute, clarinet, violin, cello, celesta, percussion), and ambition. This can create problems of balance in the the melodic material—especially in the viola— is concert hall, especially in the Viola Sonata, but none more ambitious. The third piece represents a reduc- are noticeable in this recording. Ngwenyama and tion in means (it is scored for just viola and piano) Lim are a tried and true team, drawing sparks off and at the same time a radical concentration of the each other. They nicely differentiate between the musical message. The fourth and last piece is scored early Violin Sonata’s lighter Mendelssohnian charac- for viola and orchestra. It is the only part of the ter and the more obviously heaven-storming Viola cycle in which the viola plays without a mute, and Sonata, creating opposing sound worlds for each also the only one in which louder dynamics up to piece. Tempos are consistently swifter than in the triple forte are prescribed. This is arguably the most classic Russian recordings of both works (Galina “traditional” part of the cycle, with melody a Barinova/Alexander Goldenweiser for the Violin stronger component of the musical fabric, and even Sonata, Feodor Druzhinin/Larisa Panteleyeva for the short, cadenza-like passages. I have not been able to Viola Sonata), and I do miss some of the older play- find any information on the excellent violist, Marek

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ers’ unashamed lusciousness of tone. Mr. Primrose music and bears witness to McLoskey’s sharp ear for used to denounce “moonlighting” violinists who instrumental sonorities. I am not in a position to would occasionally pick up a viola. The opposite, comment on just how idiomatic his writing for saxo- however, is much less frequent (in fact, why should a phones or brass instruments is, but on this showing violist bother?) As can be expected, Ngwenyama he knows how to make a viola sound at its best. acquits herself well in the Violin Sonata, but I’d Wild Bells was commissioned by the Barlow much rather listen to her on the viola, and Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Rubinstein’s Viola Sonata is in any case the more Young University for Leticia Oaks-Strong, who pre- interesting piece. EDI’s recording is unobtrusively miered it in 1999 at the International Viola excellent, achieving a believable balance with every Congress in Guelph, Canada. Each of the three detail clearly audible. movements is headed by an inscription from a reli- gious hymn (the title refers to Lord Tennyson’s Lansing McLoskey: Sixth Species. Wild Bells (viola hymn “Ring out, wild bells”), but no literal quota- & piano); OK-OK (saxophone quartet); Solsange tions occur. The introductory section begins in (solo voices); Tinted (piano trio); Glaze (brass quin- unisono between both instruments, achieving fasci- tet and drum kit). nating timbral permutations. The second movement Leticia Oaks-Strong, viola; Timothy Durkovic, is a wild scherzo, from the midst of which a bizarrely piano. Albany Records TROY1044. distorted hymn tune emerges. The heart of the piece is the big chaconne that constitutes its last move- Lansing McLoskey’s is a distinctive voice in present ment, a big arch of sound that progresses to a vio- day American music. This CD offers a fascinating lent climax before calming down and ending in cross-section of his vocal and instrumental chamber highly pitched piano tintinnabulations and viola

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harmonics. The performance by Oaks-Strong (her- Concerto, Lawrence Power now makes a strong case self a BYU alumna) and Durkovic is, of course, for the remaining compositions in the composer’s uniquely authoritative. Getting inside this multi- oeuvre for viola and piano. These are: two sonatas faceted piece and mastering it was obviously a labor (C Minor and F Major), two medium-length com- of love for both players. Of the other pieces on the positions (Phantasy and Rhapsody), and a few shorter CD, I was especially taken by the medieval era pas- morsels. Power commands an unlimited tonal palette tiche for three solo voices, Solsange (Sun Songs), an of unique beauty, even at the extreme heights to unashamedly derivative composition resulting from which the viola is taken in the F Major sonata. His McLoskey’s preoccupation with Early Music. Nearer partnership with Simon Crawford-Phillips is tight as home, Tinted, for piano trio demonstrates once a glove, with some perfectly unanimous rubati. again the composer’s idiomatic string writing. Fellow violists Philip Dukes, James Boyd, and Scott Having heard the premiere performance of Wild Dickinson join in for the charming Fantasia written Bells all those years ago in Guelph, I am happy to in 1907 for Tertis. Although Bowen can’t be termed have gotten to know more of McLoskey’s music an innovator, his well-crafted compositions are as through this lovingly produced CD. satisfying for the listener as they are challenging and rewarding for the players. Several first recordings are on offer here, including an intriguing viola obbligato to the first movement of Beethoven’s “Moonlight” York Bowen: The Complete Works for Viola and Sonata. Lewis Foreman, an authority in the music Piano. Lawrence Power, viola; Simon Crawford- from this period, contributes some typically erudite Phillips, piano. Hyperion CDA67651/2. annotations to a recording that should be in every violist’s collection. I happen to have a very soft spot for English viola music from the Edwardian period. After years of famine, things have been lighting up, with a growing Emanuel Vardi Plays Paganini: 24 Caprices. Cembal number of performances and recordings of what d’amour, Historic Series CD 129. might be termed the “Tertis repertoire.” An indefati- gable crusader for the cause of the viola as a solo Paganini’s 24 Caprices Performed on Viola by Scott instrument, Lionel Tertis was the inspiration behind Slapin. Eroica Classical recordings JDT3420. countless pieces. As a teacher at the Royal Academy of Music in London, he approached both his com- “It must be much easier on the viola!” mumbled a posing colleagues and the most promising students, nonplused Mischa Elman after being regaled with among them Edwin York Bowen (1884-1961). some of Paganini’s Caprices by William Primrose. Bowen was a virtuoso pianist, labeled at some point Scott Slapin, by his own account, has never played “the English Rachmaninoff,” whose second instru- the violin, but I expect Emanuel Vardi might beg to ment happened to be the viola. Bowen even accom- differ with Elman. In his time, Vardi was inspired to panied Tertis in many recitals, thus getting to know take up the viola by Primrose’s legendary recording at first hand the existing viola repertoire as well as of Caprices No. 5 and 13. In the 1960s, when he the potential pitfalls in writing for the instrument. came to record his complete set, he even adopted He learned his lesson: although his piano parts are as some of Primrose’s changes to the original text (for dense as any in a Brahms sonata, Bowen always example at the end of No. 5). By coincidence, makes sure that the viola is not covered. On these Vardi’s recording has been reissued just as Slapin set two CDs we have almost all the music Bowen wrote down his own. After spending some hours with both for the viola (as far as I can see, just a couple of CDs, I was left with mixed feelings about the actual pieces with organ accompaniment are missing). necessity or otherwise of playing and recording all of Having already recorded Bowen’s gorgeous Viola Paganini’s Caprices on the viola.

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Primrose, canny old Scot that he was, played just a Schnittke: Viola Concerto; Shostakovich: Viola few selected caprices that he felt were particularly Sonata. Antoine Tamestit, viola; Markus Hadulla, appropriate for the viola. Others he left well alone, piano; Warsaw Philharmonic; Dmitrij Kitajenko, knowing that, no matter how big his technique, they conductor. Naïve ambroisie AM 168. were not going to sound well. For all of Vardi’s and Slapin’s achievements, before which I humbly bare Schnittke’s Viola Concerto seems to be a “signature my head, there are passages in both these recordings tune” of Antoine Tamestit’s. I first heard him perform that just don’t sound. Take Caprice No. 6, a melody it (from memory) at the finals of the Munich self-accompanied by tremolos, and requiring some Competition in 2004, in an interpretation of over- huge stretches. Even if your hand can reach them, the whelming intensity that landed him an undisputed thicker strings won’t speak fast enough for both notes First Prize. Three years later (shortly before the of the tremolo to sound, and the effect won’t come recording sessions for this CD took place), I heard off. Vardi gets around the problem by slowing down him play it again in Berlin, and can avow to an enor- the tremolo’s speed until the notes get into focus, mous growth in the intensity and authority of his while Slapin has to accept a modicum of fogginess interpretation (when the performance was over, I into his sound. After them, hearing Itzhak Perlman turned around to find my companion in tears). Thus, on the violin is a blessing: not only does he play a Schnittke’s piece seems an obvious choice for lightning-like tremolo, but can even afford the time Tamestit’s first concerto recording. Conductor to phrase and form the tune. Dmitrij Kitajenko was never one to hold back his emotions either, and the knock-out orchestral per- This is, of course, an extreme case, and there are formance on this recording adds enormously to the many beautiful moments in both recordings that recording’s considerable strength. Schnittke’s kaleido- more than compensate for it. Take Caprice No. 20 in scopic instrumentation (there are no violins, but Slapin’s recording: the lower pitch adds a cosy instead a continuo combo of piano, harpsichord, warmth to the bagpipe-like melody, which is itself celesta, and harp, as well as sundry percussion includ- lovingly cuddled by the player. Vardi sounds impa- ing vibraphone and flexatone) is beautifully realized tient here, as if the piece were “too easy.” On the by the musicians, with Tamestit a “primus inter pares” other hand, Vardi gets more into the string in among them, and perfectly caught by the recording. Caprice No. 21, drawing a more intense, manlier The coupling of Shostakovich’s Viola Sonata is a sound in the passages in sixths high up on the third stroke of genius, since both works inhabit an uncan- and fourth strings than Slapin. Neither player is nily similar emotional world. In the sonata, Tamestit afraid of tenths, by the way. Primrose rewrote a pas- is joined by his long-time piano partner, Markus sage in Caprice No. 24, changing the tenths into Hadulla, for an interpretation that digs deep into the thirds, but both Vardi and Slapin stick to the original music’s core. Tamestit exhibits an uncommonly wide text. The latter goes about it more cautiously, cun- sound spectrum in both compositions. His vibrato is ningly using rubato to get around the most awkward beautifully varied, reflecting even within a single sus- corner, while the former throws caution to the winds, tained note the music’s changing moods. Listening to Ruggiero Ricci-like fashion. A matter of swings and both pieces on this CD back-to-back is to be strongly roundabouts, then, but there is some fabulous play- discouraged (it could induce suicidal feelings), but ing to be heard on these CDs. One thing is certain: make sure nevertheless to get hold of a copy soon. all viola players will have to hear both: Vardi’s because we have always heard our elders rave about it, and Slapin’s to remind ourselves that not all great players belong to the distant past.

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Local Viola Societies Eastman Viola Society Florida Viola Society Alabama Viola Society Daniel Sweaney, president [email protected] Now announcing the formation of The Florida Viola Society (FVS) has the Viola Society at the Eastman been very active with numerous Arizona Viola Society School of Music! events across the state during the last Jaquelyn Schwandt, president year. We are making an effort to [email protected] Formed from the viola studios of reach every corner, including plan- Central Texas Viola Society Carol Rodland, George Taylor, and ning for an event in South Florida in (includes Austin, San Antonio, San Marcos, Phillip Ying, students at the Eastman the near future. On March 2, 2008, Waco) School of Music have created the sec- the FVS held a Gala Viola Concerto Martha Carapetyan, president [email protected] ond national collegiate viola society. event in Gainesville at the University After a master class presented by of Florida (UF), with the University Florida Viola Society Juliet White-Smith, the society host- of Florida Symphony Orchestra, Ken Martinson, president [email protected] ed a dinner and discussion with the Raymond Chobaz, conductor. The current president of the national soci- event featured AVS founder Myron Great Lakes Viola Society ety focusing on topics from career- Rosenblum (on viola d'amore), Sarah Montzka, interim coordinator building tips, to pedagogy, to infor- Yizhak Schotten, and Kenneth [email protected] mation about the American Viola Martinson. The Gala Concerto Gulf Coast (Mississippi) Viola Society Society. Professor White-Smith pre- Concert included Graupner’s Hsaiopei Lee, president sented a wonderful class on concertos Concerto in D Major for Viola [email protected] by Stamitz and Hoffmeister, sonatas d’amore and Viola Idaho Viola Society by Brahms and Clarke, the Suite (Rosenblum/Martinson), Reger’s Linda Kline Lamar, president Hébraïque by Bloch, and the Suite by Suite No. 1 for Viola and Strings [email protected] Vaughan Williams. (Martinson), Telemann’s Viola Indiana Viola Society Concerto (Schotten), and Philip Tietze, president Future plans for the society include Hindemith’s Trauermusik (Schotten). [email protected] recital performances of all six of The event also featured a master class Bach’s cello suites by different mem- by Schotten, a viola d'amore lecture Iowa Viola Society Christine Rutledge, president bers of the society, a viola day of mas- by Rosenblum, and a read-through of [email protected] ter classes presented by Eastman vio- Richard Lane’s Triptych for Six Violas lists to schoolchildren in the sur- led by Martinson. Louisiana Viola Society rounding Rochester area, a master Matthew Daline, president [email protected] class presented by Sheila Browne, and On September 9, 2008, the FVS the formation of a viola choir. hosted a master class with Hank Minnesota Viola Society Dutt, violist of the Kronos Quartet. J. David Arnott, president [email protected] Many thanks are extended to Juliet On November 3, 2008, the FVS held White-Smith, Carol Rodland, George another event in Gainesville at UF Missouri Viola Society Taylor, and Phillip Ying for their with guest violist Luis Magín, found- Leslie Perna, president efforts in founding the Eastman Viola ing president of the Spanish Viola [email protected] Society. Society. Magín presented a master North Carolina Viola Society class and performed a recital of Sheila Browne, president – Adam Paul Cordle Spanish viola music including a de [email protected]

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Kenneth Martinson at [email protected] if you are interest- ed in participating in these events or if you would like PDFs of the of “The Star-Spangled Banner” arrangement.

– Ken Martinson

Indiana Viola Society

The Indiana Viola Society will host its first state "Mini Congress" on Saturday, April 11 at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. Myron Rosenblum and Kenneth Martinson performing Graupner's Concerto in D This promises to be an exciting, Major for Viola d’amore, Viola, and Strings fun-filled day for violists of all ages and abilities. Activities will include Falla transcription and Turina’s the viola/piano arrangement of a master class with distinguished Scène Andalouse for solo viola with Richard Sortomme's Rhapsody for violist and pedagogue Alan de piano quintet. On November 11, Viola and Orchestra. Other events Veritch and a recital featuring 2008, the FVS hosted a master included a master class by Mumm; Indiana Viola Society members. class and recital in Tallahassee at a panel discussion on the “New Participants are also invited to take Florida State University with guest York String Player” (Craig Mumm, part in a viola ensemble play-along violist Hsaiopei Lee. On January Mary Ann Mumm, and Richard session lead by Professor de 19, 2009, the FVS held the second Sortomme); a recital by the Veritch. For further information annual BRATS Day in Naples at University of Miami Viola regarding this event and other Barron Collier High School with Ensemble including the Suite for news, including information on guest artists Craig Mumm, assis- Eight Violas by Gordon Jacob; and how to join the Indiana Viola tant principal violist of the a final concert including premieres Society, please visit our new web- Metropolitan Opera; Kenneth of works for viola and strings by site at indianaviolasociety.org. Martinson; and the University of Sortomme and Rush. Miami Viola Ensemble led by Pam – Philip Tietze McConnell. The event began with On March 23–24, the FVS will a viola ensemble read-though. hold another event at UF in Works included the seven-part Gainesville featuring guest violist Louisiana Viola viola ensemble arrangement of Connie Gee. The FVS has also Society “The Star-Spangled Banner,” con- been booked to perform the seven- ducted by Martinson, and several part viola ensemble arrangement of The Louisiana Viola Society is viola ensemble pieces published by “The Star-Spangled Banner” for kicking off our year with a new Fountain Park Music Company, the Florida Marlins (baseball) pre- competition for viola students liv- conducted by company owner game show on June 1, 2009. ing in the southern states. The Tracy Rush. Next there was a Pending the success of the Miami event will take place May 23–24 at recital by Mumm and Martinson Heat (basketball) in making the The Louisiana State University including two newly published playoffs, we will also be playing School of Music and is open to all Viola Duos by Rolla (BI. 2 and the National Anthem at one of the violists who are currently enrolled WoBI. 1) and a world premiere of playoff games. Please contact in college and are members of the JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN VIOLA SOCIETY 64 Viola V25 N1 3/16/09 12:37 PM Page 65

American Viola Society chapters in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, or Northern California Viola Society Ethan Filner, president Florida. Cash prizes for the competition are generously provided by the [email protected] Alexander family fund. For more details on the competition, and other excit- ing events, please visit our website at: www.southernviola.com. Ohio Viola Society Jeffrey Irvine, president [email protected] – Matthew Daline Oklahoma Viola Society Donna Wolff Cain, president Oregon Viola Society [email protected] Oregon Viola Society The Oregon Viola Society has had a great and active year including several Miriam English Ward, president play-ins and an alternative styles class with the popular Portland Cello Project. [email protected] Upcoming activities include two Viola Days on the schedule for the spring. Rocky Mountain Viola Society We'll meet at Willamette University in Salem for a master class, visits with Jim Przygocki, president luthiers and sports performance specialists (massage, anyone?), and of course a [email protected] casual play-in on February 22nd. There will be a similar event in April in Seattle Viola Society Portland with a concert to benefit the family of former Eugene Symphony Mara Gearman, president principal violist Kjersten Oquist. With both of these days we hope to really [email protected] connect with the student population along the I-5 corridor from Vancouver South Carolina Viola Society down past Eugene. Constance Gee, president [email protected] This photo shows a few of us checking out the Bach duos in the Doktor anthologies over tea, fruit, and cheese. Mattie Kaiser, Dorianne Reinhardt- Southern California Viola Society Jennie Hansen, president Paul, Christine Lang, and Miriam Ward are shown. The enthusiastic audience [email protected] member is Tobias Ward, age two. – Miriam English Ward Tennessee Viola Society Kathryn Plummer, president [email protected]

Utah Viola Society Claudine Bigelow, president [email protected]

Virginia Viola Society Johanna Beaver, president [email protected]

Viola Club of MD/DC & VA Louise Hildreth-Grasso, president [email protected]

Student Chapters Eastman Viola Society Adam Paul Cordle, president [email protected]

University of Northern Colorado Oregon Viola Society play-in Heather Buffington, president [email protected]

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Ad Index AVS History & Reference Guide ...... 52 Matthew Jones...... 12 Charles E. Harman, Luthier Potter Violin Company ...... 6 Connolly & Co., Inc...... BC Primrose International Viola Archive ...... IBC Dampits, Inc...... 58 RBP Music Publishers ...... 48 David Dalton Competition ad ...... 4 Robertson & Sons...... 18 Domaine Forget ...... 18 Shar Music ...... 48 Geoffrey Ovington ...... 58 Southwest Strings ...... 15 Harman Violins...... 48 University of Northern Colorado ...... 52 Heritage Insurance Services...... 43 USC Thornton School of Music...... 60 John Weseley Harris ...... 12

“Viola, Viola” by Lisa Holley www.lisaholley.com

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The Primrose International Viola Archive announces a generous gift by Peter Bartók of several hundred copies of the Facsimile of the Autograph Draft of the Viola Concerto by Bela Bartók

• Hardback in black, 12 by 16 inches, 84 pages including photo page. • Preface by Peter Bartók & Commentary by László Somfai (Text in English, Hungarian, German, Japanese, and Spanish). • Fair transcription of the draft with notes prepared by Nelson Dellamaggiore.

Any donor, past or future, contributing $150 or more to the Primrose Endowment will receive this handsome book as a gift from Brigham Young University.

Send your donation to: Primrose Account BYU Development Office C-389 ASB Brigham Young University Provo, UT 84602