Biggest viola happening since Strad expired

Biggest viola happening since Strad expired


norman lebrecht

August 07, 2019

Michael Tilson Thomas has a vision:

Among the guest artists are violists Roberto Díaz, Kim Kashkashian, Matthew Lipman, Cynthia Phelps, Nadia Sirota, Jonathan Vinocour, and Tabea Zimmermann.

More here.


  • About MTT: this interview is some 20 years old!…/michael-tilson-thomas-in…/

  • 8VA says:

    Will this fesitval feature any new commissions for the instrument?

  • Old Man in the Midwest says:

    Rumor has it that new commissions for this event will include 16th notes for the soloists to test their technical abilities.

    Vibrato will be automatic due to nerves.

    • Bruce says:

      I love viola jokes. I shouldn’t, but I do. Possibly my favorite:

      Timmy comes home all excited from his first viola lesson and tells his mother, “Today I learned that if you put your first finger down on the the C string, you get a D!” Mother replies that’s lovely.

      Timmy comes home equally excited the next week, having learned that putting down the 2nd finger produces an E. Equally excited the following week (3rd finger = F).

      The following week, Timmy rushes into the house. “What did you learn this week, Timmy?” asks his mother. “Sorry Mom, no time to talk — I’ve got a gig.”

  • MacroV says:

    Cool. There’s a lot of good viola music out there that doesn’t get heard much because, well, it’s the viola. 20+ years ago Harvard’s WHRB (IMHO the best classical station, notwithstanding its inept student announcers) did one of its theme programs, “A Weekend with the Viola.” It was great.

    I wonder if they’ll do William Schuman’s “Concerto on Old English Rounds,” which MTT premiered with the BSO and Donald McInnes back in 1974.

  • Marilyn Klerx-Hardie says:

    Two of us in the Crane Quartet (Crane School of Music of the State University at Potsdam, NY,) were in line to replace the graduating1st violin in 1965. The other, Bruce LeBaron, had already filled the viola position. I was 2nd violin. My professor, Maurice Baritaud, had prepared a speech to “convince” me to try viola: It would be good for my violin tone to dig deeper, and Bruce would graduate in a year, leaving the position open for me. Much to his surprise, I accepted enthusiastically and started to learn the C clef with the “think in 3rd position when you are in 1st and add 2 sharps trick.” My first concert was the chamber part in Britten’s War Requiem! I didn’t always know what notes I was playing, but it is engraved on my soul! The last season before I retired from the Netherlands Radio Filharmonisch Orkest (where I STILL played viola!) we performed it again and I could still sing the texts of the vocal soloists (silently!!!) with them!

  • Doug says:

    Why is Rivka Golani not on this list? Oh yes, she doesn’t come bearing a brown bag full of cash.

  • Madelon Michel says:

    Schumann wrote some beautiful viola music: the “Märchenbilder”. I have accompanied them several times and everybody loved them!!!