Viola: Neglected No Longer

Finally the viola gets to shine! BBC interviewed Brett Dean, former member of the Berlin Philharmonic's viola section, about why he likes the viola and how it has taken a prominent role on-stage in orchestras around the world. As more of a promo for his Viola Concerto performance at the Barbican on April 13, Brett distills the essence of the viola in five concrete facts: Size does matter Repertoire is expanding rapidly Its somber sounds stands alone on stage It's

By | April 13th, 2016|Categories: Spotlight|Tags: |0 Comments

Yuri Bashmet – the Sexiest Violist Alive

Name: Yuri Bashmet Instrument: Viola (Paolo Testore - 1758) Born: 1953 Fun Fact: "One of his early PR pictures had him naked in bed with nothing but his instrument to protect his modesty" - Sinfini No other violist has made the instrument quite as sexy for audiences, composers, and performers alike than Yuri Bashmet. Known for his rock-star like composure, Yuri gave the viola a new prominence in the modern era of classical music. Despite being a virtuoso viola player, Yuri actually

By | January 5th, 2016|Categories: Spotlight|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

There Are Only 13 of These Violas in Existence Today

The oft-cited Stradivari violins and cellos are not the only string instruments that the famous Stradivari family crafted. They made violas as well. In fact, there are currently 13 known Stradivarius violas still in existence to this day. These instruments are so rare that one even was on market in 2014 for $45 million. Unfortunately, that viola, named MacDonald, didn't receive any bids. As Bloomberg keenly points out, MacDonald was the butt of just another viola joke:   Q: What do

By | January 3rd, 2016|Categories: Fun Facts|1 Comment