IVC Columbus Blog – Day 3

The 47th International Viola Congress takes place in Columbus, Georgia (USA) from June 1st – 5th, 2022. This daily blog / report is delivered to you by DVS board member Emlyn Stam.

Day 3: Friday, June 3rd, 2022
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The third day of the International Viola Congress featured some important contributions from the Dutch Viola Society. Violist Elisabeth Smalt and singer Alfrin Schmidt performed their original adaptations of Harry Partch’s songs. I gave my lecture on early-recorded performance practices, and violist Jutta Puchhammer-Sedillot (Université de Montréal) opened her lecture-recital with a performance of Dutch composer Theodor Verhey’s (1848-1929) charming Characteristic Pieces. Puchhammer’s lecture-recital focused on the numerous little-known works from the 19th and early-20th centuries for clarinet and piano that were also published in versions for viola and piano. The lecture, entitled ‘It does not always have to be Brahms’, revealed a broad list of works by some better and lesser-known composers from Max Reger and Charles Villiers Stanford through Egon Kornauth and Albert Wustrow. Puchhammer and pianist Elise Desjardins performed a selection of movements from the works discovered with admirable intensity and dedication.

Jutta Puchhammer lecturing on clarinet/viola repertoire (source: Marcin Murawski)

A lecture-recital by violist Rose Wollman (University of Notre Dame) focused on her original recital project centered on Ligeti’s Viola Sonata. Wollmann chose 17th and 18th-century works and commissioned contemporary works to play between the sonata’s various movements. She performed the world premiere of some of these newly commissioned works by violist-composers such as Garth Knox and Atar Arad. The recital will no doubt be impressive when presented in its full form in the future.

Featured Artist Kim Kashkashian giving a Masterclass (source: Marcin Murawski)

Viola guru Kim Kashkashian is a featured artist at this year’s congress. She gave a masterclass in front of a large crowd of adoring violists. Our own Santiago Velo from Codarts University played a movement of the Ligeti for this class at a high level.

The evening showcase featured a unique standup comedy viola performance by Isabel Hagen. Hagen is a professional standup comedian who also studied the viola at Juilliard. Her performance featured comic songs performed with her own plucked viola accompaniment, as well as some humorous interchanges between short performance of serious viola music and hard-hitting jokes. Hagen touched on many of the standard tropes popular with today’s young generation of comedians. Seeing a violist thrive as a standup comedian on such a high level is a testament to both the versatility of the instrument and its players today.

Isabel Hagen, violist and standup comedian (photo source: livestream screenshot)

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Editor’s notes:
1) You can also follow Karin Dolman’s Columbus IVC VLOG (yes, video!) on facebook, starting here, and continuing here, here, here, here, and here.
2) Even if you missed the live event, you can still register (as a “Virtual attendee”) to explore all the recorded contents (lectures, recitals, masterclasses) of this congress for another 3 months! See the Congress Website for full information.