IVC Columbus Blog – Day 4

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 4: Satuday, June 4th, 2022
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The final full day of the viola congress included an enormous array of activities. The morning session featured our own DVS board member Karin Dolman’s performance of her own composition Pierrot Suite in full costume. Dolman’s performance was very well received in a packed theatre. Her piece tells the story of Pierrot, Harlequin and Colombine with a few references to Schönberg, Richard Strauss and others. Her performance was preceded by a warm rendition of Bach’s Violin Sonata number 2 by David Rose from the Cleveland Institute.

Karin Dolman’s performance “Pierrot”, in full costume (source: Karin Dolman’s vlog)

Scholar David Bynog from Rice University gave a lecture on Britten’s unpublished youth works and sketches for viola, complemented by marvelous performances by Timothy Ridout. Britten’s youthful Sonatina is a wonderful work that reveals the extent of the young composer’s talent at the young age of 14. We can only hope that the Britten-Pears Foundation will agree to publish these works so they can be disseminated amongst violists and music lovers alike. Bynog’s lectures touched on Britten’s relationship with the viola as a youngster as well as his relationship with violists over the course of his career, including William Primrose and Cecil Aronowitz.

David Bynog and Tim Ridout present unpublished Britten works for the viola (source: IVC livestream frame capture)

In the afternoon Santiago Velo Quintairos and Fernando Fresno Zarza (members of our DVS delegation and students at Codarts Rotterdam) presented a lecture on performing traditional Muiñeira’s from the Galicia in Spain on two violas. Their work used looping and pickup microphones to create a sound texture including percussion sounds, voice and viola. Their presentation was warmly received and their performances were both lively and convincing.

Recital by DVS/Codarts delegates Fernando (l) and Santiago (r) (source: Karin Dolman’s vlog)

This was followed by a presentation by veteran violist Thomas Tatton on the Joy of Practice. He gave a number of important guidelines on practicing to the assembled crowd and went through real live examples with the group having them practice these under his guidance. Polish violist Marcin Murawski gave a lecture on Georgian composer Giya Kancheli’s 18 miniatures, a set of pieces of which he made the world premiere recording with pianist Nino Jvania. This turned out to be Kancheli’s last work and is full of warm melodic materials and jazz elements.

The evening concert featured a recital by Kim Kashkashian with pianist Renana Gutman. The program included Lera Auerbach’s dark, brooding viola sonata Arcanum and Kashkashian’s own transcriptions of songs from South America, Schumann’s Fünf Stücke im Volkston (originally for cello) and Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne (originally for violin). These transcriptions, especially the Stravinsky, proved to be less than successful as viola-piano works.

Kim Kashkashian’s evening recital (source: IVC livestream frame capture)

The traditional congress banquet featured an array of awards and in memoria, given that the congresses have not been held in the past (3) years due to the pandemic. The International Viola Society’s silver cleft for contributions to the viola was awarded to violist Robert Diaz and received by his parents and sister. The honorary membership was awarded to New Zealand violist Donald Maurice, whose achievements are too numerous and important to summarize here.

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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.