Tag Archives: violist

RIP – Joseph de Pasquale (1920-2015)

Joseph de Pasquale. Photo: Curtis Archives

Joseph de Pasquale. Photo: Curtis Archives

A great titan of the viola world has died today. Joseph de Pasquale  was principal violist of first the Boston Symphony and then the Philadelphia Orchestra, and teacher of dozens great orchestral players (including two-thirds of the Philadelphia Orchestra viola section). I had the great honor of studying with him for part of one year of graduate school, and saw him teach and play at the Max Arnoff Viola Institute (which I co-founded) for several years after he’d retired from his position in Philly. I have some anecdotes I’d like to share, but I’ll gather my thoughts first and then put up a full post sometime in the next week.

Philadelphia Inquirer obit

viola goodies


I’ve been scouring YouTube for any new (and impressive) viola videos, and there are quite a few that I hadn’t seen before. If you are still of the notion that the viola is a second-string (sorry) instrument, then you are sadly misinformed! Enjoy. Continue reading

sad news for the viola world

Omar Hernándes-Hidalgo

Omar Hernández-Hidalgo, one of Mexico’s and the world’s finest young violists was found dead in Tijuana after an apparent kidnapping.

diaz & denk play brahms

This is one of those recordings that I’m very excited about getting my hands on.  Roberto Dìaz, currently the president of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and a former principal violist of both the National Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestra, along with Jeremy Denk, one of the more exciting, interesting pianists playing today (and often a recital partner to Joshua Bell) have recorded the two sonatas by Johannes Brahms (originally for clarinet), along with a transcription of the G major violin sonata, for Naxos, to be released in April, 2010.

Here’s a brief video of the recording of the E-flat sonata’s first movement:

roberto dìaz, viola

jeremy denk, piano

simply purple

In 1998, composer Joan Tower was commissioned by violist Paul Neubauer (a perennial Chamber Music NW favorite) to write a work for solo viola.  The result was Wild Purple, a fantastic tour de force that shows off the virtuosity of today’s violist.  The title came from Tower’s association of the sound of the viola with a deep, rich, purple color.  Ten years later, Neubauer commissioned a follow-up piece, which became Simply Purple.  Also in 2008 there was a viola concerto entitled Purple Rhapsody, also composed for Neubauer.

Here’s video of a performance of Simply Purple by Neubauer:

svendsen/oquist trial in session

Kjersten Oquist

Kjersten Oquist
Angela Svendsen

Angela Svendsen

This from KVAL‘s website in Eugene:

ALBANY, Ore. – A Salem woman is on trial in Linn County for the deaths of two members of the Eugene Symphony.

Fivea Sharipoff, 26, at left, is charged with manslaughter, assault and driving under the influence after a wrong-way crash on Interstate 5 last year.

The crash killed Kjersten Oquist and Angela Svendsen, both members of the Eugene Symphony.

Jury selection began Monday, and the district attorney started making the state’s case on Tuesday.

The DA finished calling witnesses Wednesday morning, and the defense called its first witness in the afternoon. The family of Angela Svendsen said that’s a couple days faster than they were originally told by the DA’s office.

The prosecution called about 25 witnesses, including paramedics, state police, at least one person from the eugene symphony and employees at the Abbey’s pizza where the prosecution contends Sharipoff was drinking.

Sheripoff is out on bail. She and the people walking with her had no comment.

Friends and family of the women killed in the accident gathered outside the courtroom after today’s proceedings. Svendsen’s husband said it was difficult to relive the accident in the courtroom.

One witness was called to the stand in Sherifpoff’s defense, who testified about the two of them drinking at an Abby’s pizza the night of the accident. The other witnesses for the defense were not able to make it today cause the trial is moving faster than expected. The court will not be in session tomorrow but will resume on Friday.

Video coverage can be found at the story’s page on KVAL’s website.

Photo of the defendant, Favea Sharipoff, aged 26:

Photo: KVAL, Eugene.

Madame Harold in Pyongyang

P1050021 | Originally uploaded by dawnvla
click photo to enlarge

New York Philharmonic violist Dawn Hannay kept a blog of her tour of North Korea. You can find it here, along with photos here. UPDATE: link to Dawn’s blog fixed.

Violist Dawn Hannay on stage in Pyongyang
P1050021 | Originally uploaded by dawnvla
click photo to enlarge

Thanks to MH for the link.