I was looking at my part to Hindemith’s Der Schwanendreher (a concerto for viola and orchestra) when I noticed the inscription I’d written at the top of the viola part (I have this habit of writing dates/places of performances of pieces at the top of the part). It was nearly 20 years ago to the day that I was a participant in a master course with Kim Kashkashian at the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies (as it was then called). I’d played the first movement of the Hindemith as one of my selections (the others were Bach’s D minor Suite, the Concertpiece by Enescu, and Shostakovich’s Viola Sonata), and the part is peppered with things that Kashkashian had said to me during those incredibly demanding public class sessions. It’s just strange to think that I was in East Anglia, twenty yearsa go, just about now, right along Britten’s own River Alde, having an amazing musical experience with five other wonderful violists.
By Charles Noble
I'm the Assistant principal violist of the Oregon Symphony.View Archive →