Welcome to our viola blog
May 2024 | Work presentation
«Suite in Old Style» by Dobrinka Tabakova

«Hunting, courting in the gardens, dancing and entertaining in opulent surroundings.» These are the themes present in the incredible piece «Suite in Old Style» by Dobrinka Tabakova.
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April 2024 | Pearls for Viola
Sounds For Freedom

Today we are going to explore unconventional gems for the viola repertoire. The first piece is called Veiled (2019) For Solo Viola and Live Electronics with Fixed Media by composer Niloufar Nourbakhsh.
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March 2024 | Viola Community
Launching a Viola community for daily practice and support!

Observing each other's performances and drawing inspiration from the creativity, struggles, and determination of fellow musicians adds a profound dimension to musical education.
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July 2023 | Joseph Ryelandt, Sonata, op. 73 (1919)
The Path From Idea to Finished Publication

The project's spark started in Flaine. Just as in previous years, I taught masterclasses and performed with the artistic director and pianist Bertrand Giraud.
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March 2023 | Viola Fest
Nobuko Imai turned 80 on March 18

The Voice of Viola. The miracle happened in Tanglewood, near Boston. After her final exams, Nobuko moved to the USA to study with David Schwartz at Yale for one year and afterward at Juilliard, where Walter Trampler was her teacher.
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December 2021 | Austin Boothroyd
Musical Advent Calendar

Just in time for the holiday season, ViolaViva presents an edition with 27 traditional Christmas songs, arranged for violin and viola, respectively two violas – a beautiful, easy-to-play Christmas surprise for the whole family.
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November 2021 | Ad perpetuam JSB Memoria
Sacred music for viola & organ

To produce a CD of music of an essentially spiritual nature for the highly original form of the viola and organ duo, the eminent French organist Loïc Mallié and the excellent violist Karsten Dobers had been thinking about it for a long time.
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October 2021 | The Pandemic as a Musical Opportunity
Violist Spearheads Project with Mini Concerts for the Sick and Lonely

The musicians of the cassiopeia association aren’t exactly known to complain and remain passive during hard times – on the contrary: They visit and comfort the sick with heartwarming tones.
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August 2021 | Roger Benedict - Balancing the Scales
Why I created a new viola scale method

When I told friends and colleagues that I was publishing a new scale method for viola, I was greeted with a few raised eyebrows. «What’s wrong with Flesch or Galamian?» some said.
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May 2021 | Theme by Marion Leleu - Part 2
Shifting Attention during Practice

Eyesight takes an important position during practicing: Musicians monitor parts of their body while playing (especially arms and hands).
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April 2021 | Theme by Marion Leleu - Part 1
Shifting Attention during Practice

Leleu describes the first pillar of practice as the continuous listening to one’s own performance without judgement.
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October 2020 | The Economy of Human Rights
Is There a Human Right for Music?

Music is a fundamental pillar of humanity. Nonetheless, its value in society and politics remains contested.
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June 2020 | Aspects of instrumental teaching
Corona Favours new Teaching Method

Before the Corona pandemic, remote teaching wasn’t really a thing. Now many teachers want to hold on to it.
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May 2020 | Interview with Michael A. Palumbo
The American Viola Society

The American Viola Research Society was founded in 1971 by Myron Rosenblum. As a nonprofit organization, today's AVS has a lot of initiatives that are constantly evolving.
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March 2020 | Ernest Hiltenbrand, composer
Double Talent in Classical Tradition

Ernest Hiltenbrand started, thanks to an arts-inspired household, to draw and paint with watercolors and at the same time play music at an early age. Following his music studies, he received his orchestral placement at the symphonic orchestra of Quito, in South American Ecuador.
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October 2019 | Viola Guide Part 2
The Perfect Fit for a Viola

Secrets are still trending in the violin making industry. However, the reality looks very different, and after reading this article, you may think: A secret is by far not as mysterious as finding your sound in the real world!
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July 2019 | Brahms Festival
Johannes Brahms in Switzerland

Brahms in Winterthur, Switzerland – that is a unique, 15-years-lasting success story. It all started in 1856, when Winterthur’s town organist Theodor Kirchner first met Johannes Brahms in Düsseldorf.
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June 2019 | Discovered for you
The Music World in the Digital Age

ScorePad’s strength lies in its holistic approach. The use of the open source filetype musicXML instead of PDF is central to the app. MusicXML facilitates the exchange of sheet music and enables various collaborative, dynamic functions, which PDF could only provide on a modest scale.
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May 2019 | Lending string instruments
It all Started With a Viola

Thirty years ago, Dorothea and Georg Fankhauser from Basel, Switzerland, bought a castle in Burgundy, France, making their dream of a dual purpose private estate for artists in residents come true.
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April 2019 | by Marion Leleu >> new web link
The challenge with shoulder rest and chinrest

As a viola teacher, I have been focusing for 20 years on the possibility to play viola while considering physiology. Through my experience with Alexander Technique and Yoga, I developed my perception on all angles and levers, which truly «make» the music.
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March 2019 | Secrets of Music
Who composed Benda's «Grave»?

Inconsistencies with authorship questions may often be resolved through scientific research. The inquiry of a Music4Viola user triggered a musicological investigation. No stone was left unturned collecting evidence.
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February 2019 | Viola Guide Part 1
Body Size and String Length

I was in love with the idea that the viola sound emerges from a mystery, that certain violas are just miraculously easy to play. This opinion is still very common nowadays.
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January 2019 | Discovered for you by Daniel Hiller
Exotic woods for building string instruments

Ebony and jacaranda are two wood types commonly used for building string instruments. As of today, new materials make a adequate substitute for musicians and instrument builders. Many musicians already play on such new instruments and are very happy with their purchase.
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December 2018 | World premiere
Passion On Ten Strings

Rudolf Kelterborn’s Duet for Viola & Guitar was written in 2018, based on a suggestion by Corti and Jonkers. Following the lovely, melodical Paganini, various sounds and rhythms took the spotlight.
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December 2018 | Christmas songs...
... in special viola arrangements

The «Noëls», the French Christmas songs, were very popular in France during the 18th century, and had often been arranged for different line-ups. The six magical «Symphonies Noël» by Corrette, appearing 1781 in Paris and Lyon were no exception.
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November 2018 | International Viola Congress, Rotterdam, NL
Build a viola in only 4 days

From 20 to 24 November 2018 the International Viola Congress (IVC) took place in Rotterdam, Holland. During these four days four string instrument makers built a viola together. We were there and reported live.
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October 2018 | The viola at university
Rising Demand

In contrast to music school students, professionals need to explore the question of character and type: «Violists are less hurried, less competitive and aren’t looking for the spotlight... In the ensemble, violists take on the intermediary and connecting role», says Nicolas Corti, viola professor at the Zurich University for the Arts.
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October 2018 | Tina Strinning
Playing and dancing...

...on ergonomically customized violas. The method is based on movement. That’s how kids are spared from tenseness. A special method of viola construction further serves this goal. Read about Tina with her children students.
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September 2018 | The viola in music schools
A long awakened sleeping beauty

The specialist representative for violin and viola at the Music School Conservatory Zurich Ursula Schlatter, breaks any viola stereotypes right at the beginning of our conversation. Neither parents nor kids seem biased about the viola.
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August 2018 | «That's it!»
An old craft made for eternity

Building violins, violas and cellos doesn't take place in quiet environments. Wolfram Neureither graduated from the violin maker’s school in Newark-on-Trent, England. There he learned to work without the burden of old traditions and the love to the details.
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July 2018 | Stories around the viola
Meeting with Franz Thomastik

I am in the process of restringing my Ritter viola with Belcanto strings by Thomastik-Infeld. Part of me loves the process, part of me despises it. I am happy for these are the only strings that fulfill my needs on this specific instrument. And I am unhappy about the strings being slightly too short to fit the 43cm mensur.
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June 2018 | Orchestra musician Martin Hahn
Where it all began...

Violist Martin Hahn is a versatile musician, pursuing various paths in his career. The most important one is his job with the Badische Philharmonie Pforzheim, the orchestra that accompanies all performances of the Musiktheater am Stadttheater Pforzheim, Germany.
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May 2018 | Dr. Konrad Ewald
Keeper of a Viola Treasure

The literature described in his epochal viola guide «Music for Viola» has all been played, described on index cards and archived by Konrad Ewald himself. Most of it is, or was, in his possession and is neatly arranged and filed.
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April 2018 | Research Topic Viola Music
Phillip Schmidt

Schmidt originally wanted to become a singer or chemist, however he decided to pursue a career in music science. His scientific focus lies in the 18th century, with particular attention on the viola, his favorite instrument, which he plays himself too.
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March 2018 | Composer
Roger Faedi

Konrad Ewald writes about Roger Faedi: «The teacher, songwriter, photographer, violist, crossbow archer and publisher, located in Basel, Switzerland, is one of the most creative individuals I know.»
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February 2018 | The Interview
Hélène Clément

Music4viola starts with a new viola blog. It begins with a portrait of the young viola player Hélène Clément, who has an international career as a chamber musician. Niklaus Rüegg met her at her concert with the Doric String Quartet at the Mizmorim Festival in Basel.
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November 2017 | Rediscovered composer
Alexander Presuhn

As music director of the theatre, he has not only arranged and composed about 50 music for the stage, but as composer he has also written numerous works for and with «his» instrument, the viola.
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December 2017 | Friedrich Wilhelm Benda
Viola concerto in F major

Under the name Benda, the Berlin State Library Prussian Cultural Heritage keeps three concerti for viola and orchestra. It is easy to praise the F major concerto.
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September 2017 | Care and maintenance
Tips and tricks for the care of the viola

Isn’t it wonderful to take an excellently preserved and well-kept viola into your hand, to look at it from all sides and to admire the beauty of this instrument? You haven’t got to be a trained violin-maker to handle a viola carefully.
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July 2017 | Carl Smith
Hermann Ritter and his viola alta

Hermann Ritter, not much of a talk today, was one of the most renowned and influential personas in the history of viola. The viola alta used to be much better known than today. Ritter had many students, who again trained other violists.
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June 2017 | Composer
Georg Philipp Telemann

Georg Philipp Telemann was one of the most prominent composers of the Baroque era. He introduced innovative thinking into the world of music and changed the music of the early 18th century significantly.
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May 2017 | Composer
Markus Heinrich Grauel

Little is known about Markus Heinrich Grauel. He was known as a cellist at the Prussian Hofkapelle of Friedrich II, and as a composer as well.
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April 2017 | Hector Berlioz
Harold en Italie

This work by Berlioz is of outstanding importance for the viola. Especially since there was hardly any remarkable literature for the viola at the time of its creation. It was not until 1838 that Paganini heard his commissioned work. Overpowered, he pulled Berlioz onto the stage and kissed his hand on his knees.
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March 2017 | Famous viola soloists
Yuri Abramovich Bashmet (Part 2)

Bashmet has a special relationship with the music of Dimitri Shostakovich. It would show all the paradoxes that had taken place in Russia. It is powerful and at the same time very spiritual.
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March 2017 | Famous viola soloists
Yuri Abramovich Bashmet (Part 1)

On the relationship between violin and viola, Bashmet said the violin was more dramatic, but the viola more philosophical. He described the peculiarly sound of the viola as the «sound of the cosmos».
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February 2017 | Viola playing
Posture caused problems in the viola play

To prevent these health problems the correct posture is essential for violists and violinists. This should be properly learned by the age of 20 at the latest, otherwise it's unlikely that the posture can be corrected.
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February 2017 | Stephanie Gurtner
Play without score?

Throughout my life as a musician, I have often returned to the question: why do pianists and singers have the full score in front of them, whilst I, as a viola player, must be content with a single stave? Are those who play a melody instrument, perhaps, already overstretched?
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January 2017 | Cornelia Brányik und Carlos María Solare
Impressions from the Bratschistentag at Trossingen 2016

When I tell my non-musical friends that I have just come back from a viola congress, they usually look at me questioningly. What can that be?
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December 2016 | Paul Hindemith
About Life and Work and Effect (Part 1)

«When one goes to a tailor, one doesn't want a picture or photograph of him, but a well-made suit. If someone wants to occupy himself with me, he should look at my works.» (Paul Hindemith)
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Dezember 2016 | Paul Hindemith
About Life and Work and Effect (Part 2)

Konrad Ewald wrote about Hindemith: «He knows the instruments, so to speak, and he also knows the older music, which could not be asserted by every new composer.» Hindemith began to play the viola d'amore in the 1920s. From 1927 he gave concerts with the viola d'amore, accompanied by harpsichord and violin.
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November 2016 | Motivation
10 tips how to motivate yourself for the daily practice

How important is motivation, how important is practice? Practice and motivation make the difference, when it comes to the success of a musician. We already published one article about talent HERE. But the meaning of motivation can hardly be emphasized enough.
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October 2016 | New at Music4Viola
The latest inputs from our readers

We made a new list with an overview of all the excited inputs form our readers. We aim to offer our visitors a broad knowledge and much information on composers, works and products. Most of the inputs so fare are in German. That's why we rely on your input.
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September 2016 | One day of an almost ordinary life of
Airat Ichmouratov

Airat Rafailovich Ichmouratov, born June 28, 1973, is a Volga Tatar born Russian / Canadian composer, conductor and clarinetist. He is also an invited prof. at Laval University in Quebec, Canada. Ichmouratov is maried to the violist Elvira Misbakhova.
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August 2016 | What makes for a great musician
Practice or Talent?

This age-old question is the subject of heated discussions, especially among musicians. What makes for a master, practice or talent? And how important are these two respectively for the success of the musician? An input by Mascha Seitz.
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July 2016 | Famous viola soloists
Antoine Tamestit

There have been many well-known and virtuoso Viola players in the past. Today we will concentrate on an active musician who, in his younger years, became one of the greatest Viola players of his time. Let yourself be inspired by this young master...
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June 2016 | Stories about the Viola
Interview with Natalia Wächter

About her musical development in Moscow and her studies of the viola with Yuri Bashmet. From 1990 to 1991 she was a solo viola player at the philharmonic orchestra in the city of Heidelberg. Since 1991 she is part of the Stuttgarter Philharmonics.
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April 2016 | Mark Walder
Now it's almost time

After many months of preparation our project "Music for Viola" officially starts on May 7, 2016 and thus an exciting time begins for us, whether we are right with our vision! Many possibilities to actively participate are waiting for our visitors.
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March 2016 | Mark Walder

Will you also be visiting the "Classical:NEXT" in Rotterdam? From May 25th to 28th 2016 we will be present as Music4Viola at the fair "ClassicalNEXT" in Rotterdam with a booth. The website is presented to a larger audience for the first time. Get to know us and visit us!
» more information at Classical:NEXT
March 2016 | Dr. Konrad Ewald
Thoughts on the book «Music for Viola»

At new year's of 2012 I received a kind letter from a violist in Southern Germany; he wrote that he gave himself as a Christmas present a copy of my book (the 2001 edition). He had known for a while that there was someone else working on this subject beside Zeyringer, but «one can anyway find everything in Zeyringer's book (Literature for the Viola)».
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