The Home Page for Violists
Here you will find links to viola-related web sites, tidbits of information about the viola and famous violists (especially William Primrose or Lionel Tertis). Feel free to send me any information you would like to see included on this page, or suggestions for how I can improve it. Thanks for visiting and check back every few days to see what has been added!
Some Viola facts:
Viola (Italian, English, Spanish),
Alto or Taille (French),
Bowed 4-string instrument, sometimes known as alto or tenor because of its lower pitch compared with violin, to which it is closely related. Tuned to c, g, d', a'. Viola section standard in all orchestras. One viola is standard component of string quartet. Also used as solo instrument, several concertos and concerto-type works have been written for it. (The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music)
The viola was a direct descendant of the Viola da Braccio (arm viol), first referernced in 1543 describing a string instrument played on the arm. This also included the rebec, Renaissance fiddle and lira da braccio.
Some Violist facts:
Primrose, William (b. Scotland 1903, d. USA 1982):
- Scottish violist and violinist.
- Studied violin at Guildhall School of Music and with Ysaye.
- Changed to viola and played in London String Quartet 1930-1935.
- Settled in USA 1937.
- Principal Violist of NBC Symphony Orchestra 1938-1942.
- Many appearances as soloist.
- Commissioned Bartok's Viola Concerto and gave pirst performance.
- Played in several chamber music ensembles.
- Companion of the order of the British Empire (C.B.E.) 1953.
Tertis, Lionel (b. West Hartlepool 1876, d. Wimbledon 1975):
- English violist.
- Son of Russian father and Polish mother, both naturalized Britons.
- Studied at Trinity College of Music in London, first with piano, later concentrating on violin with Carrodus.
- Also studied at Liepzig Convervatory and Royal Academy of Music.
- Took up viola at 19 to play in string quartets.
- Professor of viola at Royal Academy of Music 1901 (at 25).
- Principal violist of Queens Hall Orchestra 1900-1904.
- Principal violist of Beecham Orchestra 1909.
- Gave first performances of many works for viola written for him or as a result of his artistry.
- Devoted his life to the cause of the viola, then the 'Cinderella' of string instruments.
- Played in several string quartets.
- Designed Tertis model viola, 16 3/4" long body.
- Arranged and edited many works for viola.
I am a systems analyst/project leader/database administrator by trade, but a musician at heart.
I was a music student at Indiana University, studying viola with Jeorges Janzer and attending master classes by Abraham Skernick and Joseph Gingold. I also studied viola with Donna Lively Clark at Butler University and John Graham at SUNY Stony Brook. I picked Vienna 1672 for my GeoCities address because my viola is a 1672 Stradivarius (model) made by William Whedbee in 1984.
If you have any comments or suggestions, please email me at:
Last update: 10/29/02