The violacentric blog

Greatest Hits from the Twenties

  1520's and 1620's: Doubling Choirs

During the first 200 years of the viola's existence, it was doing mostly what it was invented to do: doubling vocal parts. Now, more than 500 years later, many believe the viola is still the…

Celebrating 300 Years of Bach

Originally posted on 1/3/20 as 'Artist-in-Residence' for the American Viola Society:

Happy New Year! I'm looking forward to being the American Viola Society's artist in residence for the next couple of months. I'm supposed to write a new blog post…

New Orleans, Louisiana

from an earlier post:

Tanya and I used to live in New Orleans. A week after our duo CD Sketches from the New World was released-- and before we could have the CD release party-- Hurricane Katrina hit, and the…

Our Adventure in the Orchestra World

from an earlier post:

As a young teenager, orchestral music I wrote was performed in my home state of New Jersey by the Philharmonic of New Jersey, the Hunterdon Symphony, the New Jersey Youth Symphony, and the Brunswick Symphony Orchestra…

The Popularity of the Viola

Originally posted on 2/28/20 as 'Artist-in-Residence' for the American Viola Society:

Classical musicians and audiences often see things differently. In my experience, audiences love the viola. These are people who (probably in most cases) didn't attend conservatory to study an…

Viola Lessons....Online?

Originally posted on 2/21/20 as 'Artist-in-Residence' for the American Viola Society:

It was around a decade ago that I first heard about the possibility of taking viola lessons via Skype. Once I thought about it a bit and saw the…

Parochialism in Music

Originally posted on 2/14/20 as 'Artist-in-Residence' for the American Viola Society:

I have spent a bit of time in different musical worlds, and I've noticed that those who primarily spend time in only one or two of them tend to…

Violacentrism > Viola Separatism

Originally posted on 2/7/20 as 'Artist-in-Residence' for the American Viola Society:

Although the viola is the greatest instrument of all time (it says so in the Book of Cremonus), I'm actually not a Viola Separatist. (Sorry.) That is to say…

The Composer's (Holy?) Intentions

Originally posted on 1/31/20 as 'Artist-in-Residence' for the American Viola Society:

People seem to like an agreed-upon authority to magnify their already pre-existing opinions. 

Whether cherry-picking from the Constitution or the bible, it's not merely their own little opinion now---…

Ditching the Shoulder Rest

Originally posted on 1/24/20 as 'Artist-in-Residence' for the American Viola Society:

According to polls I've seen over at violinist.com, approximately 80 percent of people use shoulder rests, and based on my own observations, I'd say of the 20 percent who…

Cremonus and the Violacentric Religion

Originally posted on 1/17/20 as 'Artist-in-Residence' for the American Viola Society:

Every civilization needs a history. Often the details of that (hi)story turn out not to be true, but that's not the point. 

The point of this post is.... Cremonus…