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Virtual Viola Videos – Classics-a-la-COVID?

Compiled by Robert Harris

Australian Brandenburg Orchestra (ABO): their Brandenburg One video collection Bach Series features violist Marianne Yeomans performing the Allemanda from the Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004 for violin, transcribed for viola in G minor: yeomans-bach-6/

A future viola contribution to the ABO Bach Series features Principal Viola Monique O’Dea performing the Tempo di Borea from the Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002: bs-monique-odea-bach-11/ Coming Soon!

Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO): HomeCasts videos In addition to the videos featuring ACO Principal Viola Stefanie Farrands (detailed in the Musical Chairs column of this Journal (web-search ACO Home to Home Shostakovich 8 or Vieuxtemps) search also for ACO’s other violists, Nicole Divall and Elizabeth Woolnough, performing Ross Edwards Ecstatic Dance (including outdoors lifestyle insights) https://

Elizabeth also performs J S Bach Two Part Inventions (BWV 775 & 777) with violinist Ike See https://

Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO): Orchestra for Everyone series – Studio Sessions In addition to the video of ‘two’ QSO Principal Violists, both named Imants Larsens, playing the Frank Bridge Lament (see the Musical Chairs column of this Journal) QSO violists feature in the orchestra’s series of video performances by socially distanced small ensembles:

  • Studio Session #1 features J S Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 (played on a cello but beloved of violists too) plus Imants Larsens performing Beethoven’s Eyeglasses Duet (starting c. 22’40, mid-video) who returns with other non-viola QSO friends to play the wonderful Sonata for flute, viola and harp by Debussy (starting c. 33’);

  • Studio Session #2 also features Imants, performing Beethoven’s Serenade in D, Op. 25, with a little help from flute and violin (starting c. 24’30); Imants has a rest in Studio Session #3 when QSO violist Nicole Greentree performs the Reger Serenade in G, Op. 141a, another flute-violin collaboration (starting c. 25’10);

  • Studio Session #4 finds violist Nicholas Tomkin and friends continuing a Beethoven sub-theme with the String Quartet in F, Op. 18 No. 1 (starting c. 25’10). Apologies for not naming non-violists – your incentive to link, look and listen – though writing in a viola journal may be justification for our over-slight.

Another QSO video series, Over the fence, does not seem to feature the QSO violists, but has some fun ideas and imaginative outdoor settings … often literally over the fence (or outside a Nepalese temple).

Camerata, Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra, has continued their 5@5 series of 5-minute videos through the year, close to 100 episodes by the time you’re reading this. Violists Alice Buckingham, Anna Colville, Gregory Daniel, Elizabeth Lawrence and perhaps others fly the alto clef flag

Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO): Chamber Sounds The viola highlight of this SSO on-line video concert series has probably been the Brahms Sextet No. 1 with violists Sandro Costantino and Jane Hazelwood. Search Sydney Symphony Brahms Sextet to also enjoy a brief tour of the Sydney Opera House. Other violists have been regular contributors of viola colour: Tobias Breider in two works, Petrichor and Birdsong at Dusk, by didgeridoo virtuoso and now also vocalist William Barton; Rosemary Curtin in the wild improv Chamber Sounds with Ben Folds; Justine Marsden in Ross Edwards Emerald Crossing for piano quartet; Justin Williams in Meale’s Cantilena Pacifica for string quartet but also as composer in his own Movement for String Quartet; perhaps others – all with non-viola SSO colleagues.

It is likely that many (most?) other orchestras and ensembles are offering similar gratis on-line performances as a way to connect to not only their local supporters but also to a wider national and potentially international following. The ANZVS committee encourages other members to forward information about any videos by their local viola compatriots. This collective creative digital response to COVID disruptions to the music industry seems to be a way of discovering and sharing more of our viola world.

Between journals we will continue to send ANZVS members occasional Facebook posts and e-bulletins about similar on-line virtual video concerts relating to the viola.

ANZVS Journal No. 48:November2020

Issue 48 Videos eConcerts.vs4
Download PDF • 290KB

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