JAVS Fall 2023

honor of the Queen Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshana could be seen throughout the week both in the city, and on campus. We so enjoyed the delights of Thai cuisine— as well as the Italian cuisine of one of the Congress’ supporters! Spirited conversations in many languages kept us up and in high spirits late into the evenings.

Several AVS members were in attendance and presented wonderful sessions. Among them was Dr. Katrin Meidell, host of the previous Congress, with her new transcription of the Franck Sonata partnered by Esther Park. Ames Asbell and Michelle Schumann followed with a rich session on Vieuxtemps and his circle, while Alicia Marie Valotti premiered her Sonata per Viola Sola. Rising stars of the Thai viola and chamber music scene included featured artists Miti Wisuthumporn, Krit Supabpanich, and Patcharaphan Khumprakob, as well as the Libere Quartet with Mahakit Lerdcheewanan, Inga Causa, Danny Keasler, and Marcin Szawelski. With this being the first ever Congress held in Asia, it was fantastic to see music by leading Thai composers and violists, as well as sessions highlighting Korean, Taiwanese, Malaysian, Japanese, and Chinese traditions. Nehir Akansu gave interdisciplinary workshops focused on folk and jazz idioms, while Paul Groh and Namgon Lee explored topics expanding the baroque viola repertoire. Hillary Herndon and Pamela Ryan’s sessions explored pedagogical anthologies by under-represented composers, and Jorge Alves and Catarina Peixinho showcased 20th century Portuguese works. Amadi Azikiwe performed the complete Hindemith Sonatas for Solo Viola in a tour de force, while Jutta Puchhammer Sédillot and Annette-Barbara Vogel explored a potpourri of virtuosic violin and viola duos from Canada, France, Russia, and Austria. Juliet White-Smith’s recital showcased works from the African Diaspora, including Ulisses Kay and Florence Price, while Donald Maurice’s group Taioro gave a powerful performance featuring the acclaimed spoken word poetry of Maori poet, Sharn Maree. Karin Dolman offered a workshop on creating your own classical cadenza for Hoffmeister or Stamitz, and Wojciech Kolaczyk and Boguslawa Hubusz-Sielska presented full programs of Polish works for viola. Even more amazing sessions included Dorotea Vismara, who asked us “Who is afraid of the older violist?” and Yue Qi and his incredibly talented students from Renmin University of China who wowed the audience with a rousing program of Chinese and British works. Marcin Murawski had the audience in stitches with his presentation of Michael Kimber’s limerick-inspired compositions, and Emerson di Biaggi, host of the upcoming 49th Congress, represented the viola output of contemporary Brazilian composers.

It is impossible to highlight all the amazing sessions and performances that took place over the week; but Ettore Causa and Rasikamon Siyapong’s riveting opening recital truly “set the tone” for the Congress, his pointedly lyrical and expressive Brahms’ transcriptions memorable and moving. In his duo performance on the same program, he was joined by Juan-Miguel Hernandez, reminding us of the deeply collaborative roots of our instrument. One of my favorite parts of the Congress was working with Nehir Akansu on playing the viola in a jazz style. It’s a sort of niche interest of mine so it was great to see that others were interested in it! She was super helpful in techniques like chopping and thinking of ways of constructing an improvised melody. There were so many amazing performances, like Marcin Murawski’s performance of Michael Kimber’s new limerick pieces or Ettore Causa and Juan-Miguel Hernandez playing Paul Coletti’s piece Moonlight Journey, and presentations Ettore Causa and Juan-Miguel Hernandez perform in the opening concert, photo courtesy of Daphne Gerling. like Emerson di Biaggi’s talk on Brazilian music and Vinciane Beranger presenting research on the manuscripts of Rebecca Clarke; but some of my favorite events were the interactive ones we could participate in. - Julien Riviere, University of Tennessee student attendee


Journal of the American Viola Society / Vol. 39, No. 2, Fall 2023

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