JAVS Fall 2023

Feature Article

A Community Remembers Dr. David Dalton

On January 7, 2023, approximately 30 friends and former students gathered at the Primrose International Viola Archive at Brigham Young University to remember Dr. David Dalton, who died on December 23, 2022. The following collection of memories by former students and by his dear friend, Dr. Dwight Pounds, as well as the many shared contributions by AVS membership to the JAVS inbox, offer a brief glimpse into his totality…

would more than account for a complete life; but these contain no reference to his contributions and dedication to the viola, which comprise a long and impressive list: two books on Primrose; third President of the American Viola Society; Newsletter Editor and Journal founder; host of the 7 th International Viola Congress; host and organizer of the First Primrose International Viola Competition; President of the reorganized International Viola Society; Co-Founder of the Primrose International Viola Archive, lovingly known as the PIVA, and prime mover and shaker for the

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Primrose Room, the PIVA Room, the Davey Painting of Primrose, and fundraiser for each. It is all the more remarkable that some of these activities were

“It would be both quite easy and factual to describe David Dalton as “first and foremost a violist,” but he had multiple outside interests, such as photography, travel, mountain hiking, a fascination with the German language, and a strong dedication and commitment

concurrent with his term as bishop for his ward. Given my professional and personal association with David, I am persuaded that he actually lived 105 years and crammed

them into 89 … and I dare to say that his name is securely written in the history of the viola.

to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, to say nothing of his family. Having once tasted life in the Utah Mountains, he gravitated back

How close were David Dalton and I? At a viola congress several years ago, one of David’s former students, Joël Belgique, said to me, “Why it’s Dr. Pounds! I didn’t recognize you without David Dalton at your side!” The opinion obviously was shared by many others—David passed away and I began receiving sympathy notes, as did his replacement at BYU, Dr. Claudine Bigelow. I used to tease colleagues about our relationship, saying that if David were the Lone Ranger, I was Tonto; that if he were Don Quixote (however unlikely), that logically would make me Sancho Panza— but at least that would give me the viola cadenza in Richard Strauss’ composition by this name. It is true:

to them time and again, belonged to an explorers’ club, and amassed a collection of medium format slides that numbered in the thousands. He took great pride in his state’s five national parks and recommended wonderful places for us to visit and take our children when they were young. We thoroughly enjoyed Dead Horse Point, the Goosenecks, and other parks, but I’m not sure Margaret ever forgave him for routing us down a long and winding dirt path called Muley Point.

To describe David’s life in terms of academia, photography, his church callings, and two mission terms

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


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