UVS Spring Recital 2016 Photos

Congratulations to all the performers for beautiful contributions to the Utah Viola Society’s Spring Recital! Bravi Tutti!!!


Sunday, March 6, Dumke Recital Hall at the University of Utah, Utah Viola Society presents its Spring Recital!

We have animal lovers, we have Baroque recorder players, we have composers, we have crazy motorcyclists, we have three (Count ’em, 3!) duo collaborations, we have professors from three (Count ’em, 3!) Utah music schools, we have Utah Symphony members, we have original compositions, we have VIOLA.

Resistance is futile. See you Sunday.

Viola Recital Flyer


The Long and the Short of it

One of the most rewarding things about performing music is the wonderful collaborations one gets to be part of. I am honored to be performing a wonderful collaboration with my dear friend and colleague Roberta Zalkind. Roberta is Associate Principal Viola of the Utah Symphony, she is a wonderful teacher to many incredible students, a fabulous violist, and an all around fantastic duo partner.RZ (14 of 15)-Edit


We are pleased to be performing Katrina Wreede’s aptly named “Duo for Sunday.”  A former member of the Turtle Island String Quartet, Katrina Wreede is a violist, a composer, and a founder of Composing Together, which brings together composers and students side by side.

RZ (2 of 15)

Duo for Sunday is in three movements: Sunday, Rocking, and Tango? Each movement has elements of jazz tonalities and rhythms, and each viola has an equal role to play. It’s whimsical, explores a full range of moods and characters, and a even has dueling viola cadenzas! Roberta and I deeply hope that everyone enjoys listening to it as much as we’ve enjoyed preparing it!

Come hear jazzy-ish dueling viola cadenzas Sunday, March 6, 3pm, Dumke Recital Hall at the University of Utah.


Brant, Rainer, Pintscher

Utah Symphony Principal Violist Brant Bayless will perform two works by Matthias Pintscher this Sunday for Utah Viola Society’s Spring Recital. He will be joined by Utah Symphony Principal Cellist Rainer Eudeikis for Janusgesicht, for Viola and Cello, and will play the Solo Viola work In Nomine. (If you attended last weekend’s NOVA Chamber Music Series concert, this will be your second opportunity to hear these works! You can read the program notes here.)

VlaDay2015 (24 of 28)In Brant’s words:

The first piece is a duo with Utah Symphony Principal Cello Rainer Eudeikis. Called “Janusgesicht” (The Face of Janus), it deals with the “duality of a single person.” From the introductory poem by Pintscher:

“One body, one head, -but two faces, two voices, two directions.
Two voices delicately floating in one sound.
One voice penetrates the other, looking for merger with itself.
Sounds on the edge of silence.”

The two performers sit back to back, an allusion to the Roman god in profile.

In nomine, for unaccompanied viola, is part of a large group of chamber works by many composers inspired by an English plainchant melody. I briefly considered singing (!) that melody before performing Matthias’s piece, but aside from a tinge of sadistic joy inflicting that on an audience, there’s not much to be found in the back to back comparison. “In nomine” develops flights of fancy and melismatic passage work that, like the plainchant melody, almost always departs and returns to the note D.

Both of these pieces call for the viola to play with an alternate tuning. In the duo, the lowest string is simply altered down a half-step to B. “In nomine” features a much more radical scordatura: A-D-Eb-G. Special thanks to Brad Ottesen for the use of his wonderful Moes and Moes viola. Being able to use a separate viola for the solo piece allows for quicker and more convenient transitions than retuning one instrument. And, by the way, if you like Brad’s radically re-tuned viola, it is for sale!

Sunday, March 6, 3pm, Dumke Recital Hall, University of Utah.

Carl: Motorcyclist. Violist.

Carl motorcycle

Photo by Christine McDonough

Carl Johansen: Motorcyclist. Violist. Carl will be performing the Schumann Marchenbilder with pianist Ning Lu this Sunday as part of Utah Viola Society’s Spring Recital.

Sometimes at night after a concert when I’m driving home I hear a noise behind me. I look in my rear view mirror just in time to see a motorcycle speeding up behind my car. It passes me, speeding away into the night. I notice a stripey viola case on the driver’s back.


(Carl, slow down and be safe!)

On Sunday, come see Carl take us on a ride through Schumann’s Fairy Tales.

Sunday, March 6, 3pm, Dumke Recital Hall, University of Utah.


Martinu Madrigals, Monte Belknap, and dog sweaters!

This Sunday Dr. Claudine Bigelow will be performing the First Madrigal for Violin and Viola by Bohuslav Martinu, with her BYU colleague Associate Professor Monte Belknap. Dr. Bigelow says that she loves working with Monte Belknap because she always learns from his strengths, particularly his bow arm! “The rhythmic play in the Martinu is challenging, jazzy, and fun.  It’s a piece that requires technical brilliance, is bright and energetic.” ~Claudine Bigelow



Claudine is a beautiful knitter and quilter, and writes a blog called Musical Stitch. She’s so crazy for her King Cavalier Spaniel, Jack, that she knit him a cable sweater!jack_s_sweater_medium2CROP

Claudine says that she can’t pick a favorite violist (too many good ones to choose from!) but that two of our very own UVS members always inspire her: Brant Bayless, who has played as good a recital as she’s heard anywhere, and Carl Johansen who has played so many memorable performances on our Utah Viola Society recitals. (Both Brant and Carl will be performing Sunday! You can hear the inspired and the inspirers!)

Come be inspired with us on Sunday, March 6, 3pm, Dumke Recital Hall, University of Utah.


Brad Ottesen, Violist and Rescuer of Threatened Species

Everyone in Utah is probably quite familiar with Brad in his role as Fry Street Quartet violist, and from his Utah Viola Society Presidential duties, but maybe there’s something you didn’t know about Brad…


Meet Rose!

Rose is a Desert Tortoise, adopted by Brad and his wife Denise, both of whom are animal lovers and have adopted several cats and a dog named Wolfie. Brad says that Rose “is listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act due to habitat loss. During the warm season she lives in our yard, but right now she is hibernating and should be waking up any time!  I love my tortoise, and I’m sure there is a viola joke here somewhere.”

When Brad and Denise aren’t rescuing beautiful Tortoises they enjoy going for long hikes, and road trips in the west.

This Sunday, come hear Brad perform Bach’s Gamba Sonata #1 with pianist Jessica Roderer. “I love the counterpoint of the Gamba Sonatas.  The writing consists of 3 distinct and equal voices – the right and left hands of the keyboard and the viola, and it is a challenge to hold all 3 voices in your ear at once.  The piece seems to change each time according to shifting sands of your attention, and this keeps it feeling free, almost like improvisation.” ~Brad Ottesenbradley

Sunday, March 6, 3pm, Dumke Recital Hall, University Of Utah.