We are so lucky to be living in a time where there is so much great contemporary viola literature. We are especially lucky to be able to present what we believe to be two Utah premiers. White Roses for String Quintet by Christopher Burns, and a viola trio entitled “Capricious” by Scott Slapin.
Scott writes about the piece, “I studied with Emanuel Vardi from the age of 12 to 18. Mr. Vardi was the first person to record the 24 Paganini Caprices on viola (I was the 2nd.) Mr. Vardi was obsessed with the Caprices, and when the American Viola Society commissioned me to write a piece in his memory, of course I had to reference them in some way. Capricious is my own music, but there are short quotes here and there of half of the Caprices. Most recently, Capricious was performed on my 40th birthday in London, England. It has been performed by other groups around the U.S. at viola events and on the radio. Tanya Solomon (my wife), Ila Rondeau, and I premiered the piece at the Viola Congress in Rochester, NY a few years ago.”
I’ve never had the opportunity to meet Scott Slapin in real life, but I am familiar with his viola playing and composing from the internet. He plays a viola made by Hiroshi Iizuka, and when I was viola shopping and waiting, waiting, WAITING for my Iizuka viola to be finished, I watched many of his youtube videos hoping that my viola would sound as wonderful as his. He is a self-described “beer-drinking, Yiddish-speaking, bug-killing, vegan.” Not to mention a wonderful composer and violist. He and his wife Tanya are the Slapin-Solomon Duo and Studio.
Join us for the Utah premiere of Scott’s piece “Capricious” on Saturday, November 1, 3pm, Dumke Recital Hall at the University of Utah.