Join us for Viola Day 2022!

Dear Viola Friends,
We are beyond thrilled at the return of Viola Day and looking forward to being reunited for the first time in three years!  

Our event this year will feature guest artist Ivo van der Werff, Professor of Viola at Rice University and longtime violist of the Medici Quartet.  Professor van der Werff has given the viola community a great resource with his Notebook for Violists, a distillation of his studies with the great pedagogue Bruno Giuranna, enriched with his own many years of teaching experience.  Ivo will lead us through key exercises in a group warm-up session to begin the day.

We also thought it would be appropriate to have some chamber music! Ivo will join the Fry Street Quartet for a short discussion and performance of Mozart’s masterful Viola Quintet in G minor.

Here in Utah, we are lucky to have an amazing community of local instrument makers, whose work will be demonstrated by Utah Symphony Principal Violist Brant Bayless. If you’re shopping for a viola, curious about violas, or just love to play all the violas you can get your hands on – you’ll have lots to do at Viola Day!

Please help us to spread the word by inviting your friends, family, or students! You can pre-register by renewing your UVS membership here.
We’ll see you there!
Brad Ottesen and your UVS Team

P.S. Alto Clef cookies…

Viola Day 2022 Schedule:

Saturday, October 22 – University of Utah, Gardner Music Building
Registration: $20 Adult/$10 Student, check in at the Main Entrance (President’s Circle).

  • 8:30-9:15 Registration: Viola congregation and camaraderie
  • 9:15-10:45 Warm up with Ivo!  An introductory tour of the Notebook for Violists
  • 11:00 Guest Artist Pefformance: Mozart G minor Viola Quintet
  • 12:00 Free Pizza Lunch! Hang with your viola pals
  • 12:30 Instrument Demonstration: Utah Symphony Principal Violist Brant Bayless
  • 1:00 Meet Your Maker: Try out all the violas!
  • 2:30-4:30 Guest Artist Masterclass with Ivo van der Werff

Sponsor Profile: Carrie Scoggins, Violin Maker

Carrie Scoggins, Violin Maker
By Appointment Only
7644 S Twin Lake Cir, Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121
(801) 943-0496

How long have you been in Utah?

I first came to Utah in 1987 to attend the Violin Making School of America. I graduated in 1983 then taught at the school for four years before opening a shop near Liberty Park in 1988.

What services does your shop provide, and is there an area that you specialize in?

I focus on new making of violins, violas and cellos. Mainly violas and cellos.  I am also available for repair work.

What do you love about the viola, and do you have a particular sound or concept that you are aiming for when you make violas?

I grew up studying  the violin but started playing the viola in college and loved its’ deep, rich sound. When I started making violas here in Utah I built a number of them for David Daltons students at BYU. I learned a lot from those instruments and following the players through the years. What I focus on is building an instrument that is even across the register, speaks quickly, has a wide dynamic range, and colour to the voicing. Can you play pianissimo and still have clarity and be heard? A viola that is just loud, without colour to its voicing, is boring to me. A viola that can stand up to chamber music work must have characte!

What instruments are you currently working on?

I also want the instrument to be easy to play. I use an Amati pattern because I like the sloped shoulders, which makes higher position work easier.

I am currently working on 3 violas. A 16″ with a one piece Tulip Poplar back. A 16 1/4″ with a one piece Big Leaf Maple back. A 16 3/8″ with European maple back.

It is always interesting and challenging to work with the different woods used for the back. All three are based on a Brothers Amati pattern from 1615. I have just inlaid the purfling and am starting to work on the arches. I will bring some to Viola Day.

Do you play music yourself, and do you have hobbies or interests away from music and instruments?

Currently I play violin in the Salt Lake  Symphony. Outside of my work I love hiking and mountain biking. Just returned from Canada where I got to do both at Whistler Mountain!

Look forward in seeing you at Viola Day !!

Sponsor Profile: Salini Violins

Dan Salini, Salini Violins 1609 S. Park Street
Salt Lake City , Utah 84105 By appointment: 801-949-6174 salini(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)

How long have you been in Utah?

I have been in Utah for for 27 years, I moved here from Minneapolis in 1995. There were other many local makers to work alongside, and an environment of youthful, energetic creativity. The viola was the first instrument I made here in SLC!

What services does your shop provide, and is there an area that you specialize in?
I provide violins ,violas and cellos.

I make new instruments, and provide adjustments , bow rehairs and repairs. I have been doing my trade for 30 years and continue to learn each day. I consider myself very lucky to have worked with some of the best.

I have been told by many that I have a knack for adjusting and setting up instruments to reach the personal preference of the musician. I am a player myself and grew up in a family of musicians, so my goals is to communicate with my clients about ideas and concepts of sound, and then find the right playability for the individual.

Do you have a particular sound or concept that you are aiming for when you make violas? What do you love about the viola?
The sound and concept of my violas are to provide an instrument that is easy to play and have a character to the sound which both projects and has warmth.
I find the recent model I am making liberating in that I am playing with dimensions and wood choice. The basic model is that of an Amati. After I make my alterations it has deviated into my own personal model. So far it seems to be working quite well.
I love the viola because it can have so many variations in size sound and style.

What instruments will you be bringing to Viola Day, or what instruments are you working on?

I recently procured my very first instrument. I will bring it to viola day. I am proud of the scroll. I was very focused making my first viola and it shows.
I had some good teachers in Gary Vessel and John Young . They were both good at making pointers and letting me carry out the work.

Do you play music yourself?

I play steel guitar , guitar and fiddle (maybe I will switch to jazz viola). I have been lucky to know so many great musicians locally and nationally. These days I enjoy playing at home with the occasional gig out on the town.

Do you have hobbies or interests away from music and instruments?

I enjoy the mountains, and the wild west. I practice Tai Chi and enjoy casual bike rides. I feel like I need another century to scratch the surface of what this state has to offer. I really appreciate feeling a part of this community.

The Return of Viola Day!!! Saturday, October 22, 9am-5pm University of Utah

We are excited to announce the return of Utah Viola Society’s “Viola Day”, for the first time in three years!  

For Viola Day 2022, the UVS is privileged to host guest artist Ivo van der Werff, professor at Rice University and longtime violist of the Medici String Quartet. Professor van der Werff will lead a warm-up session from his wonderful Notebook for Viola Players, teach a masterclass for young violists, and join the Fry Street Quartet for a performance of Mozart’s G minor String Quintet.

We will also be returning to the full slate of events that you know and love, including an exhibition of local luthiers, the chance to play lots of violas, and a pizza party with our famous Alto Clef cookies (back by popular demand)!

Much more information coming soon – for now, please mark your calendar and save the date!

Spring 2022 Viola Events!

Dear Friends,
After a lengthy hiatus, the Utah Viola Society is excited to re-emerge, and draw your attention to a series of live viola events this March!  

Prior to the unprecedented events of 2020, the UVS was poised to welcome renowned pedagogue Victoria Chiang to Utah, so we are especially looking forward to this visit finally taking place.

We will also have the privilege of hearing one of the world’s foremost performers, Paul Neubauer, in recital with pianist Gloria Chien, featuring a virtuoso program of unique and characterful works.

These events will make for quite a week…looking forward to being able to reconnect, and to more viola events in the future!

Brad Ottesen, on behalf of your UVS Team

  • Monday, March 21 – Primrose Memorial Recital, featuring violist Paul Neubauer and pianist Gloria Chien.  Brigham Young University, Madsen Recital Hall, 5:00 PM. Free and open to public.
  • Tuesday March 22 – Paul Neubauer in Recital with the Beethoven Festival Park City.  Park City Community Church, 7:00 PM.  Tickets available through website.
  • Thursday, March 24 – Aspen String Trio in recital with the Chamber Music Society of Logan.  Utah State University, Russell/Wanlass Performance Hall, 7:30 PM.  Tickets available through CMSL website. 
  • Friday, March 25, 4:30 PM, UVS Masterclass with Victoria Chiang, of the Peabody Conservatory, Aspen Music Festival, and the Aspen String Trio.  University of Utah, Gardner Hall 318  

Please Welcome Two New Members to Your UVS Team!

Thank you to Emily Barrett Brown, for becoming our Treasurer, and Sunny Johnson for becoming our Secretary and Website Manager! Many of you know Sunny and Emily, who are active performers and teachers in Utah. As you see them out and about, please feel free to ask them about plans for upcoming UVS events!

Emily Barrett Brown completed both her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Viola Performance at Brigham Young University under the tutelage of Dr. David Dalton. Other teachers included Hiroko Primrose (violin) and Clyn Barrus (viola). While at the Music Academy of the West, she studied viola with Donald McInnes and later enjoyed summer studies with Robert Vernon and members of the Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Music Festival. In addition to teaching, Ms. Brown performs frequently as a recording artist and with several ensembles in the greater Salt Lake area, including The Utah Symphony, Utah Chamber Artists, Sinfonia Salt Lake and The Ballet West Orchestra. Emily lives on a 5 acre hobby farm in Provo with 2 horses, 2 dogs and 2 cats. She and her husband, Tony, have 4 children and love to travel.

Sunny Johnson received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Viola Performance from Utah State University and the University of Utah, with principal teachers Bradley Ottesen and Roberta Zalkind. She is a founding member of the Rosco String Quartet and performs frequently with local ensembles such as the Ballet West Orchestra, The Utah Symphony, and NEXT Ensemble. In her spare time Sunny enjoys skiing, biking, gardening, traveling with her family, and teaching her dog funny tricks.

Spring Viola Events!

Please help to spread the word, and forward this to your students, colleagues, and friends!

  • Friday, February 28, 7:30 PM, Primrose Memorial Concert, featuring Haesue Lee, 1st Prize winner of the 2018 Primrose International Viola Competition.  Madsen Recital Hall, Brigham Young University, free and open to public.
    Sunday, March 15, 3:00 PM, UVS Annual Recital, featuring Brant Bayless, Scott Lewis, Carl Johansen, and Bradley Ottesen. Dumke Recital Hall, University of Utah, free and open to public. 
    Saturday, March 21, 9AM-5 PM,Viola Day!!! 2020, masterclass with Victoria Chiang from the Peabody Institute of Music, instrument exhibition, and Guest Artist recital with the Aspen String Trio. University of Utah, Dumke and Thompson Halls. $20 Adult/$10 student.