44th International Viola Congress in Wellington

16 August 2017 / News

Next month, Wellington will play host to the 44th International Viola Congress, bringing violists, viola-lovers, viola teachers and students from around the globe for five days of non-stop viola celebration. The congress takes place in a different city every year and was last held in Wellington in 2001. At that time, it was the first ever international viola congress to be held in the Southern Hemisphere.  

NZSQ violist Gillian Ansell is co-hosting the event with her NZSM colleague Donald Maurice, and can’t wait for the action to begin. She says:

“Listening to masterclasses, meeting, hearing and chatting with so many other violists will be nothing short of viola heaven!”

Among the 50 different events on offer are masterclasses, lectures on ‘all things viola’, a viola composition competition, panel discussions, specialist recitals of all sorts, a viola flash mob descending on Te Papa on Sunday 3 September at 1pm - trying to set a new Southern Hemisphere record for the number of violists in one place! - and a concert with the NZSO called The Three Altos, featuring three stellar viola soloists: Roger Benedict, Roger Myers and Anna Serova. The Three Altos concert will be held in the Michael Fowler Centre on Monday 4 September and will feature the famous Walton concerto, a new arrangement of Schumann’s Märchenbilder and an exciting world premiere by Roberto Molinelli, Lady Walton’s Garden, inspired by a beautiful garden on the Italian island of Ischia created by Walton’s wife.

Chamber music will also be to the fore at the congress in various combinations of instruments, including strings, woodwind, piano, harp, harpsichord, guitar, percussion and voice. The NZSQ will perform in three special works: Mendelssohn’s Octet, with the visiting Deseret String Quartet from Utah, and two divine string quintets: Mozart’s Quintet in G minor, K516 and Dvorak’s Quintet in E flat, op 97 both with soloist, conductor and Sydney Symphony Orchestra principal, Roger Benedict.  

For more information, visit the 44th International Viola Congress website.

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