I found this in a program note the other day:
"The violinist Francesco Geminiani arrived in London in 1714, one of the many expatriate musicians who settled in England in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries..... As a young man Geminiani was appointed head of the orchestra in Naples, where according to English music historian Charles Burney he was "so wild and unsteady a timist, that instead of regulating and conducting the band, he threw it into confusion", and was demoted to playing the viola".
So there you have it! They felt the same way about viola players in Italy three hundred years ago.
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