My Favorite violists today

January 8, 2014 at 03:57 AM · Who are your favorite contemporary violists? I will post my favorites at this time - David Aaron Carpenter, Victoria Chiang, Paul Coletti, Kim Kashkashian, and Yizhak Schotten. Others? Charles

Replies (37)

January 8, 2014 at 05:01 AM ·

January 8, 2014 at 05:13 AM · Nokuthula Ngwenyama

January 8, 2014 at 06:07 AM · Thank you Darrett for your excellent response. I was greatly influenced by Roberto Diaz at the 2005 Primrose International Congress at Provo, Utah as well as his student David Aaron Carpernter. They both played on a 1739 Camillus Camilli viola. David later used this same viola for his great performance of the Elgar Concerto (Ondine 2009). I recorded Paul Neubauer playing on 34 newly made violas at the 2008 Primrose Congress at Tempe on my Zoom H-2. I have heard three others that you listed live, and will try to find on you tube (very helpful and saves lots of time) recordings of the others you listed. The only one that I couldn't find out anything about was Igor Sulya?? Once again, thank you very much. Charles

January 8, 2014 at 08:09 AM · Garth Knox (you'll find quite a lot on youtube), Franck Chevalier of Diotima String Quartet played my own Viola Concerto, Odile Auboin, all based in Paris.

January 8, 2014 at 09:56 AM · Does Pinchas no longer count as contemporary?

Glad to say Bruno is still with us.

I enjoyed the recital I heard Czaba Erdelyi give.

January 8, 2014 at 05:27 PM · ...listening to Ori Kam right now...

January 8, 2014 at 06:17 PM · Maxim Rysanov!!! And Naoko Shimizu are two other great ones!

January 8, 2014 at 06:42 PM · John - I think you are referring to Bruno Giuranna. Pichas Zukerman is a contmporary violinist and violist. Although most great violinists listed in another forum played viola, Pinchas has been most successful in performances and recording with viola. Heifetz required all of his students to learn the viola. Charles

January 9, 2014 at 04:07 AM · Nigel and Victor: Great that there are so many young violists. New compositions for viola are much needed and appreciated. I believe there has been a remarkable progress in viola playing and viola making during the past 20-30 years. There could be many favorites. It is my belief that violists are more influenced by the instruments they use than violinists. So I will post the violas used by the five great violists I posted, plus a few others listed by Darrett. I was able to hear live in performance all I posted except Julliet Chiang, however I have listened over and over again to her most beautiful performances on CD (Naxos 2011), of the Stamitz and two Hoffmeister concertos. I believe she plays on a 16 inch Etienne Vatelot viola, 1997. Tabea Zimmerman also plays on a Vatelot viola, 1980, length ?. David Aaron Carpenter plays on a Michele Deconet 1766 viola about 16 inches. Robert Diaz uses a cut down Amati viola about 15 3/4 inches body length. He is busy with concerts and being President and CEO of Curtis. This is why I didn't list him with the others, even though he was the first to plant my interest and fascination for violas. I have no idea who is using the Camillus Camilli viola 1739 today, I read that one of Julliet Chiang's students plays on a Kundert-Clements copy of the Camillus Camilli viola. I have no idea who is using the Camillus Camilli viola 1739 today and would like to know. Paul Coletti plays on Moennig Sr. viola about 16 inces. Kim Kashhashian now plays on a 16 inch Stephan-Peter Greiner viola and Yihzahk Schotten plays on a 16 inch converted Lira da Braccia. Yuri Bashmet plays on a Testore viola, about 16 inches. I think it would be interesting and helpful if we could learn much more. Charles

January 9, 2014 at 04:13 PM · Ditto on Lawrence Power.

Also Antoine Tamestit

January 9, 2014 at 04:44 PM · My favourite young violin player is Irish, 18 years old, very little known, have no recorded a cd (yet) and can be only spoted in youtube.

January 9, 2014 at 11:41 PM · Another typo- Victoria Chiang, not Juliet. Charles

January 10, 2014 at 05:58 PM · Thank you Ellie: Agree with all you present, which I had put on my "favorite violists" list. I had also put Patricia Mc Carty on my list based on her recordings of Bach's cello suites and the Telemann (Ashmont 2000 and 2006). Her viola sounded best (body length, maker, and year?) on these recordings - clear, lovely colors, beautiful and expressive. Keep listenning, learning and playing. Regards, Charles

January 11, 2014 at 11:48 PM · Nobuko Imai

January 12, 2014 at 03:47 PM · My favorite violists are the ones I know personally: Joel Belgique, Doris Lederer and of course my teacher Suzanne LeFevre.

January 12, 2014 at 11:00 PM · deleted - oops, violists, not violinists...

January 13, 2014 at 01:55 PM · Pity you had to, Dave, the clip had a charm about it. Never mind, if you can persuade her to learn the viola, you can reinstate her.

Of course, the girl may wish to be a doctor, or something, in which case, if we are lucky, we'll have another "Elise" on the site.

January 26, 2014 at 07:14 AM · Kim Kashkashian, Tabea Zimmerman, Nobuko Imai, and Rivka Golani, Maxim Rysanov, Lawrence Power and David Aaron Carpenter. One recording that really stood out to me was David Aaron Carpenter's recording of the Elgar cello concerto! He made the viola sound like a cello, but there was still that viola esque vibe to it.

July 17, 2014 at 04:11 PM · Roger Chase, who plays the ex-Tertis Montagnana viola. And Roland Glassl of the Mandelring Quartett.

July 17, 2014 at 04:21 PM · Charles, you write "Yuri Bashmet plays on a Testore viola", but you don't list him as a favourite. Is this an oversight? Having seen his performance on YouTube of the Arpeggione, I would have to include him in MY list (I've not heard a 'cellist get so much out of it).

July 17, 2014 at 04:39 PM · Ori Kam, Esther Apituley, and my teacher, who is a professional orchestra violist, but not famous.

July 18, 2014 at 01:21 AM · Gerard Causse and Antoine Tamestit

July 22, 2014 at 05:02 PM · I've always admired Roger Tapping. Best known (to me at least) as a long-time member of the Takacs quartet. When I heard them live (many years ago) I found myself 'following' the viola line for much of the time, and greatly admiring his sound and the way it projected through the ensemble without ever being over-dominant.

July 23, 2014 at 04:50 PM · Tabea Zimmermann, Lawrence Power, Garth Knox, Kim Kashkashian, Roberto Diaz...

July 23, 2014 at 07:34 PM · Barbara Buntrock.young German violist.Listen at her rec.on Spotify

July 24, 2014 at 03:16 AM · Sune: Appreciate your information about Barbara Buntrock. I loved her playing and the sound of her viola - a 1650 Antonio Mariani from her web site. Her father is a luthier and I hope she can find out the body length, string length, height of sides, and widths of upper, middle and lower bouts. Charles

July 24, 2014 at 03:17 AM · Sune: Appreciate your information about Barbara Buntrock. I loved her playing and the sound of her viola - a 1650 Antonio Mariani from her web site. Her father is a luthier and I hope she can find out the body length, string length, height of sides, and widths of upper, middle and lower bouts. Charles

July 24, 2014 at 07:18 AM · Peter Williamson - I did know Rogger Tapping when he was in the Takacs and in fact played to him in quartet classes once or twice. I was surprised when I heard he had left the quartet and on enquiring after a concert in London they (Takacs) told me he was teaching somewhere in the US. He was a pupil of Bruno Guirana after he left college in London.

The present violist in the Takacs is also a wonderful player, (Geraldine Walther) and a very nice lady - and she came from an orchestra in the US. (OK, she was principal). She is also playing on the Guadanini which I saw long before her as it belonged to my teacher at the R Academy of Muzak, here in London, in the 1960's. It's a small world!

July 26, 2014 at 02:12 AM · The man who is the concertmaster of st. Martin in the fields, not josh bell, I mean the head violinist, he seems very fine.

July 29, 2014 at 04:45 PM ·

David Capenter is still on my favorite violist list despite some negative comments on the Carpernter famly thread. I don't think he needs the hype or the money. He will do very well on his own, even playing on an excellent modern viola. Charles

July 29, 2014 at 08:22 PM · Surviving Gasparo violas are huge (ca 17"..)

Tertis played one for a while, as did Boriskovsky, and as does Gerard Caussé. The tone is usually deep and rich (not hollow or boomy). Elongated, with long f-holes. They have a nasal quality, which one may or may not like, compared to the surviving uncut Amatis. They have not been cut down, so were they less popular than Amatis?

If I ever had such a monster, I should play it 'cello-fashion..

His smaller models (for humans!) seem to have disappeared.

July 29, 2014 at 11:55 PM · There are very few around compared to Strads and can you tell me if they sound better than a Strad or is that an urban myth ?

Just a myth.

The only small Gasparo da Salo left, according to Maurice Riley, vol I was owned by Louis Keivman.

Riley presents in vol II a list of owners

of da Salo violas at the time of publication, 1991.

July 30, 2014 at 03:39 AM · I have heard Steven Tenebom of the Orion Quartet several times. He plays a da Salo viola and it does not look particularly large. When he plays it It really has a wonderful sound and projects beautifully.

According to Wikipedia da Salo made violas from 39 cm to 44.5 cm. (approx 15.3" to 17.5")

My guess is that Tenebom's viola is about 16"- but I haven' t seen it up close. Btw Tenebom is one of the ablest chamber violists I have eve heard.

July 31, 2014 at 02:47 AM · Kenji Bunch though he may be better known as a composer.

August 1, 2014 at 01:29 PM · Don't forget Pinchas Zukerman -- although he is an awesome violinist, he is also an incredible violist. He was David Aaron Carpenter's teacher

August 1, 2014 at 04:26 PM · My favorite violists are both from modern quartets: 1) Ethan Filner of the Cypress Quartet.

2) Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt from the Dover quartet. If you haven't heard or seen these quartets, I definitely recommend you check them out.

Righteous, powerful playing that is very satisfying.

August 11, 2014 at 07:50 PM · Just discovered Paul Neubauer.

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