BVS President’s Annual Report 2013/14

It was with great sadness that the Society and the Viola world received the news of the passing of John White, on 1st December 2013.  John founded the English Viola Society and enthusiastically supported its transition as it became the British Viola Society in 2012.  He remained our Honorary President up to his death.

Michael Freyhan has written a Tribute to John in this Journal, so do make sure you look this up.

A big thank you to all on the BVS Committee, who have been simply wonderful over the year helping with membership, journal, website and absolutely everything.

Our BVS Team is below – do look up a little more about the team on our website.

 Ian Jewel – Patron

Louise Lansdown – President

Martin Outram – Vice-President

Sue Douglas – Secretary

Michael Freyhan – Treasurer

Janet Pazio (Executive Secretary – Membership)

Ben Lawrence (Executive Secretary – Facebook)

Laura Sinnerton (Executive Secretary – Twitter)

The BVS Team has been working hard to enhance our membership perks, discounts, gifts and involvement.  Every member receives an e-newsletter each month in which we promote and advertise violistic events and news of interest to our members

The BVS membership has increased steadily throughout the year, including members from overseas.  We have very strong connections in very specific parts of the UK and are building up our contacts in Wales, Scotland and Ireland.  It is a pleasure to find so many interested violists from across the country keen to get involved and help us with our viola mission.

Due to the efforts of Ben Lawrence (Executive Secretary – Facebook) we now have over 500 members on the BVS Facebook Group and this is steadily growing.  Laura Sinnerton keeps us in the public eye with regular Twitter ‘Tweets’.

Ben has also organised  Viola Ensemble Days in Huddersfield and we held an amazing Viola Day at the Birmingham Conservatoire in January 2014.

Our next big event is the Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition for violists aged 21 years and under.  This is a new Competition in memory of Cecil Aronowitz, the South African violist and long-term collaborator with Benjamin Britten, who made many famous recordings with the Amadeus Quartet, Melos Ensemble, Janet Baker to name just a few.

The semifinals and final rounds will take place at Birmingham Conservatoire from 24-26 October 2014.  It has been a requirement of entry to the competition that the entrants must be members of the British Viola Society.

The BVS is a section of the International Viola Society and we pay 7% of the dues we take from our members to the IVS each year.  This privilege permits us to offer presentations at every International Viola Congress.  These congresses are held once a year in a different part of the world.

The Society was represented at the 41st Congress in Krakow, Poland in 2013 and we will also be attending the 42nd Congress in Porto from 26th-30th November 2014.  Two proposals from the British Viola Society will be presented to this Congress.

The BVS Team all hope that you enjoy our diverse and action-packed viola journal!  Many thanks to all who have contributed and we look forward to the continuing support of violists across the UK!

Dr Louise Lansdown

BVS President