Dwight Pounds’ Tribute to John White

Dwight writes:

“John’s dignity and dedication to the tasks at hand, whether in behalf of the viola or for cricket, were something to behold, evidenced not only by his books and editions of British viola music, but by the herculean task of having organized four international viola congresses.  He is the only person to date to attempt—much less accomplish—such a feat.

There is this to remember as John White’s ashes are committed back to the precious soil of Yorkshire: he stood too tall, his shadow was too long and his voice too strong to be contained by muted earth. Anytime I read from Lionel Tertis or the Anthology, his voice will be heard with each word. If I glance at Melanie Strover’s portrait of John holding his Tertis biography, he will speak to me in his own hand, “To my ‘old’ friend. . . .” .

When I hear performances of twentieth-century British viola music—Anthony Collins, Margaret Hubicki, Alan Rawsthorne, Kenneth Harding, Gordon Jacob, into which he breathed new life well into his final illness—John will be holding the instrument and bow . . . though he never played a single note in my presence. As long as the history of our instrument endures, John White will be remembered as one of the great servants of the viola, and I rather imagine that it will be remembered in Great Britain so long as a single viola player remains alive in the country.”