2013 Annual Journal

Journal of the British Viola Society

A publication of the British Viola Society

September 2013


1.The BVS President, Dr Louise Lansdown reports on activities during the 2012/13 year.

2. Dr Michael Vidulichreports on the Role of the International Viola Society.

3. Two articles about the influence of 19th Century viola players:

3.1. David Bynog discusses Emil Kreuz

3.2. Tully Potter assesses the playing of Alfred Hobday

4. A pair of articles about British viola music:

4.1. Martin Outram considers the viola music of Frank Bridge and Benjamin Britten

4.2 Michael Freyhan reviews new publications by John White on Lionel Tertis and viola works by York Bowen, Ireland and Alwyn

5. A trio of musings from the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition 2013. Read highlights from the 11th competition in articles by:

6. Natalie Wing and Robin Ireland discuss promoting the Viola in the British Regions – Viola Workshops in South Yorkshire.

7. Author Biographies


The British Viola Society Journal is published annually.  It provides an opportunity to share research on the viola; assess the influence and styles of violists over time, and review new sheet music and other publications.

For 2013 we are delighted to provide access to the individual articles listed in the Contents page online.

Below you will find an introduction to each chapter, which gives a taste of the content. Click on the article to read the full document.

We wish to thank all the players and academics that have contributed articles.  Relevant biographies can be found in Chapter 7.

If you would prefer to read the journal as a paper copy, please contact us.  A pdf version is also available on this web site.

The British Viola Society welcomes submissions of well-written articles that are interesting, informative, or entertaining on all aspects relevant to the viola including pedagogy, repertoire, biography, lutherie, history, etc.  Please contact us for submission deadlines.

Chapter 1. President’s Report: 2012/13
Dr. Louise Lansdown writes:

The British Viola Society is about to celebrate its first birthday and we are thrilled to be able to report many changes, developments and much more to look forward to…READ MORE

Chapter 2. International Viola Society (IVS) News

Dr Michael Vidulich writes:

A little over fifteen years ago the International Viola Society (IVS) was formed… This year’s International Viola Congress will be held in Kraków, POLAND- 11 to 15 September and looks like it will be an ‘excellent’ Congress indeed.  For more information and to find out how to get involved in the IVS, READ HERE

Chapter 3. Influential Violists

Emil Kreuz and the Advancement of the Viola in Nineteenth-Century Britain

Emil Kreuz, c. 1900 (photo courtesy of the author)

David Bynog writes about the influence of German-born viola player, Emil Kreuz, who in 1888, became the first student at the Royal College of Music to graduate on the viola.

The advent of Lionel Tertis as a concert soloist at the beginning of the twentieth century radically altered the perception of the viola and violists…READ MORE





Alfred Hobday – a Valuable Violist

Tully Potter writes about the performances of 19th century  British  viola player, Alfred Hobday, who won a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music in 1886.

Born at Faversham, Kent, on 19 April 1870, Alfred Charles Hobday was a member of a distinguished musical family…READ MORE

Chapter 4.  Violists and Viola Publications

Frank Bridge and Benjamin Britten: music for viola

Martin Outram writes:

It is well known that throughout musical history a number of the greatest composers have played the viola. Sadly, many who might have written solo works for the instrument neglected to do so. However, two of England’s most accomplished composers, Frank Bridge (1879 – 1941) and Benjamin Britten (1913 – 1976) left a substantial repertory of high quality music for their chosen string instrument…READ MORE 

New Publications- Tertis, York Bowen, Ireland and Alwyn

Michael Freyhan reviews  new publications of works by Tertis, York Bowen, Ireland and Alwyn.  Edited by John White with helpful background information given in the Prefaces, these publications    reinvigorate the viola repertoire of the last century.

Not only was Lionel Tertis a great player but a formidable fighter for the acceptance of the viola as a solo instrument. He made it a point of honour to increase the repertoire, focusing especially on the provision of short recital pieces with piano..READ MORE

Chapter 5. Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition 2013

Highlights from the 11th Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition
Competition Director, Dr. John Bethell writes:

11th Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition 2013

This was the 11th celebration of the life of Lionel Tertis, the Father of the Viola which was held in the Erin Arts Centre in Port Erin, Isle of Man during the week 16 – 23 March 2013…READ MORE

A DVD  of the competition can be ordered by post or email from the Erin Arts Centre, Isle of Man. This includes a complete performance of the set work for the Competition “Six Sorano Variations for solo viola”, played by the Winner of the 2013 Competition Ziyu Shen (China).

To order, click on the order form link and complete your details.


Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition 16-23 March 2013

Workshop director, Dr. Louise Lansdown writes:

Friday 15 MarchArrive on the Isle of Man for a unique event ….an International Viola Competition on a tiny island with violists travelling from across the globe to this gloriously removed haven…READ MORE

A competitor’s reflection on the 2013 Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition

Competitor Laura Seay writes:

I have known about the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and Festival for years – it is known as one of the most prestigious competitions and is respected throughout the musical community….READ MORE

Chapter 6.  Promoting the Viola in the British Regions  

Viola workshops in South Yorkshire

Natalie Wing and Robin Ireland write:

In the summer of 2005, four of us, viola-playing friends, met to discuss the possibility of setting up a series of viola workshops. There seemed to be plenty of opportunities for violinists and cellists, but viola players, at least in our area, had been rather neglected…READ MORE



Chapter 7. Contributors to the 2013 BVS Journal – Biographies

Dr. Louise Lansdown: Louise is the founder and President of the English Viola Society (now British Viola Society), which started in September 2007, and was appointed Secretary of the International Viola Society in 2010. She was appointed Head of Strings at Birmingham Conservatoire in July 2012 after working as Senior Lecturer at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester from 2001-2012. Louise is Assistant Artistic Director of Pro Corda, the International Chamber Music Academy based at Leiston Abbey, Suffolk and Director of the Musical Encounters and Viola Courses. Louise was awarded a PhD from the University of Manchester in 2008 with the title: ‘The Young Paul Hindemith: Life, Works, Relationships, Influences and Musical Activities until 1922.’ She is a member of the Manchester based Pleyel Ensemble and plays on an eighteenth century French Viola, formerly belonging to Cecil Aronowitz, the first Head of Strings at the RNCM.

Dr Michael Vidulich, Q.S.M. works for the New Zealand Ministry of Education as Director of the Auckland Itinerant Music Service. He is the violist with the Auckland City String Quartet, Auckland Chamber Ensemble and is principal viola with the Auckland Chamber Orchestra and Waitakere City Orchestra. Dr Vidulich is also a composer, music arranger, music adjudicator, conductor and often performs as a viola soloist with numerous community orchestras.

He studied viola with Sanford Schoenbach, William Primrose and Pamela Goldsmith, composition with Byong-yon Kim, conducting with Seiji Ozawa and chamber music with Dominick DiSarro. He holds a doctorate in music education, a masters degree in music performance and music education, two bachelors degrees (history and music) and an advanced diploma in teaching. Dr Vidulich was a UNESCO scholar and has been made a Fellow of the International Biographical Association, UK (FIBA) and is an Associate of the Institute of Registered Music Teachers, NZ (AIRMT). In 2008 he was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal (Q.S.M.) of the Queen’s Service Order by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to music.

Dr Vidulich served two terms as President of the International Viola Society (2005-2007 & 2008-2010) and has been awarded both an IVS Special Award and the IVS Silver Alto Clef for services to the viola.

David M. Bynog has served as editor of the Journal of the American Viola Society since 2008 and has researched and published extensively on topics related to the viola in Britain and America from the eighteenth through to the twentieth centuries. A librarian by profession, he is an active freelance violist in the Houston area and has taught graduate musicology courses at the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, and the Moores School of Music, University of Houston.

Tully Potter: has been a professional journalist for more than 50 years. He has written for various international musical journals, notably The Strad, and for 11 years he edited the quarterly magazine Classic Record Collector. He has made a special study of performing practice as revealed in historic recordings, especially of vocal, string and chamber music, and has given illustrated talks in many countries. His two-volume biography of Adolf Busch was published in 2010 and he is preparing a book on the great quartet ensembles.

Martin Outram:  Martin Outram studied at Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music. He is a member of the internationally renowned Maggini Quartet and also appears regularly as a soloist. He has recorded over forty discs with the quartet and other chamber music ensembles and has been the recipient of the Gramaphone Award, the Diapason d’Or, a Cannes Classical Award, three Grammy nominations and the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for chamber music. His solo discs have been widely acclaimed, including five star reviews in the BBC Music Magazine, Gramaphone and Strad magazines. Several works have been written for him, including concertos by Adam Gorb and David Gow. He has appeared as a concerto soloist at the Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall and performed on tour in South America as a soloist with the Britten Sinfonia. His recital partner is Julian Rolton, with whom he has given recitals at international viola competitions and congresses. He has given masterclasses in Germany, Sweden, Norway, Poland and the USA and is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music and an Honorary Fellow of Brunel and Canterbury Christ Church Universities. He plays on a very fine viola by Henricus Catenar, made in Turin in 1680.

Michael Freyhan studied piano with Denis Matthews and violin with Manoug Parikian, while acquiring a music degree at Cambridge. He performs as a pianist and harpsichordist, but in former years also worked as a freelance violinist and viola player, touring and giving concerts and broadcasts in five continents.

His special interest is in chamber music. He has been a coach at Pro Corda for many years and was the first Director of Music at the Purcell School. He has contributed to the inauguration of new courses at the RAM, has worked in opera, as a repetiteur at Glyndebourne, and has written and lectured in Europe and America on his musicological researches.

John Bethell is a  Mancunian.  His early  life was as an organist and chorimaster at two City churches. In 1957 he joined the BBC in Manchester and was appointed Music Librarian, North, a position he held until August 1990. He then took up full time residency on the Isle of Man to devote his time fully at the Erin Arts Centre. He  pioneered the creation of the Erin Arts Centre in Port Erin in 1971 and is its Founder Chairman.  He was a member of the Isle of Man Arts Council from 1966 to  January 2000.

John  is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Manx Festival Chorus, founded in 1967 and Hon. Administration Director  of  the Isle of Man  International Competitions and Workshops for :

  • Double Bass,  between 1978 – 1982;
  • Viola, a triennial  competition, founded in 1980 , named after the great viola player Lionel Tertis; and
  • since 2005, the Barbirolli Oboe Festival and Competition, the next being in April 2014.

In 1988 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music by the Marquis Giuseppe Scicluna International University Foundation and in 1990 the Albert Einstein International Academy Foundation Medal for his services to music. In  2001 he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) .

Natalie Wing lives on a smallholding in a village near Rotherham in South Yorkshire, where for many years she and her late partner were nearly self sufficient, apart from French wine! She still keeps several animals as pets, including two much-loved dogs, and has great pleasure in their company.

She studied at Bristol and Reading Universities and worked for the Doncaster Music Service, both teaching and in admin. Since retiring, she has been a viola pupil of Robin Ireland and helps with the organisation of his termly viola workshops in South Yorkshire and string orchestra workshops in Sheffield and Nottingham. Though limited in her playing now, she enjoys playing chamber music and taking part in Robin’s workshops.

Robin Ireland is best known as the viola player of the Lindsay String Quartet, with whom he played for twenty years. He now performs widely as a soloist and chamber musician, particularly with the Primrose Piano Quartet, the Anton Stadler Trio, and with his Duo partner, pianist Tim Horton.

He is Senior Viola Tutor and Head of Chamber Music at Birmingham Conservatoire and also teaches at the University of Sheffield and privately. He tutors viola workshops, directs string orchestra workshops, coaches chamber music groups, adjudicates, and gives viola masterclasses. He composes when time permits and plays on a 400 year old Amati viola which his father passed on to him 14 years ago. He lives in Sheffield.

To read in pdf, click here.