The viola quintet sticks to the B’s: Bruckner, Beethoven and Bhrams

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The viola quintet played pieces by Bruckner, Beethoven, and Brahms in Caruth Auditorium Feb. 21.

An audience of 69 people attended to hear the performance,Never Enough Violas,” performed by seven professionals, SMU professors, students and alumni.

Aaron Boyd, SMU professor and first violinist, explained his love for the viola quintet as having the most beautiful repertoire. The viola quintet includes two violins, two violas, and one cello.

“On the whole, my favorite works of chamber music are from the viola quintet repertoire,” Boyd said.

The viola is part of the violin family. It looks and is played very similarly to a violin. It is known for its more alto sound. The viola is often paired with the cello and violin and helps to compliment and balance the two instruments with its slightly lower and deeper sound.

Boyd explained the viola quintet is significant because of the quintet itself. He said that that composers are intimidated by the string quartet form. Many composers believed it required extreme perfection and it was difficult being compared to such supreme music makers like Mozart. However, the viola quintet added a sort of freedom for many. It released them from having to strive for utter perfection since there was no precedent.

“They were free to explore it,” Boyd said.

That evening three pieces were played by the quintet. In the first half, “Intermezzo in D minor (WAB 113)” by Anton Bruckner and “String Quintet in C major, OP. 29” by Ludwig van Beethoven were performed. Proceeding the intermission “String Quintet No. 2 in G major, Op. 111” by Johannes Brahms was played.

Among the artists, two SMU students were represented in the evening’s performance. Eleanor Dunbar, 19, is earning a Bachelor’s degree in violin performance. The other SMU student is Hau Haung, who played the cello for the first half of the show.

Jiah Kyun, an SMU graduate student, in her second year as a Viola Performer Diploma in the Meadows School of the Arts, said the event went very well.

“This was an unforgettable experience which I was very grateful to have this opportunity hopefully there will be more opportunities like these events in the future,” Kyun said.

The other professional performers included Pierre Lapointe, who played the first viola in the first half and Ann Marie Brink, who played the first viola in the second half. Theodore Harvey played the cello in the second half of the show as well.

Boyd explained that for his students it is important that they treat these concerts the way a professional would especially since they would be playing with professionals.

“They have to come in and be prepared to play at the highest level,” Boyd said.

Boyd’s advice to the SMU student population was to show up and be there and get out of their rooms.

“Go out and go hear music live. It really is the only way to experience music. Anything else is a postcard,” Boyd said.

The next concert in this series, “Meadows Distinguished Performer Concert Series Aaron Boyd and Friends,” will be Monday, April 23 in Caruth Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.

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