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BYU hosts Primrose Viola Competition and Festival May 24-28

The International Primrose Viola Competition and Festival of the American Viola Society and Utah Viola Society will be held at Brigham Young University Tuesday through Saturday, May 24-28.

Festival activities events include master classes, lectures, demonstrations, tours of the Primrose Viola Archives on the BYU campus and four evening recitals dedicated to William Primrose.

Admission to the daytime events is by registration for $100 for the week or $20 per day, available online at or at the Madsen Recital Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center. A detailed schedule of the festival may be viewed at this same site.

Scheduled recitalists include:

  • Tuesday, Nokuthula Ngwenyama, recognized as one of the foremost instrumentalists of her generation.

  • Wednesday, Daniel Foster, principal violist of the National Symphony Orchestra.

  • Thursday, Brant Bayless, a member of the Utah Symphony.

  • Friday, Michael Fernandez, principal violist of the Alabama Symphony.

  • Saturday, a showcase of the top three prizewinners of the Primrose Viola Competition, selected from 53 international competitors. The four evening recitals and the Saturday competition showcase are $10 ($8 with BYU or student ID) on sale now at the Fine Arts Ticket Office, (801) 378-4322 or online at All public performances will be held in the Madsen Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m.

    In addition, a Saturday 2 p.m. matinee with BYU faculty members Christian Asplund, viola, and Eric Hansen, bass, will feature Asplund's eclectic compositions that have elements of experimental music, blues, free jazz and hymnody. All seats for this performance are $5.

    "I am so excited for the competition and festival. There is such a wonderfully talented group of musicians coming to perform," said Claudine Bigelow, BYU School of Music viola faculty member and festival organizer.

    William Primrose (1904-1982), the virtuoso soloist for whom the festival and competition are named, served on the faculties of the Curtis Institute of Music, University of Southern California, Indiana University, Tokyo University, and for his last three years, BYU.

    For more information, contact Claudine Bigelow at (801) 422-1315.

    Writer: James McCoy


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