Announcing our Virtual Concert Series!

We're still here for you!


We're not letting Covid 19 stop us from continuing to bring you beautiful classical music! We're pleased to announce our new virtual concert series for all to enjoy FREE! On the first Sunday of each month, we'll be featuring the artists who were originally scheduled to perform so you don't miss a thing!

This Month's Featured Artist

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Roberto Díaz, violist

What’s the difference between a viola and a trampoline?  (Read on -  answer below). Violists must be so tired of viola jokes, mostly made up, we suspect, by jealous violinists.  A few years back, Roberto Díaz put on a magnificent concert here in Brookings which showed us what a wonderful instrument the viola is.  He was scheduled to perform here again during the canceled 2021 season, but luckily for us, he has agreed to come back in 2022.
Roberto Díaz  is a Chilean-American violist and the president/director of the Curtis Institute of Music, of which he is an alumnus.  Under Mr. Díaz’s leadership, Curtis has developed lasting collaborations with other music and arts institutions in Philadelphia and throughout the world, and has established a dynamic social entrepreneurship curriculum, supported by an Advancement Grant from The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage.
Díaz is one of the most respected violists of all time.  From 1996 to 2006 he held the position of principal violist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and has been principal viola of the National Symphony under Mstislav Rostropovich, a member of the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa, and a member of the Minnesota Orchestra under Neville Marriner. He has also been concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.  He plays on the 1600 Antonio & Girolamo Amati “ex-Primrose” viola, one of the oldest and most famous violas in the world.  He sometimes plays recitals on a viola made here in Brookings, but that’s a whole other story.
And the difference between a viola and a trampoline?  You take your shoes off to jump on a trampoline.
OK, one more.  What’s the definition of “perfect pitch”?  Throwing a viola into a dumpster without hitting the rim.   
And now, enjoy these samples of Mr. Díaz’ performances, proving that probably the violists should be making the jokes rather enduring them.

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First, introducing Roberto the man, and his thoughts about the state of classical music:
Díaz said that his other favorite classical composer is J. S. Bach.  While we
could find no Bach recordings by Díaz, we did find a great recording of the famous  Bach-inspired aria from Bachianas Brasilieras by  Heitor Villa-Lobos :
Then one of his favorite pieces, the Brahms Sonata in E flat for Viola and Piano, Op. 120 No. 2
Finally, Díaz has made much of his fame by playing the entire viola concerto repertoire with many of the major orchestras of the world.  Here is one of the most frequently played, that by William Walton:
We at Friends of Music hope that you have come to appreciate the viola if you didn’t before, and that you will come to see one of its most distinguished practitioners on March 20, 2022.