The viola is slightly larger than a violin in size, has a lower and deeper sound than a violin and is also an excellent and frequent choice for violinists who enjoy a richer and bigger sound. Since the 18th century it has been the middle voice of the violin family, between the violin and the cello.
A person who plays the Viola is a Violist, or a Viola player.
Mozart, Brahms, and Schumann wrote music for Viola, and in the earlier part of the 20th century William Walton, Bohuslav Martinů and Béla Bartók wrote well-known viola concertos.
Great Violists include William Primrose, Nobuko Imai, Yuri Bashmet, and Pichas Zukerman.
The French violist Virginie d’Avezac began her musical studies with the Piano at the age of 5 and entered the Bordeaux National Conservatory at the age of 10. At 14, she found her true musical calling and began studying the viola. She received first prizes from the Bordeaux Conservatory in viola, chamber music, harmony, and counterpoint. Virginie studied with two of France’s most respected violists, Tasso Adamopoulos and Serge Collot. She has played in many prominent orchestras across France and North Africa, including the National Orchestra of Ile de France, the National Orchestra of Bordeaux, the Youth Orchestra of the Mediterranean and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Morocco. For 6 years, Virginie was the professor of viola and violin at the Cognac Conservatory of Music and was the conductor of the school’s string orchestra. An avid chamber musician, Virginie performs regularly with the pianist Zachary Deak. In September 2012, the Magnolia quartet of which she is a founding member was admitted to study at the prestigious European center of chamber music, Proquartet, in Paris. They have participated in Master Classes and received encouragement from such musical figures as Guy Danel (Danel quartet), Vaclav Remes (former first violin and founding member of the Prazak Quartet), Eric Robberecht (violin solo of “la Monnaie” symphony orchestra in Brussels), Günther Pichler and Valentin Erben (Alban Berg quartet), and Louis Fima (Arpegione quartet). Since her arrival in Los Angeles in February 2016, Virginie has been playing with Kaleidoscope, Lyra Chamber orchestra and the LA Jewish Symphony and she has joined the String Mob ensemble for several music scoring. She is also the new principal viola of Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra and a new violin/viola teacher at the Santa Monica Conservatory. Interested in many different styles of music, Virginie has performed with pop singers as Rivkah, Baden-Baden and Marie-Flore, the Malagasy artist Erick Manana, the tango group Tengo tango, and the French rock singer
Evan Hesketh, violinist/violist, has been teaching for the past nine years with the goal to “share my passion and enthusiasm for music with others. As a teacher, I am fully invested in my students and strive to ensure that lessons not only hone their technical skills, ut also develop and nurture their musicality and creativity. I want my students to be both inspired and challenged by their lessons – if they can’t wait to take their instrument out of the case then I know I’m doing my job!”
He teaches students ranging from near beginners to high school students. While a graduate student in Cleveland, he mentored viola students at the Cleveland School for the Arts, an inner-city performing arts middle and high school. As a conductor, he has worked with high school orchestra and band students as a guest clinician.
Evan brings extensive experience as a performer to his teaching. I hold a masters degree in viola performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, as well as a masters degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Victoria (Canada). He has played in professional orchestras as a violinist and violist for the past eight years, was a prizewinner at both the Fischoff and Coleman chamber music competitions, and has performed in master classes for many notable artists, including Pinchas Zukerman. Additionally, he has conducted orchestras in Canada, Europe, and the United States.