Primrose International Viola Competition

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The Primrose International Viola Competition (PIVC), also referred to as the Primrose Memorial Scholarship Competition (PMSC), is an international music competition for viola players sponsored by the American Viola Society and named for the 20th-century virtuoso William Primrose.

The 15th Primrose International Viola Competition was held June 10–17, 2018 at the Colburn School in Los Angeles.[1]


International music competitions for instruments such as violin and piano had been held for decades. However, there was a void in the music world to recognize the viola as a major solo instrument. Because of a lack of substantial viola solo literature, the instrument's potential was not realized until the appearance of Lionel Tertis, considered the "father of viola playing". William Primrose continued in Tertis' footsteps of excellence in viola performance, catapulting the instrument on to the international stage. The Primrose International Viola Competition was created in 1979 created as the first competition for the instrument. In subsequent years other major viola competitions arose: the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, the now defunct Maurice Vieux International Viola Competition and, most recently, the Tokyo International Viola Competition.

The Primrose International Viola Competition has been held regularly since 1986, often in conjunction with biennial meetings of the North American Viola Congress. The competition currently makes its home in Los Angeles, California at the Colburn School. Eligible participants are 29 years and younger of any nationality. The competition involves three rounds during a week-long festival in which entrants perform a required work as well as several choices from a viola repertoire list that includes solo works, sonatas, concertos and transcriptions by Primrose.

PIVC / PMSC laureates[edit]

PIVC No. PMSC No. Year Location 1st Prize 2nd Prize 3rd Prize Notes / Jurists
15 2018 Colburn School
Los Angeles, California
South Korea Hae-Sue Lee United States Zoë Martin-Doike United Kingdom Leonid Plashinov-Johnson Jury: Lars Anders Tomter (Chairman), Roland Glassl, Kazuhide Isomura, Nokuthula Ngwenyama, Xidi Shen, Jon Nakamatsu
14 2014 Colburn School
Los Angeles, California
China Zhanbo Zheng France Manuel Vioque-Judde China Cong Wu Jury: Cathy Basrak, Martin Beaver, Claudine Bigelow, Caroline Coade, Wing Ho, Luis Magín, Massimo Paris, Cassandra Lynne Richburg, Pierre-Henri Xuereb
Honorable Mention: Hong Kong Born Lau, Japan Kei Tojo
13 2011 Robertson & Sons Violins
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico
United States Ayane Kozasa United States / Norway Elias Goldstein United States Vicki Powell Jury: Che-Yen Chen, Kirsten Docter, Wing Ho, Luis Magín, Karen Ritscher, Yitzhak Schotten, Barbara Westphal, Juliet White-Smith, Karin Brown
Honorable Mention: South Korea Da Kyung Kwak, United States Matthew Lipman
12 (11) 2008 Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona
Belgium Dimitri Murrath United States Emily Deans United States Molly Carr Held in conjunction with the 36th International Viola Congress.
Jury: Claudine Bigelow (Chairman), Ensik Choi, Bruno Pasquier, Carol Rodland, Eugene Sarbu, Amir Shiff, Steven Tenenbom
10 2005 Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah
United States Jennifer Stumm United States David Aaron Carpenter
United States David Kim
not awarded Jury: Matthew Dane (Chairman), Carol Rodland, Daniel Foster, Susan Dubois, Nokuthula Ngwenyama
Honorable Mention: China Yu Jin
9 2003 Samford University
Homewood, Alabama
Taiwan Che-Yen (Brian) Chen China Teng Li Germany Nils Mönkemeyer Jury: Helen Callus (Chairman), Barbara Hamilton, Michael Palumbo, Kathryn Steely, Dwight Pounds
Honorable Mention: United States Amalia Aubert, United States Abigail Evans
8 2001 Elmhurst College
Elmhurst, Illinois
France Antoine Tamestit Lithuania Ula Žebriūnaitė not awarded Jury: Ralph Fielding, Jerzy Kosmala, Charles Pikler, William Preucil, Juliet White-Smith
7 1999 University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario
United Kingdom Lawrence Power Germany Roland Glassl United States Elizabeth Freivogel Held in conjunction with the 27th International Viola Congress.
Jury: Ralph Aldrich, Alan deVeritch, Hartmut Lindemann, John White
6 1997 University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas
United States Christina Castelli United States Rita Porfiris United States Karin Brown Held in conjunction with the 25th International Viola Congress.
Jury: Karen Tuttle, Alan deVeritch, David Holland, Karen Ritscher
5 1995 Indiana University
Bloomington, Indiana
United States Catherine Basrak United States Joan DerHovsepian Taiwan / United States Scott Lee Held in conjunction with the 23rd International Viola Congress.
Jury: Donna Lively Clark, James Dunham, Csaba Erdélyi, Abram Skernick, Thomas Tatton, Marcus Thompson
4 1993 Northwestern University
Evanston, Illinois
United States Nokuthula Ngwenyama United States Kathryn Lockwood not awarded Held in conjunction with the 21st International Viola Congress.
Jury: William Preucil (Chairman), David Dalton, Mary Arlin, Paul Coletti, William Magers, Thomas Tatton
3 1991 Ithaca College
Ithaca, New York
United States Kirsten Docter Hong Kong Kin-Fung Leung not awarded Held in conjunction with the 19th International Viola Congress.
Jury: Emanuel Vardi (Chairman), Harold Coletta, David Dalton, Rosemary Glyde, Pamela Goldsmith, John White
2 1989 University of Redlands
Redlands, California
United States Daniel Foster China Ming Pak China Kai Tang Held in conjunction with the 17th International Viola Congress.
Jury: Louis Kievman (Chairman), David Dalton, Alan deVeritch, Roberto Díaz, Rosemary Glyde, Donald McInnes, Dwight Pounds, Sven Reher, Karen Tuttle
1 1987 University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
United States Lynne Richburg United Kingdom Carla-Maria Rodrigues Greece Paris Anastasiadis Held in conjunction with the 15th International Viola Congress.
Jury: Robert Oppelt (Chairman), David Dalton, Rosemary Glyde, Nathan Gordon, Louis Kievman, Dwight Pounds, Ann Woodward
1 1979 Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah
United States Geraldine Walther Japan Jun Takahira United States Patricia McCarty Jury: William Primrose, Ralph Aldrich, Joseph de Pasquale

Required composition[edit]

A compulsory work to be performed by all competitors has been selected for some competitions.

  • 2014 – Aldonza, Movement II from the Viola Concerto (2013) by Christian Colberg (b. 1968); Christian Colberg website
  • 2011 – Inner Voices for viola solo (2011) by Peter Askim (b. 1971); published by American Viola Society
  • 2008 – Recitative for viola solo (2007) by Scott Slapin (b. 1974); published by Liben Music Publishers
  • 1991 – Aria and Allegro for viola and string orchestra (1990) by Richard Lane (1933–2004)
  • 1989 – Concerto for Viola and Orchestra (1989) by Wayne Bohrnstedt (b. 1923)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ AVS Primrose Competition news Retrieved 16 April 2017.

External links[edit]