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Kia ora and welcome to the 44th International Viola Congress schedule! The 44th IVC was held from September 1-5, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. To view our programme online, please click here. For more information visit our website or contact IVCWgtn2017@gmail.com.
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Friday, September 1 • 17:00 - 17:50
Lecture Recital: "Contemporary New Zealand works for voice and viola"

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The viola and female singer have many similarities of range, timbre and technical approaches. However, despite the viola being the closest instrument in register tothe human voice, very few works have been written specifically for singer and viola except in the context of larger ensembles. Recently, though, there has been growing interest by NZ composers in exploiting the possibilities of this unusual combination. In this lecture recital, sisters violist Sophia Acheson and mezzo-soprano Helen Acheson will discuss the parallels between the viola and voice and demonstrate ways in which a selection of mostly contemporary NZ composers write for the two complementary timbres. In some works, the viola becomes a bassline, in others, the two parts are seamlessly interweaving in a similar pitch range, in others the differences of timbres are clearly exploited (sul pont tremolo against shouting). Sometimes the singer has words, other times open vowels to mimic the viola tone.This selection of works is intended to show the possibilities of the singer and violistas a duo and the types of writing for the combination in NZ.

Sophia Acheson, from Christchurch, NZ, studied performance viola in Wellington where she graduated with first class honours. She was then invited to study in Barcelona with Ashan Pillai, violist with Pinchas Zukerman Chamber Players, and was subsequently  awarded scholarships to study with Donald McInnes at the University of Southern California and later with Roger Myers at the University of Texas at Austin. During this period she furthered an interest in early music, learning the viola d'amore and viola da gamba, performing solo in the US at Berkeley and Evanston, and since her return to NZ, in Auckland. 

Since 2012, Sophia has enjoyed  working as a freelance musician with the Auckland Philharmonia, Auckland Chamber Orchestra, Bach Musica and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, until her appointment in 2014 as principal violist of Orchestra Wellington. Apart from orchestral work, Sophiais also keen to continue her interest in chamber music with Toru, a harp, flute and viola trio, and Kiwa String Quartet.



Helen Acheson (mezzo soprano) sings in ensembles including Voices (the NewZealand Chamber Choir) and a professional vocal quartet. As a soloist, she has aparticular interest in contemporary repertoire and her most recent roles have beenin Eve de Castro Robinson’s opera Len Lye, and Chris Adams’s River Lavalle.

Performers
avatar for Helen Acheson

Helen Acheson

Helen Acheson (mezzo soprano) sings in ensembles including Voices (the New Zealand Chamber Choir) and a professional vocal quartet. As a soloist, she has a particular interest in contemporary repertoire and her most recent roles have been in Eve de Castro Robinson’s opera Len... Read More →
avatar for Sophia Acheson

Sophia Acheson

Principal Viola, Orchestra Wellington
Sophia Acheson, from Christchurch, NZ, studied performance viola in Wellington where she graduated with first class honours. She was then invited to study in Barcelona with Ashan Pillai, violist with Pinchas Zukerman Chamber Players, and was subsequently  awarded scholarships to... Read More →

Congress Interns

Friday September 1, 2017 17:00 - 17:50 NZST
St Andrew's on The Terrace (Hall)