An Interview with Carlos Maria Solare, President of the International Viola Society


“That the viola is the Cinderella of musical instruments is a legend which is no longer sustainable”, says Carlos Maria Solare, President of the International Viola Society. Born in Buenos Aires, he studied violin and viola at the Conservatorio Nacional. Later he moved to Germany where he pursued his viola studies and dedicated himself to musicology and German Studies at the Freie Universität di Berlino. His principal mentors include Tomás Tichauer and Bruno Giuranna, along with Ulrich Koch in masterclasses and Marianne Kubitschek for the baroque viola and the viola d’amore. In the field of musicology: Jürgen Maehder (his principal teacher) and scholars such as Philip Gossett and Sieghart Döhring whom he met at congresses. Other musicians who have profoundly influenced him are David Dalton, Kim Kashkashian, Donald McInnes, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Marcello Viotti, John White and Tabea Zimmermann. Today he is a freelancer on the viola and viola d’amore and as a musicologist/ journalist, and conducts research on aspects of the viola and viola d’amore repertoire. His research also includes opera history, especially that of the Spanish Baroque and the nineteenth to early twentieth century.

“I’m glad to be able to do something that is of benefit to the future development of research, as well as being able to play a good concert”, says Solare. “The world of the viola has developed considerably over the course of my professional career: today there are sources of information that were unthinkable 30 or 40 years ago. A large amount of forgotten repertoire (one aspect that is particularly dear to me is English music from the early 1900’s written for Lionel Tertis); but also many new works have been composed in recent years with almost a snowball effect. The contact and exchange between different schools is more intense.”

As president of the International Viola Association what do you expect from Congress? Collegiality, collaboration and confrontation between violists are the most important aspects of the congresses. The International Viola Society, the various national viola associations and the conferences themselves create the opportunity to learn from each other, begin collaborations between people from different cultural backgrounds, and discover what is going on in other parts of the world. This congress in Cremona is my 28th Congress – the first one was in 1980 in Graz (Austria). In Cremona I expect to find violists – and not only Italians – who I still do not know: it is important that there are more and more violists who build a network of musical and personal relationships between musicians and schools. For this, to the participants and young violists, my advice is to always be curious and open to the world.

always be curious and open to the world.

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