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<<  -- 3 --  Bill Newman    AND YOUR COMPERE IS PAULA ROBISON!


How is it that Scott doesn't play so much? 'We met as players, professionally. Then Cupid struck!' How long ago? 'Oh, enough years, so we talk about it fondly! We continued to play together, and gradually it became a different thing. It turned into a long love affair, but it is always difficult to combine your married life with professional commitments, so we are very grateful that this has happened to us!

'Scott sold his Gaspar da Salo viola -- a great big instrument, almost the size of a small cello. He had been playing chamber music; then he became more interested in presenting concerts. His instrument took so much strength and effort to play, and he suddenly decided it was time to find it another home. Peter and Wendy Moos, of Dutch origin, made him a magnificent viola which he is very happy to play. It is slightly smaller and more comfortable -- quite a challenge!

'We started playing here in Spoleto in 1970, and at a certain point we were asked to become co-directors of the concerts. After ten years I asked Scott to be the sole Director, with me doing announcements. I wanted to play more, as this was one of my passions.

'Scott is a great director and organiser. He is preparing artists well in advance and is, in fact, thinking and working at it for the whole year. He is also running concerts for the Isobel Stewart Gardner series in Boston -- some sixty events each year for young artists. They form part of the New World Symphony Orchestra which Michael Tilson Thomas conducts, and it was considered important for young musicians to have training in chamber music.

'He loves his work, and you can see the passion flare up in his face when he hears them play.' Like me, he also starts pacing up and down, getting more and more excited. 'Yes, I wouldn't like standing around at concerts; much better to get myself moving, backstage!

Paula Robison. Photo: Bill Newman

'This year has been our best, so far, but I like to look back to some of the smaller series from the past where Yenif Bronfman and Joshua Bell, now international artists, had wonderful successes. Then, the slant was more American, but now we have the international contingent as well -- France, the UK, and Asia with its string players. Our viola player is from Tai Wan, the cellist from Korea. They all interchange. It's like a great chef with his wonderful brew. Something to nourish you; whet your appetites for nice desserts. Call it "soul food". We still have to continue to search out young players. That's important!'

Copyright © 24 May 2002 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK







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