CONWAY — Mountain Top Music Center presents Viola Plus, the latest installment in the First Friday concert series, on June 1 at noon in the sanctuary of the Brown Church in Conway Village.
The concert will be curated and performed by Mountain Top’s new education director, Dr. Julia Howell.
Dr. Howell will present a varied, viola-centric sampler of solo and duo works both new and old, joined by Mountain Top colleagues Chris Nourse and Kate Vachon.
A short reception to welcome Dr. Howell will follow in the Fellowship Hall.
Dr. Howell, a composer and multi-instrumentalist, recently returned to the area after 15 years living far afield. She was previously involved in performing chamber and orchestral music at Mountain Top, and is thrilled to reunite with former fellow ensemble-members Nourse and Vachon for this concert.
The program will feature a kaleidoscopic selection of works, including Pulitzer-winning composer Caroline Shaw’s haunting meditation on the music of Thomas Tallis, “In manus tuas”; a movement from Paul Hindemith’s dark and tumultuous 1922 solo sonata, a landmark of the repertoire; Franz Anton Hoffmeister’s charming, dancelike duo for flute and viola from the 18th century; recent works for solo viola by Dr. Howell and fellow local composer Ken Turley; a lyrical and folk-inflected duet for two violins by Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů; and Hilary Tann’s work “The Cresset Stone," inspired by the architecture of the medieval cathedrals of Tann’s native Wales.
Mountain Top Music Center’s “First Friday Faculty and Friends” concerts are held at noon on the first Friday of each month at Conway Village Congregational Church (aka the Brown Church). Admission is free, though donations toward Mountain Top’s Majestic Theatre renovation campaign are gratefully accepted at the door.