The primary objective of my sabbatical is to travel to Russia in 2006-2007 to continue research on music written for viola and piano by twentieth-century Russian-Soviet composers. This music represents a vital part of the Russian musical legacy, but has been lost or become inaccessible due to a scarcity of reprints and recordings. My goal is to bring this music back to the stage and preserve it through recording. Although some of the composers are very well - known in Russia, Western musicians are not familiar with their work. The performance and recording of this work will not only preserve this part of Russian cultural heritage but also significantly expand the viola repertoire.
I will perform three programs compiled from the best examples of this music in a series of lecture recitals in St. Petersburg and Moscow and record them with Melodia Recording Company in Moscow. I will conclude my residency in Russia by presenting a multimedia performance in collaboration with faculty and students of the Moscow M. Balakirev School of the Arts and based on materials found during my research. This performance will take place during the All Russian Conference of Arts Institutions and Organizations in June of 2007.
In addition, I will teach an orchestral excerpts course based on the unique method of Ellen Rose, Principal Violist of the Dallas Symphony. Even though these lectures are not part of my research project, I feel that while I am in Russia, it will be important for me to introduce this method to my Russian colleagues and their students and share with them my experience of using it with the students at Western Michigan University. Two institutions have invited me to work with their students: the Moscow State A.G. Shnitke Institute of Music and St.-Petersburg State Conservatory.