The predecessor of the International Viola d’amore Society e.V. was the Viola d’amore Society of America, which was founded in 1977 by Myron Rosenblum and Daniel Thomason †, as an answer to the growing interest in the viola d’amore, its music, history and its place in the contemporary music scene.
Since around 1950, interest in the viola d’amore has grown, with an increasing number of performers and performances; more published music for solo and chamber works for this instrument; the publication of academic articles on the viola d’amore and related topics; the inclusion of the viola d’amore as a legitimate course of study at colleges, universities, conservatories and in summer courses; and the construction of the instrument by violin makers.
Early music has experienced a healthy revival, with the viola d’amore more frequently appearing in ensembles specialising in music of the baroque and classical periods, where players perform on restored instruments and use instruments intended by the composers.
The Viola d’amore Society of America and the International Viola d’amore Society e.V. have published two newsletters every year since their foundation. Each issue contains relevant and interesting information for viola d’amore musicians, for example, academic articles, information on rediscovered viola d’amore music in libraries or collections, newly published music, information on recently published books and advertisements for instruments and bows from commercial and private sources. The biennial International Viola d’amore Congresses attract a continually increasing number of viola d’amore fans from all over the world.
Over the years, an increasing number of musicians from all over the world have joined the Viola d’amore Society of America and therefore, at the 14th International Viola d’amore Congress in 2008, it was discussed whether the title should be changed from “of America” to “International”. It was also discussed whether the responsibility and publication of the newsletter should be handed over to the younger generation. This then came about at the 16th Viola d’amore Congress in Innsbruck in 2012 when Myron Rosenblum and Daniel Thomason † asked Hans Lauerer and Rüdiger Müller-Nübling to take over these responsibilities.
Back row from the left: Ludwig Hampe, Gheorghe Balan, Willy Thelen †
Front row from the left: Hans Lauerer, Rüdiger Müller-Nübling, Simona Balan, Dr. Sibylle Hoedt-Schmidt, Dr. Ronald Schmidt †, Helga and Heinz Berck †, Nina Torborg-Hunck, Josef Huber
The International Viola d’amore Society e.V. was founded in October, 2013 at the house of the viola d’amore “original” Heinz Berck †.
Hans Lauerer and Rüdiger Müller-Nübling were then elected as the presidents of the foundation members of the International Viola d’amore Society e.V., just as desired by the previous co-directors Myron Rosenblum and Daniel Thomason †.
Hence, the Viola d’amore Society of America became the International Viola d’amore Society e.V. and not only did it continue to carry out the activities of its predecessors, but also continually expanded these.
Since the change of the seat of the Society from the USA to Germany, we have been very pleased to see the many new members who have joined from all over Europe, especially those in eastern European countries previously belonging to the former Soviet Union. Sadly, many American members have not continued their membership. The Society itself is changing and renewing, firstly with the many young members who have joined in recent years and, of course, with its new presidency. In 2017, a significant and promotionally-effective presentation of the Society was developed; the completely new Society website. This has been online since December, 2018 and will surely enable a better presentation of the viola d’amore and the International Viola d’amore Society e.V. for the continued positive development of the society. It offers interesting and far-reaching information about the viola d’amore and the Society and, parallel to this, the members can use the extensive amount of internal information that is shared.
Vivat Viola d’amore!
© Myron Rosenblum and Daniel Thomason † (Co-Directors of the former Viola d’amore Society of America – translated by Daniel Geiger). Text supplements by Hans Lauerer and Rüdiger Müller-Nübling (International Viola d’amore Society e.V.).