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Artistic Director and cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Silk Road Ensemble member Sandeep Das.

© MICHAEL LUTCH

Artistic Director and cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Silk Road Ensemble member Sandeep Das. Retreats and workshops provide an opportunity for Silk Road Ensemble members to collaborate on new approaches and learn from each other's musical traditions.


Viola



Viola

orig. Italy  The viola is a string instrument that furnishes the middle range of the violin family. While it is similar in shape and size to the violin, its timbre and lower pitch range give it a rich, full-bodied sonority that lends itself to playing harmonies. Like the violin, the instrument is held against the shoulder and played with a horsehair bow.

Despite origins dating back to the 16th century, the viola has often taken a back seat in the history of the violin family. Solo performance has been largely reserved for the lighter, brighter violin itself. The viola enjoyed a resurgence in popularity among 20th-century composers, however; and today, many composers take advantage of the viola's mellow, moody sound in solo, avant-garde and popular music composition.