Viola Concerto!

Viola Sonata orchestration by Ruth Lomon available for performance

(See the Agreement for performance if you are interested in performing the orchestration)

Rebecca Clarke’s Viola Sonata caused a sensation when it tied for first place in a 1919  competition. Although an immediate success, the Sonata gradually disappeared from the repertoire, and Clarke was long forgotten. Since the rediscovery of the Sonata in 1976, it has become (according to many noted violists) the most frequently performed large work for viola and piano.

The orchestration was premiered on June 8, 2007 (information about the premiere, and about a brilliant performance in 2012, with audio links).  We continue to look for for orchestras and violists bring this work to new audiences. Composer Ruth Lomon has created a masterful orchestration of Clarke’s Sonata. Patricia McCarty, whose 1985 recording of the Sonata was a landmark in its rediscovery, is one of many violists who are enthusiastic about this arrangement. According to McCarty,
 Complementing but not overwhelming the viola line, the impressionistic colors and textures of Ruth Lomon’s orchestration of the Rebecca Clarke Sonata offer listeners an opportunity to hear this work on a grand scale, making new friends for this work long beloved by viola players.
Clarke wrote for her own instrument, the viola; her idiomatic understanding adds to the work’s immediacy. In three movements, “Impetuoso,” “Vivace” and “Adagio — Allegro,” it is powerful and expansive in scale. The second movement, an exuberant scherzo, can be performed as a stand-alone piece for a pops orchestra or when a shorter work featuring viola is desired.
Since the 2007 premiere, the score has been carefully proofread and revised.  Our editorial team has been headed by Emi Nishida (B.M. Berklee College of Music) since September 2016.  We are happy to send PDF excerpts of the score, contact us at e-mail  (please include “Clarke” in your subject line).

The instrumentation for the Concerto is as follows for each movement:

I. “Impetuoso” – 2 Fl (Picc), 2 Ob, 2 Cl in Bb, 2 Bsns, 2 Hns, Timpani, Harp & Strings
II. “Vivace” – same as Mvt. I, but without Timpani and add Celesta
III. “Adagio – Allegro” – same as Mvt. I, but add one percussion part (Bass drum and Triangle)

Composer Ruth Lomon, who has completed the orchestration of Clarke’s Sonata, has won wide recognition for her own music, including her Bassoon Concerto and Terra Incognito for orchestra. These were both recorded on the MMC New Century label and received enthusiastically. Lomon has also recorded on Navona Records (of Parma), CRI, and Capstone labels, and her trumpet Concerto, Odyssey, was commissioned by the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, which they premiered with trumpeter Charles Schlueter; he recorded it on the Kleos Classics label, with the Berkshire Chamber Orchestra, dir. Ronald Feldman.

We invite you to be in touch with us.
The Rebecca Clarke Society, Inc.   phone (617) 329-1404 (leave a voice message),
e-mail  (please include “Clarke” in your subject line)

Mailing address:

The Rebecca Clarke Society, Inc.
25 Ellington Rd.
Somerville, MA 02144


Agreement for Performance            (Return to the top)

Rebecca Clarke, Viola Sonata (1919, orchestrated by Ruth Lomon, 2006)

Orchestral score, and parts, in PDF format, will be provided, by The Rebecca Clarke Society, Inc.  The copyright of the orchestration is owned by Ruth Lomon (BMI)

Fees for PDF materials as follows:

Community orchestra, youth orchestra, — no admission fee charged for concert — $120
Community orchestra, youth orchestra – admission charged for concert — $145
Small budget, prof. orchestra — $175
Medium budget professional orchestra — $225
Large budget professional orchestra — $320
Extra-Large budget professional orchestra — $365

Fee waivers or discounts may be considered for benefit concerts, or for any concert that targets a disadvantaged community.   The following conditions are agreed to by all those involved:

In the printed program Ruth Lomon must be named as orchestrator next to the statement of the title and composer of the piece.  Thus:

Sonata for Viola and Orchestra Rebecca Clarke (1886-1979)
Orchestrated by Ruth Lomon (1930-2017)

Please ask us (The RCS) for a program note about Rebecca Clarke, the Viola Sonata, and the orchestration.  All program notes must acknowledge Ruth Lomon, orchestrator ( and The Rebecca Clarke Society, Inc. (; the URLs (web addresses) must be included.

The materials provided are not to be copied or distributed for any commercial purposes, and are to be used only for one performance (or one set of performances by the same ensemble and soloist, within a small time-frame).  Permission must be requested before any further use is made of the materials.

We are happy to discuss these terms.