A Historic Unveiling!! Orchestral Version of the Sonata for Viola and Orchestra (1919), premiered June 8, 2007

Hear the premiere – the second movement, Vivace – 4.46 MB
Ruth Lomon’s newly orchestrated version of Clarke’s Sonata for Viola was given an exciting premiere in Worcester, MA.  Peter Sulski performed brilliantly as viola soloist, and the Worcester Collegium was led by Ian Watson. This historic event took place in St. Paul’s Cathedral, as part of the St. Paul’s Music Festival. Clarke composed the sonata in 1919 to enter a contest hosted by Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, chamber music patron and founder of the Berkshire Music Festival. In later years Clarke referred to the piece as her “one little whiff of success” and it was her most performed composition during her lifetime.

Submitted anonymously with 72 other works, Clarke’s piece tied for first place with Ernest Bloch’s submission – an unheard of achievement in 1919 for a “woman composer.”

The Rebecca Clarke Society commissioned Ruth Lomon, resident composer and scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University, to orchestrate the sonata.  Lomon has received commissions from numerous organizations including the Massachusetts Council for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and New England Arts. More information about the new orchestration is available on this page. We are happy to send copies of the entire score of the Viola Concerto (in PDF format)  to interested orchestras; we invite you to be in touch with us.

The Rebecca Clarke Society, Inc.
phone (617) 863-7660 (leave a voice message),
e-mail  info@rebeccaclarke.org (please include “Clarke” in your subject line)
Mailing address:
25 Ellington Rd  /  Somerville, MA  02144