How Many Violists ...

Does it take to screw in a lightbulb? You won't need to ask after you hear Melia Watras.

Like guitarists and percussionists, violists, thanks to the dearth of solo literature in the standard repertory, tend to be new-music friendly—none more so than UW faculty member Watras, who's commissioned a recital's worth of pieces for herself, most combining electronics with her solo instrument, which she'll premiere next Monday. Inspiration for the five new works includes the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge; the work of writer Juan José Saer; the improvisational rehearsal technique of film director Mike Leigh; and the tradition of the viola joke—their reputation as the Poles of the orchestra is the result, as all viola lovers know, of sheer green envy. GAVIN BORCHERT

 
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