June 21, 1999
Faculty string members include (left to right): back row--Laurel Wells, Scott Ligocki, Betty Agent; front row--Joyce Ramee, Marcia Ott.
by Deborah Stone, features writer
The Max Aronoff Viola Institute's Summer Music Festival is a unique program of classical music study. Held for five days in June at Bastyr University's conference center in Bothell, the curriculum combines a fully professional chamber concert series with an intensive music study program.
The Festival is open to amateur, student, and pre-professional musicians (string players) of all ages and levels. No auditions are required for admission. The majority of the students come from Washington and Oregon. They attend classes in music history and theory, observe master classes, receive career advising, and perform.
The Max Aronoff Viola Institute was founded in 1991 by Joyce Ramee (Institute Director) and one of her students, Charles Noble, in memory of Max Aronoff, a world-renowned violist.
"Max was my viola teacher," explains Ramee, "and he was an amazing musician. I was the last student he taught before his death. He was head of the viola department at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, one of the top two music conservatories in the U.S. He was also the founder of the New School of Music in Philadelphia and a violist in the Curtis String Quartet for fifty-two years. I wanted to create an institute as a memorial to him."
The Aronoff Institute is an independent organization with a faculty of thirteen professional musicians, all affiliated with various universities and performing groups. During the year they give workshops, as well as participate in a number of ensembles. In the summer, they teach and perform in the Festival's concert series.
The concerts are open to the public (with a suggested donation of $10 per person) and will be held at 7:30 p.m. on June 27th, 28th, 30th, and July 1st at the Bastyr University Chapel in Bothell. On July 2nd, at 2 p.m., there will be a student program. For information, call 253-474-6922.