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History

Highlights of American Viola Society activity over the course of the last thirty years include:

1971–Myron Rosenblum founds the Viola Research Society as an American chapter of the Viola-Forschungs-Gesellschaft, predecessor to the International Viola Society

1975–III International Viola Congress is the first International Viola Congress held on North American soil at Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan, June 27-29, hosted by Dr. Maurice Riley, author of The History of the Viola, Vols. I & II. International congresses are then held on North American soil every other year through 1999

1978–American Viola Research Society becomes the American Viola Society, encouraging wider participation

1979–The William Primrose International Viola Competition for young professionals precedes the VII International Viola Congress, held in Provo, Utah at Brigham Young University

1981–Relocation of the Viola Archive of the International Viola Society from the Salzburg Mozarteum to its new home at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. The archive is combined with the William Primrose Viola Library and renamed the Primrose International Viola Archive or PIVA

1985–The AVS Newsletter becomes Journal of the American Viola Society

1986–AVS officers elected to four-year terms, encouraging wider participation

1987–First Primrose Memorial Scholarship Competition for student violists under the age of 28, featuring a first prize of $1,000 and solo performance with orchestra

A detailed chronicle of our past is presented in Dwight Pounds’ The American Viola Society: A History and Reference. This important work gives a thorough account of the history of the AVS and serves as a valuable resource guide to the activities of the AVS over the past thirty years. In it, Pounds also gives a detailed index of the program contents of the first ten North American International Viola congresses, of the AVS newsletters and journals, and of the International Viola Society “Yearbook.”

As we enter a new millennium, recent activities such as the formation of AVS local chapters, the inception of the David Dalton Viola Research competition and AVS National Teacher Directory, and membership levels at an all-time high, it is evident that AVS celebrates its thirtieth anniversary alive and strong. We look forward to what the future will bring!