Title page for ETD etd-04152011-005659

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Peeva, Teodora Dimova
URN etd-04152011-005659
Title Lillian Fuchs: Violist, Teacher, and Composer; Musical and Pedagogical Aspects of the 16 Fantasy Etudes for Viola
Degree Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)
Department Music
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
McBride-Daline, Matthew Committee Chair
Byo, James Committee Member
Lilleslatten, Espen Committee Member
Parker, Dennis Committee Member
Bower, Gerald Dean's Representative
  • technique
  • 20th century
  • literature
  • pedagogy
Date of Defense 2011-03-23
Availability unrestricted
This monograph concerns the life and compositions of Lillian Fuchs, one of the foremost American violists. Chapter I separates her career into three areas: performer, teacher, and composer. As a violist, her famous interpretation of Mozartís Sinfonia Concertante, performed frequently with her brother, violinist Joseph Fuchs, has done much to increase the popularity of music written for violin and viola. As a member of the Musiciansí Guild in New York, she has premiered a substantial number of chamber music works, many of them composed specifically for her. She is one of the first violists to perform the Cello Suites of J. S. Bach in concert and the first to record them. Thus, she is responsible for brining these works into the mainstream viola repertoire. Along with premiering the viola works of other, she composed three collections of studies for the viola, as well as a concert piece titled Sonata Pastorale, making a significant contribution in the realm of instructional literature for the viola, which in many instances involves the use of violin transcriptions, rather than original works.

Her second book of studies, 16 Fantasy …tudes, was published in 1959 and is the subject of chapter II. Each work is analyzed through an identification of its overall form and main technical difficulties, divided as they pertain to specific issues of the left and right hands. The main elements contributing to the content of each etude are interpreted, as they contribute to a better understanding of the study being presented. The detailed examination of each work serves as an argument for the merit of the etudes as concert music, presenting the performer with problems that address the specific technical needs of the instrument, without dismissing the value of violin transcriptions.
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