Sam Folkman

Samuel Folkman Viola Recital Highlights

Samuel Folkman recently performed his senior viola recital before an audience of family and friends. Performing technically challenging pieces by composers like Bloch, Halvorsen, Dvořák, Folkman played with poise and professionalism, confronting each challenge as it came. A culmination of the hard work, Folkman’s recital testified his dedication to his craft. Dr. David Brown writes, “Sam has come a mile in his playing.” Sam’s recital also included collaborations with many of his close friends. See photos here, and watch recital highlights below.

Suite Hébraïque, Bloch

accompanied by Lucie Drinkwater

Sam’s orchestra director, Miss Melody Steinbart remarks, “Sam’s recital demonstrated a lot of work. His performance of the piece by Bloch, specifically, demonstrated well the quality of musicianship and preparation as well as performing poise that one can bring to the table. His performance was well done and engaging.”

Sam writes, “This is easily my favorite viola work of all time. I learned the first movement during my sophomore year of college and immediately fell in love with it. The three movements have an immense variety of emotions that are expressed in many different ways. The work was composed for violin or viola in 1951. The piece draws heavily on Jewish music, and it simulates the blow of a shofar (a ram’s horn). One can almost hear the viola crying throughout the overly emotional first movement.”

String Quintet in A Major, Dvořák

Hannah Ostrander and Peter Holloway, violin; Judson Shoultz, cello; Graceanne Starr, piano

Sam writes, “This is the final movement in Dvorak’s A Major piano quintet. This quintet is one of my all-time favorite pieces, in fact, Dvorak is probably my favorite composer. The bright, happy melody passed throughout the instruments calls for fun, precise ensemble work. The middle section even contains a fugue-like section where the primary subject is passed throughout each voice.”

Passacaglia, Halvorsen

Peter Holloway, violin

This piece is based on a theme written by George Frideric Handel’s Harpsichord Suite in G minor. Johan Halvorsen took the theme in the last movement and created his “Passacaglia” for violin and viola. Featuring a theme and variation, the opening theme is the primary theme that is stated and varied throughout the entire piece. Halvorsen certainly wrote this piece as a show piece as it displays many difficult and showy techniques that only string players are able to produce. Some of these fun techniques include playing over the bridge of the instrument (ponticello), double-stops (playing multiple notes at once), and even quite a bit of plucking.


Samuel Folkman’s viola recital was prepared under the direction of Mr. Paul Hauer and is given in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Education.