Mozart & More at The Shepherd Center

May 10, 2024

Join New Bedford Symphony Concertmaster Jesse Holstein and Principal Viola Anna Griffis for a dynamic program of Duos for violin and viola!

May 11, 4 PM

The Shepherd Center for the Performing Arts

34 Center Street (William Street Entrance)

Fairhaven, MA 02719

Opening the program is Mozart’s Duo in G-major. Written in secret by Mozart in 1783 to assist an ailing Michael Haydn who was unable to finish a commission, it is a three-movement romp where the violin and viola alternate between bantering back and forth with each other and then joining together to make beautiful, harmonious music.

Next is Three Madrigals by the Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů, who was inspired to write this piece after attending a performance of the Mozart Duo for violin and viola. Martinů wrote the Madrigals for the virtuoso brother and sister duo of Lillian and Joseph Fuchs in 1947. Written in bed while the composer was convalescing from a fall, the Italian Madrigals of the 16th century and Parisian Jazz of the 20s and 30s were central inspirations for Martinů. These amazing works push the boundaries with respect to color, texture, and virtuosity for the violin and viola. 

Our grand finale will be Passacaglia for Violin and Viola by the Norwegian violinist, conductor, and composer Johan Halvorsen. Written in 1894 as part of the European virtuosic-showpiece tradition, this duo uses a bass line from a 1720 harpsichord suite by Georg Fredric Handel as the basis for a set of variations that call for a high-wire act of danger and fun for the two instruments. Sparks will fly!

One-hour program; no intermission.

Tickets $20, available at

All ticket sales benefit The Shepherd Center for the Performing Arts