Previously, we were featured in Richmond Weddings’ Vendor Spotlight blog post, which included a profile of our contractor, Nancy.  We would like to continue to introduce all of the members of the Belle Arte String Quartet because there is more behind the music stands!  This is the second of an ongoing blogpost series.

Allow us to introduce this week Brian Evans, a violist in the Belle Arte String Quartet and with the Richmond Symphony.  Even though viola is his primary professional instrument, his first instrument was the violin, starting at 13 years of age.

↠”My dad listened to a lot of classical music and bluegrass when I was a kid, and the violin caught my interest.”↞

So where did the viola come from then?

“I switched to viola because of my height and because the violist in my high school quartet graduated, prompting my teacher to encourage the switch.”

Evans’ story is not unusual for young violinists; the viola has been a common orchestral string instrument essentially since its conception, but because the size is larger than a violin, it can be a bit large for young children first seeking to learn an instrument as well as a lack of available repertoire solely for the viola. Fortunately for Evans, he has the ability to play both viola and violin, as the two instruments are so closely related.  Evans took those skills and attended Bob Jones University to receive his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Viola Performance.

However, violin and viola are not the only instruments Evans plays; he is skilled at the bodhrán, a special Irish drum, as well as other hand percussion instruments.  When he’s not playing music, he is probably out with his wife and four kids, remodeling his house, or he is still playing music with the band at his church.

Evans has three favorite quartet composers for their different styles: “Bach [because he’s] precise and complex, but still beautiful, Mozart [because he is a] universal genius, and Shostakovich [because of his] power, transparency, and raw emotion.”

What does he love most about playing with Belle Arte?

↠”[I am] working with great people in beautiful setting and helping others create wonderful memories.”↞

Nothing is more true to the spirit of the Belle Arte Quartet than that!

The Lamb Wedding viola detail

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