York Bowen was an English pianist, composer, organist, horn and viola player.
Born in 1884, he was friend with the viola soloist pioneer Lionel Tertis and played at the piano with him.
With his works, Bowen helped Tertis in his efforts to make the viola become more popular.
In his lifetime he was quite successful as a pianist and composer, most of his works were instrumental and were premiéred by famous performers of the time. He performed his own four piano concertos and other piano works.
Bowen composed a number of works for viola, including one concerto, 2 sonatas and a quartet for 4 violas.
Bowen's Viola concerto was one of the first compositions written for viola by English composers for Lionel Tertis, who would chase all his contemporary composers asking them to compose viola music.
York Bowen Viola concerto
Bowen's viola concerto was composed when he was 22 and Lionel Tertis performed it for first time in 1908, when hearing a viola soloist was "the rarest thing".
Bowen's style is melodic, tonal, quite romantic and became a bit old-fashined during the 20th century.
His viola concerto was one of the first compositions written for viola by English composers for Lionel Tertis, who would chase all his contemporary composers asking them to compose viola music.
It is another addition to contemporary viola repertoire.
Somebody keeps saying that there is no solo viola music! Bowen is another source of more music.
If you want to enjoy your favourite music here below you find a few recordings you can buy.
More CDs by York Bowen
If you wish to play some music by York Bowen, there are editions of sheet music for several of his works.
They are suitable for players of different levels, from intermediate level players for the viola sonatas to the demanding viola concerto for more advanced viola players.
Click on the pictures, you'll go to a page where you'll be able to listen to samples.
More sheet music by York Bowen