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Ready, Set, Go: Principal Violist Andriy Viytovych leads the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House in a musical marathon

The ROH’s Principal Violist will perform three major concertos back-to-back to raise money for homelessness charity St. Mungo’s Broadway.

By Rose Slavin (Former Assistant Content Producer)

22 May 2015 at 12.08pm | Comment on this article

On Monday 25 May, Andriy Viytovych, Principal Violist of The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, will treat audiences to a charity recital of three concertos from William Walton, Béla Bartók and Paul Hindemith.

Taking place in the Royal Opera House’s Paul Hamlyn Hall and in aid of St. Mungo’s Broadway, Andriy’s Viola Marathon will see the violist perform backed by the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House who will be conducted by Music Director of The Royal Ballet Barry Wordsworth and Paul Wynne Griffiths

Andriy thought up the idea to perform the pieces back to back after seeing posters around the Royal Opera House’s backstage areas put up by colleagues running marathons for charity. ‘I thought why I can’t do that. Every year I see the signs saying “Support Me!” and I thought I could do something similar – not running a marathon but playing one!’

Though Andriy won’t be tackling 26 miles of road, the musical recital will see him highlighting what he sees as the most important pieces for a viola and gives him a chance to place the spotlight on the instrument.

‘I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t doing this for me as a professional challenge. To play three pieces and play them well, is a tough undertaking. We have a rehearsal at 10am on Monday and then the performance at 1pm so I will be playing six concertos in one day, which is physically demanding and mentally draining.’

Though Andriy is used to playing with the orchestra for hours at a time, he says he’s put in extra practice to build up his resistance, re-learning each concerto to ensure each one is performed to his high technical standards.The violist also teaches the instrument and says watching the recital would be particularly useful for budding violists as these three pieces are popular choices for auditions and exams.

‘I don’t want people to think “why didn’t he just play one well?” – I want to play them all well. I don’t just want to play the notes and in the right order, but I want them to each say something.’

As well as delighting audiences inside the Royal Opera House, Andriy’s performance will have an impact outside of it too. St. Mungo’s Broadway helps people recover from the issues that cause homelessness, and last year helped provide accommodation, mental health support, training and employment advice for 2,000 people in the capital.

‘The fact that all the players are doing this for free, giving up their bank holiday Monday to support me, means a lot’, says Andriy. ‘It’s going to be emotional and but with my colleagues behind me, it’s an incredible feeling.’

Andriy’s Viola Marathon takes place on 25 May 2015. Tickets are still available.

All proceeds will go to St Mungo’s Broadway, a charity that helps people recover from homelessness and which is the current Charity Project of the Royal Opera House Staff and Artists.

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