David Dalton, a former music professor at Brigham Young University and one of the world’s greatest viola champions, has died.
Dalton died of natural causes on December 23, his family reported. he was 89 years old.
In addition to teaching at BYU, Dalton was a founding member of the Deseret String Quartet and co-founded the Primrose International Viola Archive at BYU’s Harold B. Lee Library with his mentor, William Primrose. was also a person. He has been called “the definitive repository of all music related to the viola internationally”.
Julliard professor and longtime friend Paul Neubauer said: [BYU] Viola is the epicenter of it all, thanks to David Dalton. Every violist should appreciate his vision and drive. ”
Dalton’s daughter, Melissa Dalton Bradford, said: His life was like clockwork. He made a plan and carried it out. ”
If she had to make an estimate, Dalton Bradford said 79% of her childhood with her father revolved around music. was about the beauty of Utah.
Claudine Bigelow, professor of viola at BYU and member of the Deseret String Quartet, called Dalton, her predecessor as head of viola research at BYU, a “rigorous” mentor, but such rigor paid off. was broken.
“He gave me good preparation to understand what it takes to be a violist professionally. Dalton’s example is what she needs to do as a professor.” she said.
Dalton’s role in codifying the importance of the viola can be seen in his book Playing the Viola: A Conversation with William Primrose, said Bigelow. The book, published in 1990, is one of the reasons Dalton has an international reputation, she said.
Bigelow says that, thanks to Dalton, BYU has “the largest collection of violas in the world.” Bigelow said the viola is often the subject of jokes in the orchestral world. [us] deal with it, [encouraged us] to stand tall ”
Aaron Dalton said his father’s legacy is “multifaceted, but the legacy most people remember him for will be through his students.”
violin at christmas
David Johnson Dalton was born on January 18, 1934 in Springville, Utah, the son of cowherd Oliver H. Dalton and artist Jesse J. Dalton. As a child, Dalton received a violin as a gift one Christmas instead of the bike he wanted and took up music.
Dalton studied violin at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, earning Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in musical instruments. Primrose’s tutoring at Indiana University convinced Dalton to switch to a slightly larger instrument, the viola.
Aaron Dalton said Primrose was “the Michael Jordan of the viola,” turning what was often relegated to a backup role into a soloist’s instrument.
Dalton’s passion for the viola took him around the world, said his daughter Melissa. I was asked to bring my instrument. His wife Donna said she was unprecedented at the time.
Dalton has toured in West Germany and Eastern France as a US military chaplain, Donna Dalton said.
After his mission, Dalton met a woman named Donna Glazier who sang soprano in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at BYU. They married her on August 28, 1957 in a temple in Mesa, Arizona.
Dalton then studied at the Academy der Musik in Vienna and the University of Music in Munich. He completed his doctorate at Indiana University under Primrose.
Dalton-Bradford recalled that as a child he often heard family prayers spoken in German and thought God was German. He stopped talking on the phone with “ichliebe dich,” which means “I love you.”
“This was kind of a cross-cultural man,” said Dalton Bradford. “He was very European, but very Yutanese. He wore cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. His heart was here in Utah.”
The world has come to the Dalton family. “We had musicians coming to our house from all over the world to make music,” said Dalton Bradford. “He was passionate about diversity, so they were from all over the world.”
Primrose moved from Indiana to Japan and eventually to BYU, where he and Dalton founded the Primrose International Viola Archive in 1974. Primrose died in Provo in 1982.
Impact on musicians
Richard Elliot, principal organist of Temple Square’s Tabernacle Choir, was a colleague and friend of Dalton’s at BYU, and viewed Dalton as a father figure. Eliot described Dalton as “a realist, a down-to-earth person”.
Dalton, music director of the Salt Lake Symphony Orchestra for 12 years, once invited Eliot to be the soloist of French composer Camille Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3. , but Dalton “helped me understand certain things [about] That part I didn’t understand before.
Roberto Diaz, a current incumbent at the Curtis Institute of Music, said Dalton was a big influence. was staying in
A few years later, young Diaz purchased an Amati viola that Primrose had inherited from her father. When Dalton learned of this, he asked Diaz to study a never-before-used manuscript of Primrose from his BYU archives and record it on his instrument. One of his recordings, “Primrose: Viola Transcriptions,” brought Diaz a Grammy Award nomination in 2006.
“Many of us are fortunate enough to be recipients of [Dalton’s] Unselfish and willing to help, we miss him,” Diaz said.
For all his musical duties, including president of the American Viola Society and editor of the Society’s Quarterly Review, Dalton always made time to go to the BYU football game on Saturdays, his son Aaron said. rice field.
Dalton’s wife, Donna, reminisces about when David built his home in the Grandview Hill neighborhood of Provo using thousands of pioneer-era bricks collected from a demolished Spanish Fork commercial complex in the 1960s. I remembered. By the time the house was built in 1970, David must have handled each brick five times, she said. “He wanted a house like that, so it was a great joy and a sense of accomplishment,” she said.
Dalton is survived by his wife Donna and four children — Allison Dalton of Chicago. Melissa Dalton Bradford, Frankfurt, Germany. Hillary Dalton of Dubuque, Iowa. Aaron Dalton of Provo with 15 grandchildren and brother Stephen E. Dalton of Salt Lake City.
A funeral service is scheduled for Saturday, January 7 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Grandview LDS Stake Center, 1122 Grand Avenue, Provo. position. In lieu of flowers, we recommend donating to the Primrose International Viola Archive at the Harold B. Lee Library at BYU, or to the Nature Conservancy.