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Robert Levine: More than Just Viola Jokes

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Coutesy of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

The viola, like the accordion and the banjo, is often the butt of musical jokes. Not as dramatic as its string cousins the violin or the cello, the viola nevertheless has a beautiful sound and is a crucial part of orchestras and chamber music ensembles.

Robert Levine is the principal violist for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, a position he’s held since 1987. And in those 31 years he’s more than put to rest the idea that the viola is somehow a lesser instrument. This weekend, he’ll perform Ralph Vaughan William’s beautiful piece "Flos Campi" as part of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's "Sensuous Ravel" performance. 

Ahead of his performance, Levine stopped by the Lake Effect studio to chat with us about the piece and his  instrument:

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Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.