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Richard Lane

There is a growing list of composers who have been attracted to the viola d'amore, starting in the 20th century and continuing up to the present day who have written excellent music for viola d'amore. We will feature them from time to time and honor those who have added important works to the repertory.

Richard Lane (1933-2004)
Composer Richard Lane at viola d'amore congress 

From left to right: Richard Lane  with violists Baird Knechtel (Toronto), Myron Rosenblum (New York), Hans-Karl Piltz (Vancouver) at the 19th International Viola Congress, Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York, USA, June 12-16, 1991.

American composer and pianist Richard  Bamford Lane was born in Paterson, New Jersey in 1933.  He grew up in Paterson and graduated from the Eastman School of Music where he studied piano with Jose Ecahniz and Armand Basile and composition with Louis Mennini, Wayne Barlow and Bernard Rogers.  He was the recipient of a Ford Foundation grant which brought him into the school system of Lexington, Kentucky as "Composer in Residence."  His music was performed widely in the USA, Europe, Africa, Australia, Mexico and Russia. Lane's output was very large and encompassed many chamber works, choral compositions, piano pieces, a piano concerto, and music for voice and piano. After his service in the American army, Richard Lane devoted himself to private teaching, composing and accompanying. At the suggestion of Myron Rosenblum,  Lane started writing music for viola d'amore in various settings and over the years wrote some intriguing works. Here is his complete output for viola d'amore:

  • Suite for Viola d'amore and Piano (1984)
    Serenade for Flute, Viola d'amore and String Orchestra (1986)
    Suite for Three Violas d'amore (1994)
    "Michaelstein" Suite for Flute, 2 Violas d'amore and Piano (1996)
    Three Songs for Soprano and Viola d'amore (2000)
  • Trio for Oboe, Viola d'amore and Piano (2000)

Lane was the honoree at the 10th International Viola d'amore Congress in Trossingen, Germany, July 5 - 9, 2000 where his entire output for viola d'amore was performed.  The viola d'amore players who performed Lane's music at this congress were Frank Bellino, Hans Lauerer, Günter Ojstersek, Myron Rosenblum, and Daniel Thomason.

After a brief illness, Richard Lane died on September 12, 2004 in Newark, New Jersey. 

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