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Violas and Volts-The Library Can Help All Kinds of Students

Tonight Hong-Mei Xiao will perform in the Madsen Recital Hall.  Xiao is a violist who is acclaimed worldwide. Each year a violist is invited to play at BYU  in honor of William Primrose who was one of the world’s premier violists. Primrose grew up in England, stduied at the Guildhall School of Music, played in the London String Quartet, played in the NBC orchestra under Auturo Toscanini, and went on to have a very successful solo career. Primrose was also very interested in teaching. He taught at Indiana University, Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music, Julliard, and the Eastman School of Music. He was on the faculty of BYU from 1979 to 1982 as a guest lecturer.

The Harold B Lee Library has a room named for William Primrose. It is a very beautiful room with violas on display along with mementos, memorabilia, and notes on Primrose.

Its when you look beyond the violas and the pictures that you see the true legacy of William Primrose, the Primrose International Viola Archive. It is the largest collection of viola music in the world. The Primrose collection continues to grow and is a great resource to the students and faculty of BYU. Row after row of neatly bound scores are ready for use. Viola students can research to their heart’s content in a quiet, comfortable room. A new generation of musicians is growing thanks to the work of William Primrose.

Tonight, when Hong-Mei Xiao plays she may inspire another artist to take up the viola. If that happens the library is ready to help, just like we do when an professor inspires a student to become a poet or a painter. Of course we are just as ready to help when students want to be accountants and electrical engineers. We don’t have a secluded room for engineers, they are engineers so they could build their own,  but we do provide them with access to top journals and databases for research.

Please take a moment to browse our subject pages. We hope you find resources that will help you learn more about the subject that interests you.