Specializing in Music for Viola

ENSEMBLE MUSIC by Michael Kimber

Browse Michael Kimber’s music by categories:

Unaccompanied Solos

Accompanied Solos

Pedagogical Music


String Orchestra Music

Music of Michael Kimber


To order any of the items listed below, and to find out about
any special offers, please see HOW TO ORDER, or simply
place your order by emailing mkimber@centurylink.net.

Thinking of copying music instead of purchasing it?


Please click on any underlined title below for a glimpse of the music.

You can now HEAR audio files of some selections, too!
Except as noted, you will hear the composer playing viola,
either as soloist or as ensemble member.

NOTE: For reasons unknown, some of these links are unresponsive.
If feeling sufficiently interested and adventurous, you can go to your
browser's View menu, select Developer, then View Source. The HTML
code for this webpage is pretty straightforward, so you should have
little trouble locating the URL for the desired link. Simply click on the
part that reads http://whatever.mp3. When you are finished listening,
click on your browser's tab for the page to which you wish to return.
Be brave! Have fun!

ENSEMBLE MUSIC (mostly for viola)
Duets, trios, quartets and more

AVAILABLE SOON! (better late than never)

Rustic Variations for 4-part cello ensemble (2018) price TBD
Composed for cellist Diane Platte.
Based on the principal theme of
W. H. Squire's Danse rustique, op. 20

Violists on the March for 4-part viola ensemble (2017) price TBD*
Commissioned by the American Viola Society.
Lively, exuberant music dedicated to all
who have marched in support of humanity.
*Proceeds will be donated to the AVS (so please purchase, not copy!).

Elegy for viola quartet FREE*
* Please feel free to download and share this PDF of the score.
If you do, the composer would appreciate a note of thanks.
Composed originally for string orchestra in November 2019 on the
evening following another school shooting, and premiered three days
later by the Coe College Orchestra with the composer conducting.
Duration: 3:00
HEAR this beautiful viola quartet recording of Elegy
made by violist Andrew Steffen performing all four parts.
This music could be considered an elegy for all who have died
as victims of violence. At the premiere of this Elegy, the audience
was asked to remain silent at its conclusion--as silent as the voices
of those who are no longer with us--but not to remain silent once
leaving this hall, for it is up to each and every one of us to speak
for those who no longer can. Their deaths must not be forgotten!

Two Viola Duets (2013)  $3.00
Composed for performance by the composer with students
attending the 2013 Viola Celebration at the University of
Tennessee-Knoxville, Jenna’s Duet features compound
meters and remote modulations, while Lakeisha’s Duet
borrows from the styles of Telemann, Vivaldi, and Bach.

Four Modal Tunes for two violas* $2.00
Duets composed for violists at upper elementary level, these
delightful tunes introduce students to the engaging sounds of
Dorian, Phrygian, Aeolian, and Mixolydian modes, a welcome
and ear-opening alternative to a steady diet of only major and
occasional minor keys!
* Available also for two violins or two cellos. All have the same
key signature, two sharps, so can be played by any combination
of violins, violas, or cellos!

Six Little Pieces for two violas* $2.00
Duets composed for violists at upper elementary level, these
six short pieces in contrasting characters invite young players
to experience both calm and lively playing styles.
* Available also for two violins or two cellos. All have the same
key signature, two sharps, so can be played by any combination
of violins, violas, or cellos!

Vals con Variación for two violas $2.00
This charming waltz with a variation, for violists at intermediate
level, is accompanied by waltz rhythm with easy double stops.

For Nina (a waltz) for two violas $2.00
A lyrical and dramatic waltz for violists fluent through 5th
position, with a fair amount of chromaticism in both parts.

The Bells of San Marino for three violas  $2.00
This trio for violists at the elementary level, with three short
movements (Joyous, Calm, and Lively), is meant to suggest
the ringing of the 11th-century bells of the Three Towers on
the peaks of Monte Titano, high above San Marino.

Suite in Baroque Style $4.00
a very popular item for intermediate players not yet
ready to play an entire Bach suite; prelude and six
dance movements, all playable in first position.
Please specify version(s) desired:
2 violas (in G)
2 violins (in D)
violin & viola (in D)
2 cellos (in G)
NOTE: The solo versions of Suite in Baroque Style
have been discontinued; the upper part of each duet
version is exactly the same as the solo version and
may be played either alone or with the duet part.

Duo Sonata in Classical Style $3.00
Papa Haydn would approve! Four movements (sonata
form, theme & variations, minuet & trio, and rondo),
full of delightful melodies (mostly 3rd pos.) with active,
interesting accompaniment (all 1st position).
Please specify version(s) desired:
2 violas (in C major)
2 violins (in G)
violin & viola (in G)

Acrobatic Violists for two violas $3.00
These duets for two “dexterous, dynamic daredevils” can be played seriously
as exercises in arpeggiation, shifting (through 7th position), and harmonics, or humorously
as amusing showpieces that sound more difficult than they really are (if practiced!!).

Eight Duets for two violas $8.00
These duet versions of the Eight Studies are attractive as recital pieces!
Short character pieces, they employ finger exercises, double stops,
various bowing techniques, and positions half through fifth.

Four Canons for two violas $5.00
This was originally Three Canons; a 4th canon was added later.
Canons 1, 3, and 4 are twelve-tone; canon 2 is an homage to
Hindemith; plenty of challenging rhythms and chromatics to keep
players alert! Positions 1-4; total duration 6 mins.
HEAR the premiere of three of the Four Canons in a New York
Viola Society recital by violists Daniel Avshalomov and Timothy Deighton:
Canon 1
Canon 2
original Canon 3 (now Canon 4)
Here is a computer simulation of the new Canon 3:
new Canon 3
A reviewer for Strad described these canons as “austere but brief.”
Do you agree?

Dialog i Krakowiak for two violas $5.00
(also available in the original sax/viola version)
a contemplative, lyrical dialogue and a lively
Krakovian dance in the spirit of Polish folk music;
a stunning duo based on the solo Monolog i Krakowiak
(See under Unaccompanied Solos.)
positions 1-7; duration c. 8 mins.
HEAR live performance excerpts by The Irrelevants
(Carrie Koffman, saxophone and Tim Deighton, viola) of

Dark Woods for viola and marimba $20.00
in four movements: an evocative introduction, a lively fugue, a
somber movement for solo viola, and a mysterious movement
for solo marimba, the viola rejoining to conclude with a brilliant
return of the fugue material.
viola positions 1-7; duration 12 mins.
HEAR a simulation of Dark Woods

Vanishing Woods for viola and clarinet $12.00
Music inspired by the beauty of woods and forests and reflecting
concern about the environmental impact of deforestation. Intense
outcries, quiet murmurs, quotations of the hymn “For the Beauty
of the Earth,” a dissonant climax, and a wistful conclusion.
Premiered at Carnegie Hall April 7, 2015.
viola positions 1-7; duration 12 mins.
HEAR a performance of Vanishing Woods

Reflection for 3-part viola ensemble $6.00
[Price includes three copies, each containing
all three parts in score format.]
In memory of Francis Bundra, who taught viola
for many years at Interlochen and at the University
of Michigan; premiered at Interlochen in June 2001.
Serene and meditative in character; positions 1-5;
duration 6 mins.
HEAR Reflection performed by the
Penn State University Viola Ensemble
directed by Timothy Deighton.

A Few Ragtime Trios $6.00
[Price includes three copies, each containing
all three parts in score format.]
In the spirit of Scott Joplin’s famous piano rags,
these trios can be played by three (or more) violists
(pos. 1-3). Since the upper parts are in treble clef,
violinists can also join the fun (with permission of
the violists, of course!).

Three Armenian Impressions for oboe, clarinet, and viola $10.00
a beautiful trio version of the original viola solo.
(See under Unaccompanied Solos.)
HEAR Night Music from Three Armenian Impressions.

winter awakening (2017) for viola quartet $5.00
Composed for young violists Sofia Gilchenok and Jenna Walters
as a duet all in double stops (!!), this was later made into a more
playable viola quartet. This peaceful music brings to my mind a
quote from physicist Albert Einstein: “The most beautiful thing
we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true
art and science.” Here’s a simulation of the music.

Dancing Viola! for viola quartet $6.00
a delightful set of three short pieces composed in 2011
for the Dancing Viola ensemble of Seoul, South Korea;
positions 1-3; duration c. 6 minutes
HEAR (computer simulations):
Dancing Dawn
Dancing Day
Dancing Dreams

Three Quirky Little Pieces for 4-part viola ensemble or string quartet $12.00
Please specify version desired.
Three short movements: “Rambling Rag,” “Wandering
Waltz,” and “Misbehaving March.” Humorous!
First and third positions (some fifth pos. for first viola)
syncopated rhythms, chromatic scales, etc. Duration 7-8 minutes.
HEAR Misbehaving March from Three Quirky Little Pieces (string quartet).
PLEASE swing the rhythm of “Rambling Rag.” Listen to these two versions:
without swing vs. with swing
It should be played the second way (starting at 0:34).

Traveling Music for 4-part viola ensemble or string quartet $6.00
 for string quintet (2 violins, viola, cello, bass) $7.00
Three short movements: “moving along,” “quiet,
mysterious,” and “lively.” Great fun for all ages.
Playable in first position, uses all basic finger patterns,
syncopated rhythms. Duration 5-6 minutes.
HEAR the first movement of Traveling Music (string quartet version).
(This recording has been played since 2006 as the theme music
for Iowa Public Radio’s “Symphonies of Iowa” broadcasts.)

Two Pieces in Spanish Style for 4-part viola ensemble $4.00
Fans of Fantasía Hispana (and there are many) may also enjoy
this enchanting and delightful musical excursion to Spain.
HEAR Two Pieces in Spanish Style.

Viola Fight Song for 4-part viola ensemble $5.00
In the vigorous style of a college athletics fight song, “VFS”
quotes seven best-loved themes from viola solo repertoire:
Berlioz Harold in Italy, Brahms Sonata in E-flat, Stamitz
Concerto in D, Telemann Concerto in G, Bartok Concerto,
J. C. Bach/Casadesus Concerto in C Minor, J. S. Bach Suite
No. 1 (Gigue). Also invites solo improvisation from the
performers. Sample page 7.

Two Viola Love Songs for 4-part viola ensemble $5.00
Two tender (some might say sappy) tunes for violists who really
love making beautiful music together!
I Really Love to Play Viola
Lost Without My Beautiful Viola
played by the inimitable MacFinale Electronic Ensemble.
(Real violists could do it with a LOT more feeling!)

Violapalooza! for 4-part viola ensemble $3.00
(score and set of parts)
Planning your own Violapalooza? Or just getting together with
a few (or more) of your favorite violists for the sheer fun of it?
If so, you need appropriate music, and what could be better
than a viola quartet called Violapalooza! This lively little
piece will get everyone in the mood for a really good time.
HEAR Violapalooza!
here performed flawlessly by the intergalactically famous
MacFinale Electronic Viola Ensemble!

Violas on Fire! for 4-part viola ensemble $6.00
(score and set of parts)
If you thought nothing could follow Violapalooza or the
infamous Viola Fight Song, consider Violas on Fire!
Inspired by the Firewood Quartet and what makes a viola
different from (better than?) a violin (it burns longer!!!),
this outrageous concoction of sounds will leave your
audience screaming (for more?)! Duration 3-1/2 scary minutes.
Also available in a version for viola solo with string orchestra.
(See Accompanied Solos.)
HEAR Violas on Fire!
here performed flawlessly by the intergalactically famous
MacFinale Electronic Viola Ensemble!

In Memoriam 9/11 for oboe, violin or viola, cello, and harpsichord $20.00
Composed for a premiere one year after the 9/11 attacks,
this music begins and ends with violent outbursts and
plaintive, contrapuntally intertwining melodies. At its
center is dirge-like music over a repeated descending
bass line. Duration 9 minutes.
HEAR the premiere of In Memoriam 9/11
performed by the ensemble Promenade.

Knoxville: Autumn of 2013 for 5-part viola ensemble $10.00
Inspired by Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and composed
for performance by massed violas at the October 2013 Viola Celebration at
the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, this work begins with a brief quotation
from Barber’s work, followed by music meant to evoke the beauty of
the Great Smoky Mountains, some simple folk-like dance music, and finally
a rousing Viola Team Fight Song (with lyrics!) inspired by Tennessee’s
spirited “Rocky Top Tennessee.” Duration 5-6 minutes.
HEAR Knoxville: Autumn of 2013 (simulation).

Retail music dealers: please inquire about wholesale cost of items above.

PLEASE NOTE: The following ensemble works of Michael Kimber
can no longer be purchased directly from the composer. These are
now published by Tempo Press and can be purchased online from
Luck’s Music Library. Click on the title of a work to be taken to
the Luck’s online catalog entry for details.

Traveling for string orchestra and harp
Experience the excitement, adventure, and joy of traveling to
imagined destinations in this evocative programmatic work.
HEAR high school musicians perform Traveling.
(Please note: This is not the same piece as Traveling Music.)
(Luck’s catalog # 40764)

La Folia variations for 4-part viola ensemble
A very popular setting of variations on this beloved ancient melody.
(Luck’s catalog # 240-6601)

Festival Overture for 6-part viola ensemble
Celebratory music for a viola festival or any other festive event involving violas!
(Luck’s catalog # 260-6600)

Country Club Rag (Scott Joplin, arr. Kimber) for 4 violas
Violas get to enjoy playing this famous rag, originally for piano.
(Luck’s catalog # 240-6600)

Meditation for cello ensemble
With beautiful harmonies and serene melodic lines, this work can be played in its full
version featuring two soloists, or in its original shorter version from m. 49 to the end.
(Luck’s catalog # 340-6600)


Please also have a look at the amazingly comfortable poly-pad
ergonomically contoured shoulder rest for violin and viola.

RETURN to Music of Michael Kimber

Updated June 14, 2023