The viola player Dana Zemtsov
​Saturday 11 February 2023, 20:15
The Hague: Paleiskerk

three solos in The hague’s paleiskerk

Bach versus Paganini

reserve tickets

Tickets:  € 10 – € 27,50

​Dana Zemtsov viola


Johann Sebastian Bach

​Chromatic Fantasy, BWV 903 
​Arrangement for viola by Zoltán Kodály and Mikhail Kugel

Igor Stravinsky


​Krzysztof Penderecki


Mikhail Kugel


Johann Sebastian Bach

From Partita no. 2 for solo violin, BWV 1004

Henri Vieuxtemps

Capricccio in c-minor, opus 55 Hommage à Paganini 

Niccolò Paganini

La molinara
Paganini's notoriously virtuosic variations in an arrangement for solo viola by Mikhail Kugel

​Powerful tone and captivating narrative power

​ Violist Dana Zemtsov is praised for her “powerful tone and compelling narrative power” (NRC). Her interpretations are brilliant, full of fire and life, and benefit from the dark and rich timbre of her instrument.  

Her solo programme juxtaposes solo pieces by Bach and Paganini, two composers who expanded the violin’s possibilities with their innovative and imaginative solo works. Bach made the violin sound more polyphonic and colourful in his Six Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, completed around 1720. A century later, Niccolò Paganini conquered European musical life with his unparalleled virtuosity.  

 Some critics still dismiss Paganini’s music as showmanship. They are wrong. His music is rich and complex. Paganini took La molinara, a popular song of the time, as a theme for breathtakingly difficult variations that only the greatest violinists dare to tackle. Dana Zemtsov takes on the challenge of playing the variations on her larger viola, adding even more depth and colour to Paganini’s masterpiece. 

​“Apart from being one of the greatest viola players, Mikhail Kugel is also a very special human being. He has changed the image of the viola, which was always seen as an uninteresting accompaniment instrument, by writing virtuosic and brilliant pieces for it. He turns it into a solo instrument with the same value as a violin or cello!”

Dana Zemtsov