Meet the Musicians: Mary Dausch, viola

Nov. 9, 2015

by Sandy Brotman

After telling me she has 4 children (twins aged 9, plus a 5- and a 3-year old), I asked Mary what her hobbies are. There was a pregnant pause followed by a polite chuckle. I moved on.

She was born and raised in DC, earned her Bachelors from the University of San Francisco and her Masters from Rice.

In addition to playing with Amadeus for more than 5 years, Mary has played with the Arlington Philharmonic, Fairfax Symphony, and the Virginia Chamber Orchestra, among others. She also teaches violin and viola at Landon School.

When asked about the viola, she commented that it had a darker, more subtle tone than the violin. And while she enjoys playing the “inner lines” in a larger orchestra, she also enjoys the equality of the voices in chamber music. I asked Mary for examples of where the viola shines: Brahms symphonies and serenades, Faure’s Requiem, and Beethoven’s chamber music.

Regarding today’s performance, she says that the Mendelssohn Octet is joyous, challenging, and filled with great part writing. And oh, Mary finally remembered, “I enjoy camping, hiking, traveling, and non-fiction reading.” I wanted to shout, “When!” But I, too, wanted to be polite.