Leading Lines


viola quartet


a set of four short, contrasting pieces for viola quartet. 

The first piece is mostly in unison and introduces the idea behind the title of connecting ‘threads’ or ‘leading lines’ that pass between the parts. In art, ‘leading lines’ are lines that guide your eye through the painting or photograph and, in these pieces, the focus of attention is often passed between the four parts as suspended notes, parts of tunes or textural punctuation. In this respect, all parts are equally important although the majority of the more technically challenging melodic interest is given to Parts 1 & 2. 

The second piece is lively and rhythmic with constantly changing meter. 

The third piece capitalises on the wonderful sound a viola can make on the lower strings, with a slowly creeping and surging texture which evolves into beautiful solos with swelling accompaniment. 

The fourth piece demands bold, confident playing and is marked ‘Hack & slash - violent!’. This piece requires a good, strong sense of rhythm and an attacking playing style.

Difficulty approximately ABRSM Grade 6 - 7

Duration 10 minutes


First performance


University of Huddersfield

British Viola Society (workshop)

Commissioned by 

British Viola Society

Score & Parts available on request:

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Please let me know if you intend to perform one of my pieces: I would love to hear about it!