Viola by Choice

Viola by Choice

 Austin, Texas, USA

"VIOLA BY CHOICE does everything a classical music group should be doing in the 21st century. And what is that?
Offering smart and alluring programs that feed the brain and the soul - and do so with polished, enthusiastic musicianship."


Viola By Choice is a chamber ensemble registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It was founded in 2007 by charismatic French violist Aurélien Pétillot to promote the originality, versatility and importance of the viola and its repertoire through research, performance, commissioning, publishing, teaching, and recording of works for viola in variable instrumental combinations.

Viola By Choice advocates Music as an accessible and universal life changing energy, as well as one of the richest forms of human expression and creativity. With its unique mix of artistry and conviviality, Viola By Choice wishes to guide any audience into a deep, enriching, active, and lasting relationship with music, and to foster cultural and personal exchanges between artists and the community, while challenging stereotypes associated with Classical Music and the viola.

The viola is the perfect symbol of irresistible, boundless beauty too often concealed. As such, it is the hope of Viola By Choice that it will encourage all to awaken, embrace, and share their inner viola, while reconnecting with each other and to Music.

Viola By Choice received the 2009 "Best body of work" Austin Table Critics Award.

'The concert epitomizes the kind of eclectic, inclusive, lively programming that Pétillot promotes. Dialogue with other musicians, collaboration with other art forms, supporting the emerging composers of his own generation, digging through archives to find the forgotten gems of the viola repertoire— these are things that ignite Pétillot.'


- FLORILEGIUM is Viola By Choice's first CD. It is an emotionally and stylistically eclectic collection of exciting live performances recorded during Viola By Choice's first two seasons. The works on the album epitomize what chamber music is all about: they are lush, exotic, soulful, poignant, lyrical, passionate, virtuosic, funky, and decadent.

FLORILEGIUM features compositions by Paganini, Brahms, Ravel, Debussy, Turina and others, including world premiere recordings of works by Libby Larsen, Lowell Liebermann, Peter Stopschinski and Michael Haydn.