Dalton Laureates

The AVS congratulations our most recent Dalton Research Competition winners, along with all the entrants who have made valued contributions to viola scholarship since the inception of the competition. Winning authors are honored by the competition by having their winning articles published in the Journal of the American Viola Society.

Please seek out and enjoy the worthy contributions listed below!

2023 Dalton Competition Winners

The American Viola Society proudly announces winners of the 2023 David Dalton Viola Research Competition:

Gabriel Forero (headshot)First Prize: Gabriel Forero, “The Mystery (Rosary) Sonatas by H.I.F. Biber and the Construction of a Complete Edition for Viola and Basso Continuo”

Originally from Bogotá, Colombia, Gabriel is an active solo, chamber, orchestral and baroque performer. He has presented concerts and recitals in the United States, Colombia, Peru, Brazil and Spain. He actively performs with various orchestras and chamber ensembles mostly in the Nebraska and Iowa areas, where he also teaches at the college level. During the last few years he has devoted much of his time to researching the music of Heinrich Biber, his Mystery (Rosary) Sonatas and their historically informed performance practice. As part of this research he prepared a complete transcription of these complete sonatas for viola and basso continuo, which he premiered and performs in its entirety in a single recital setting. Outside the classical setting Gabriel has played for shows alongside the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, The Celtic Woman, Danny Elfman, Rachel Barton Pine, Sandy Cameron and Ezinma, just to name a few.

He completed his D.M.A. (viola performance) degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, his M.M. (viola performance) degree from the University of Northern Iowa and his B.M. (viola performance) degree from the Colombian National University. His principal professors included Clark Potter, Julia Bullard and Anibal Dos Santos. More info at: www.gabrielforero.com

Xue Ding Headshot

Second Prize: Xue Ding, “Charles Loeffler’s Two Songs With Viola and Piano Accompaniment and Their French Influence”

Ms. Xue Ding is currently pursuing her DMA at Stony Brook University under the tutelage of Lawrence Dutton and Matthew Lipman as a teaching assistant in the music department. From 2018 to 2020 Ms. Ding studied with Karen Dreyfus and Craig Mumm in the Orchestra Performance Program at Manhattan School of Music. Before that, she studied with Patinka Kopec at Manhattan School of Music for the Performance Diploma; Dimitri Marruth at New England Conservatory for her master’s degree and from 2012-1015 she studied at Mannes College with Daniel Panner for her bachelor’s degree. 

Ms. Ding has performed at many famous festivals and concert venues, such as at National Young Artist Program in Ottawa, Sarasato Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Heifetz Music Festival, Summit Music Festival, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Mozartuem Academy, Carnegie Hall, Jordan Hall, Merkin Hall, Alice Tully Hall and Symphony Space. She made her Carnegie solo debut in 2013 performing Walton viola concerto in the Weill Recital Hall.

Ms. Ding loves teaching and performing. As a Teaching Assistant at Stonybrook University’s music department, Ms. Ding coaches chamber music, helps with orchestra sectionals and conducts the ensemble occasionally. She also teaches violin, viola, music theory, and musicianship lessons privately, and perform for private events. 

Catherine Zielger Headshot

Third Prize: Catherine Ziegler, “The Cade Instrument Collection: Celebrating an Unloved Viola”

Catherine Ziegler was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She began playing the viola in middle school at the encouragement of her late father. Her early passion for music was fostered at the Tulsa Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Barthelmes Conservatory in Tulsa. Catherine has earned bachelors’ degrees in both Music and Sustainability Studies from the University of Florida, graduating with highest honors. While at UF, she enjoyed performing with the UF Symphony Orchestra and in various ensembles in the chamber music program.

Catherine is currently pursuing a Masters degree in viola performance at the Fred Fox School of Music at the University of Arizona under Dr. Molly Gebrian. Catherine also enjoys participating in summer music festivals and has attended Eastern Music Festival and Killington Music Festival. Her previous professors include Dr. Lauren Hodges and Terry Pollak. Other mentors include Dr. Steven Thomas, Dr. Tiffany Lu, and Dr. Raymond Chobaz.

Previous Dalton Competition Winners


First Prize: Sachin Shukla, “To Christabel: Exploring the Origins of William Walton’s Viola Concerto”
published in JAVS, vol. 38, no. 2, Fall 2022


First Prize: Angela Kratschmer, “The Widmann Viola Concerto: Harold in Italy for the Postmodern Age”
– published in JAVS, vol. 37, no. 1, Spring 2021

Second Prize: Christopher Jenkins , “African-American Violists: A Retrospective”
– published in JAVS, vol. 36, no. 2, Fall 2020

Third Prize: Kasey Calebaugh, “Color in Music: An Analysis of Joan Tower’s Purple Works for Viola”
– published in JAVS, vol. 37, no. 1, Spring 2021

Honorable Mention: Chelsea Wimmer, “Heinrich Biber, Harmonia Artificiosa-Ariosa, Partia VII: An Edition for Modern Violas with Critical Commentary”
– published in JAVS, vol. 37, no. 2, Summer 2021


First Prize: Alice Sprinkle, “Bach Slurs, Abandoned by the Editors”
– published in JAVS, vol. 36, no. 1, Spring 2020


First Prize: Lanson Wells, “The Viola d’amore in Baroque Opera, Oratorio, and Cantata”
– published in JAVS, vol. 35, no. 2, Fall 2019

Second Prize: Joshua Dieringer, “A New Perspective on Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante
– published in JAVS, vol. 35, no. 2, Fall 2019


First Prize: Alexander Trygstad, “Ritornello Form and the Dynamics of Performance in Telemann’s Viola Concerto in G Major”
– published in JAVS, vol. 31, no. 2, Fall 2015

First Prize: Alicia Marie Valoti, “Bartolomeo Campagnoli and His 41 Capricci: The Ever-Changing Role of the Virtuosic Viola and Its Technique”
– published in JAVS, vol. 32, no. 1, Spring 2016


First Prize: Julie Michael, “Zen in the Art of Viola Playing: Takemitsu’s A Bird Came Down the Walk
– published in JAVS, vol. 30, no. 1, Spring 2014


First Prize: Joyce Y. Chan, “Forward Motion: Teaching Phrasing using Marcel Tabuteau’s Number System”
– published in JAVS, vol. 29, no. 1, Spring 2013

Second Prize: Amanda Wilton, “The Viola in Berlioz’s Harold in Italy”
– published in JAVS, vol. 29, no. 1, Spring 2013


First Prize: Jennifer Reed Mueller, “Finding Emotion in Bartók’s Viola Concerto
– published in JAVS, vol. 25, no. 2, Fall 2009


First Prize: Andrew Filmer, “Power-Plays in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante: A Question of Philosophies on the Genre”
– published in JAVS, vol. 24, no. 2, Fall 2008


First Prize: Christina Placilla, “The Englishman and His Mistress: A Study of Arnold Bax’s Concert Piece for Viola and Piano”
– published in JAVS, vol. 23, no. 1, Spring 2007


First Prize: Linda Shaver-Gleason, “Ritter’s Viola Alta: The Viola’s Nineteenth Century Identity Crisis”
– published in JAVS, vol. 21, no. 2, Fall 2005


First Prize: Jeffrey Levenberg, “Introducing Zelter’s Viola Concerto”
– published in JAVS, vol. 19, no. 2, Fall 2003


First Prize: Edward M. Klorman, “From Theory to Performance in Schubert’s ‘Arpeggione’ Sonata”
– published in JAVS, vol. 18, no. 1, 2002


First Prize: Charletta Taylor, “The Real Thing: A Study of the Walton Viola Concerto”
– published in JAVS, vol. 17, no. 1, 2001

Second Prize: Christina Placilla, “The Romanian Nationalist Influences on the Viola Works of Stan Golestan and George Enescu”
– published in JAVS, vol. 17, no. 1, 2001