On his Facebook page, Joe Joyner, a violist with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and owner of the The Little Rock Violin Shop relayed the following story.
On April 30th I heard a news story that Japan’s Emperor Akihito was stepping down and that his son, Naruhito, would be taking his place. 24 hours later I received a call from the U.S. State Department seeking an American made viola to give as a diplomatic gift. Shortly after this call, I began seeing news stories about Japan’s new Emperor Naruhito being a violist.
Nearly a month later, I can now say that last week I sold the Emperor’s new viola, an instrument made in 1938 by Ivan W. Allison of Charleston, West Virginia. The instrument was presented to Emperor Naruhito by President Donald Trump today.
The Little Rock Violin Shop is a treasure in Little Rock. Not only do they make stringed instruments and bows, but they also repair them. They are an important example of the role the arts play in the economy and in enhancing Little Rock’s quality of life.
Thank you to Joe Joyner for having the vision to create the Little Rock Violin Shop!
Joe Joyner began playing viola professionally with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in 1998 while he was still in high school. After two seasons, he left the orchestra to attend the University of Houston. After graduating summa cum laude in 2004, Joe performed in the Houston area as a member of Orchestra X, the Texas Music Festival Orchestra, and the Victoria Symphony.
After returning to Little Rock in 2007, Joe rejoined the Arkansas Symphony and has been an active member of the local chamber music community, serving as President of the Chamber Music Society of Little Rock and performing regularly with the Soma Quartet and Little Rock String Quartet.
Joe is also the owner of the Little Rock Violin Shop, central Arkansas’s bowed string instrument specialists. Trained at the Violin Making School of America and the Lisle Violin Shop, Joe performs bow repairs and restorations for string players throughout the state. In addition to bow repairs, the shop offers instrument repairs and sells instruments, bows, cases, and accessories for students and professional musicians.
In addition to classical music, Joe has a keen interest in playing rock viola. While in Houston, he performed regularly with the experimental folk rock band ListenListen, with which he recorded a self titled EP and a full length album, Hymns for Rhodesia. Wanting to share his passion for playing rock music with younger string players, Joe served as assistant director of the Youth Rock Orchestra.
Tonight at 6:30pm classical pianist Gio Antipolo will present an evening of music. He is joined by Geoffrey Robson, violin; David Gerstein, cello; and Joe Joyner, viola.
Casual Attire. Kids welcome. And its free. The recital will take place at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church.
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto no. 5 “Emperor” – I
CHOPIN Piano Concerto no. 1 “Romance” – II
BACH Italian Concerto
PROKOFIEV Sonata no. 6 – I
RAVEL Une Barque sur l’ocean
LISZT La Campanella
BEETHOVEN “Spring” Sonata (Violin Sonata)
SCHUMANN Piano Quartet II, III