Golden Chamber Music
at Sleepy Hollow

A Tribute to Virginia Hunt
by Sylvelin Bouwman

I do not know when Virginia started attending the Golden Chamber Music weekends at Sleepy Hollow, but I do remember that at one of MY first playing sessions she asked me where I lived. When I told her, she was surprised to learn that I lived only forty-five minutes from her home in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. That's one of many happy outcomes that can result from a Golden Chamber Music weekend at Sleepy Hollow—meeting your neighbors!

Virginia with other players
Virginia, second from right, and Sylvelin with cello

It was several years before we began to play together regularly, but over time she became my Most Valuable Player, willing to go to great lengths to organize our Tuesday Morning String Quartet whenever we were both in town.

Her viola playing and knowledge of chamber music literature were amazing, and I would rank her among the very best of amateurs. Although we rarely performed together, I could always rely on her as a partner in an ensemble with her steady sense of rhythm and careful intonation and phrasing.

She also quietly dedicated a great deal of her expert knowledge to designing and maintaining the goldenchambermusic.org website, for which we owe her a great debt.

A person can have all of the above qualities and become a great friend, but Virginia had even more. She was generous with her vegetable garden output in the summer, and she crafted music themed gifts for us at Christmas.

She almost never stopped smiling, but her humorous remarks were delivered with a straight face and a chuckle that I will never forget. She was willing to put up with "viola jokes" and could counter with plenty of clever remarks about the other strings!

To say that I will miss her is a huge understatement.

Virginia owned a beautiful Carletti viola and a Giovanni Lazzaro violin, both of which are now consigned for sale at Seman Violins in Skokie, Illinois.