Viola da Gamba Player Judith Davidoff has Died, Age 94

Davidoff was an influential figure in the early-music scene, as a member and founder of numerous ensembles



At just 18, Judith Davidoff performed as a cello soloist with the Boston Pops. A graduate of Radcliffe College and the Longy School of Music, she was exposed to the early music group, Boston Camerata. According to the New York Times, it was members of this ensemble who helped inspire her to take up the viola da gamba.

On this instrument, she eventually performed in the Boston Camerata in addition to the Cambridge Consort. She was able to practice and perform on the period instruments in the collection of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

She relocated to New York in 1964 for the opportunity to play with the ensemble, Pro Musica. She went on to found Music for a While and the New York Consort of Viols in 1972.

In addition to teaching at New York's Sarah Lawrence College and other institutions, in her late 60s, Davidoff earned a Ph.D. at Cincinnati's Union Institute, writing her dissertation on the music written in the 20th century for the viola da gamba.

Our condolences to Ms. Davidoff's family, friends, students, and colleagues.