Performances or original compositions of David Johnstone   Español · English


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David Johnstone, fully involved in the arts as a performer and composer, publically expresses himself to be totally against ‘festivities’ using animals cruelly for human pleasure, and particularly those of the bull ring. He is fully agreed with the phrase: “Torture is neither art nor culture”. Furthermore, for him bullfighting is the shame of the Spanish nation …


as proof of that – this is a morally important work of Johnstone:


Solo Viola and String Orchestra or Piano

‘Elegy’ is a concert work that can be played as a ‘pure’ composition, without mention of the programmatic thread – as such, a late romantic intense outpouring with some occasionally more modern touches also present. It is very much of film ambience, for the special quality of the viola sings (in all registers) almost uninterruptedly in long awe-inspiring phrases that would seem to fit like ‘a glove’ to the big screen.  There are two performance possibilities, for the work is equally persuasive whether performed in orchestral programmes with string orchestra or with a pianist in recital; taking into account that there are rather different sound conceptions in the accompaniment it will be seen that the tone colours of the orchestration are rather different in each version.  The duration is about seven minutes and a half.
The composer has for many years been a staunch defender of animal welfare and animal rights, and this offering is specifically an oration dedicated to the plight of the Spanish bull in the bull-ring (‘la corrida’), which he sees neither as art nor culture. There are no doubts, in Johnstone’s mind, as to the need still (in the twenty-first century) for animal ‘justice’ and to act against unreasonable animal exploitation’:
The music starts … at once the bull demonstrates his physical condition in this solo ‘cadenza’, although it soon becomes obvious that he is in an entirely hostile and unknown atmosphere. Nevertheless … what great expansion of melody he feels. The power of the main theme (the big song) comes to the fore a number of times. The fantasy and ‘rubato’ passages from the viola soloist are indeed of our chief character, the bull himself, trying to re-group his forces to regain his initial strength. The second theme, syncopated and in imitation, is rather more ‘distant’, and relates to the human indifference of those spectators without soul. Without going further into details, the rest of the work describes the unequal fight between man and bull, terminating with the killing of the bull. Further more detailed programmatic information is available from the composer upon request. 

The work is affectionately dedicated to Asún Vidal (long-time animal rights campaigner) and the Spanish ‘Sociedad Protectora de Animales de Navarra’ (Navarre Animal Protection Society), Spain.

Samplepages – Viola and Orchestra:

Partitura Partitura

Sample pages – Viola and Piano:

Partitura Partitura


Sociedad Protectora de Animales de Navarra (Spain) *

The principal Animal Protection society of Navarre, constituted as a foundation.


Sociedad Protectora de Animales de Navarra / C/ G (Pol. Ind. Mutilva Baja), S/N,  31192 Aranguren,  Navarra,  Spain

ACIG – Animal Cruelty Investigation Group (Great Britain) *

Excellent investigative work on the ground by a small dedicated team, sometimes putting themselves in danger in order to bring justice on behalf of the animals


A.C.I.G.   / P.O. Box 8, HALESWORTH, Suffolk. IP19 0JL Great Britain


LACS – League against Cruel Sports (Great Britain) *

Long-term and highly-valued work for defending animal rights, especially in terms of fighting against animal torture in ‘cruel’ sports, and includes successful political lobbying.


League Against Cruel Sports /  New Sparling House,  Holloway Hill, 

Godalming, Surrey  GU7 1QZ  Great Britain

Fundación Altarriba

Fights for protection and care for domestic animals, above all dogs and cats.


Anima Naturalis

A solid animal rights web page, with national and international news



PACMA – Partido Animalista

Excellent political pressure group, formed as a political party.


PACMA - Partido Antitaurino Contra el Maltrato Animal en España / Apartado de correos 18110,  28080 Madrid, Spain

Onekind (Advocates for Animals) *   

They make a very important charity work for animal welfare in Scotland, excellent public awareness and influential political campaigns.

OneKind / 10 Queensferry St., Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland EH2 4PG

(*)  Johnstone is a member, collaborator, or financially supports these organizations








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