David Dalton Obituary, Death – David Johnson Dalton died naturally on December 23, 2022. He was born on January 18, 1934, in Springville, Utah, to cattleman and farmer Oliver H. Dalton and artist Jessie J. Dalton. In his paradoxical boyhood, he tended cows and played the violin (found under a Christmas tree as an unwelcome surprise in lieu of a bike). His growing musical inclinations led him to the Vienna Akademie der Musik and Munich’s Hochschule für Musik.
His commitment to the violin transformed under the inspiration and mentorship of the famous violist William Primrose, and Dalton eventually got a doctorate in viola performance from Indiana University. Dalton worked with Primrose on two publications about the legendary violist’s career and viola technique, as well as two video documentaries. Dalton’s viola arrangements have been published by a number of international publishing houses. Dalton and Primrose co-founded Brigham Young University’s Primrose International Viola Archive, which is the world’s largest and most important archive of viola-related resources.
For 35 years, Dalton’s professorial career was linked to Brigham Young University. He expanded the viola curriculum significantly and was a founding and long-standing member of the Deseret Quartet. He sang as a soloist and in duo with his soprano wife, Donna. He was the Salt Lake Symphony’s music director for 12 years and began the annual Valentine Vienna Ball under its sponsorship 35 years ago, which is still going on today. Dr. Dalton was elected president of the American Viola Society, where he managed the society’s professional journal for 15 years, and then president of the International Viola Society, which conferred the “Golden Viola Clef” on him. The Society had only granted such an honor once in its 50-year history.
He traveled the world as a performer, lecturer, and amateur photographer, fascinated by the earth’s beauty and cultural diversity. Dalton spent the majority of his life as a member of several conservation organizations and an advocate for environmental issues. He was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving as bishop of the Provo Grandview South 14th Ward and on many times as a member of the stake high council. He was also an elementary school teacher. He served as a missionary for his church twice: once in West Germany from 1954 to 1957, and secondly in Bern, Switzerland, with his wife from 2003 to 2004.
On August 28, 1957, David married the multi-talented Donna Glazier in the Mesa, Arizona LDS Temple. She was a lively companion and kind hostess to the many guests and associates that visited the Dalton house. Alison Dalton (Charles) of Chicago, IL, Melissa Dalton (Randall) Bradford of Frankfurt, Germany, Hilary Dalton (Tim) of Dubuque, IA, and Aaron Dalton (Abigail) of Provo, UT were their four children. With 15 grandchildren, Stephen E. Dalton of Salt Lake City, Utah, is the only living sibling. Three of David’s most fortunate events were his volunteer church service in Germany as a young man, where all things praiseworthy from that culture—Bach, Brahms, Beethoven, Mozart, Goethe, Schiller, Heine—would forever shape his sensibilities; marrying Donna, whose innate artistry inspired and whose singular work ethic enabled his rich life; and meeting and deeply befriending the legendary William Primrose.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, January 7, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Grandview LDS Stake Center, 1122 Grand Avenue, Provo. The night before, on Friday, January 6, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., there will be a viewing at the same address. For further information, including a link to the live-streamed funeral, please visit https://www.bergmortuary.com/. Please consider donating to the Primrose International Viola Archive, Harold B. Lee Library, BYU, Provo, UT 84602, or the Nature Conservancy in place of flowers. Thank you to the physicians and employees at Revere Health, as well as Suncrest Hospice Care, particularly Danica, Christine, Charlene, and Nathan.