Welcome to "For the Record," Violinist.com's weekly roundup of new releases of recordings by violinists, violists, cellists and other classical musicians. We hope it helps you keep track of your favorite artists, as well as find some new ones to add to your listening!
Johnny Gandelsman, a member of the Silk Road Ensemble and a founding member of Brooklyn Rider, makes his solo album debut with J.S. Bach: Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Violin. The project was launched in 2015: "After spending more than a decade working in collaborative settings, I wanted to focus inward and look for my own voice again," Gandelsman said. "I also suspected that, having worked with non-classical musicians like Iranian kamancheh legend Kayhan Kalhor, master Irish fiddler Martin Hayes, and American composer and banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck, my understanding of Bach’s music would evolve, if I gave it the proper focus." That year, Gandelsman performed Bach’s complete sonatas and partitas on 15 occasions. Lloyd Schwartz, describing a live performance on NPR’s Fresh Air, said: "I’ve heard some famous violinists attempt this epic feat, but none of them gripped me and delighted me as thoroughly as Gandelsman." Raised in a musical family in Russia and Israel, Gandelsman began his studies with Natalya Boyarskaya, continuing with Felix Andrievsky and Maya Glezarova, legendary pedagogues of the Russian violin school. After winning medals at the Menuhin and Kreisler International Violin Competitions, he moved to the U.S., where he studied with Jascha Brodsky and Arnold Steinhardt at the Curtis Institute of Music. BELOW: Johnny Gandelsman performs the complete Bach Sonatas & Partitas in 2015:
There are a few people responsible for giving my life the shape and path it has taken, but none so significant as Shirley Givens.
Shirley was my violin teacher at the Peabody Conservatory, and she passed away a week ago at the age of 86. She also taught at The Juilliard School, Mannes College and the New School; and among her many successful students were Pamela Frank, Joseph Lin, and David Kim.
I'm sure than many of her students feel the way I do about her. There were many wonderful life lessons that she taught us all, collectively, through the years. When you are a student at music school, surrounded by the best and the brightest, you doubt yourself and your ability to be competitive at some point during the journey. Shirley used to say, "If you want it enough and work hard enough, you will find your place." When my students come to me now and ask that question, "Am I good enough?" I give them her answer. There is a niche for you if you want it. Those are such important and powerful words coming from a mentor and teacher. Keep reading...
In an effort to promote the coverage of live violin performance, Violinist.com each week presents links to reviews of notable concerts and recitals around the world.
Baiba Skride performed the Tchaikovsky with the New York Philharmonic.
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