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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 2, No. 79

November 17, 2006 at 2:01 AM

As promised, I have obtained a mailing address so that members can mail checks in support of Cristina Purje, the Grant Park Symphony violinist I wrote about last week. Cristina is 26 years old and suffering from an aggressive form of adrenal cancer that has spread to her liver and required partial amputation of her right arm.

She does not have health insurance and is not eligible public aid, so members of the Grant Park Symphony, including the globe-trotting maestro Carlos Kalmar, are volunteering their services to put on a benefit concert for Cristina at the Chicago Cultural Center. All concert proceeds (and mailed donations) will be used to defray Cristina’s staggering medical expenses.

You may send checks in any amount made payable to the Grant Park Orchestra Members Committee:

Cristina’s Concert
c/o Grant Park Music Festival
205 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601

Musician News

Holly Huelskamp has been appointed assistant concertmaster of the Owensboro (Ky.) Symphony Orchestra. Huelskamp, currently a master's degree candidate at Indiana University, is a member of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and recently performed with the Spoleto Festival and at Weill Recital Hall in New York City.

11/16/06 – Violinist Robin Scott, second-prize winner of the 2006 Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, will perform a recital in Peru, Indiana. He was also a laureate in the Hellam National Competition in March 2006.

11/15/06 – The Baltimore Sun reports that violinist Hilary Hahn was due to receive a tonsillectomy on this date. The announcement came in an informal interview that ran the previous day. Get well soon, Hilary—adult tonsillectomy is no picnic! Read the story here:

11/15/06 – The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix ran a fun interview with violinist Mark Fewer, concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony. Fewer will be performing Mendelssohn there this weekend. Read the profile here:

11/15/06 - Violinist Lindsay Deutsch, all of 21, will perform the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Burbank Philharmonic this weekend. She told the Burbank Leader that she was inspired to become a violinist after seeing the famous segment Itzhak Perlman recorded for Sesame Street.

11/14/06 – Have you wondered what the Emerson String Quartet has been up to while violist Lawrence Dutton recovers from rotator cuff surgery? At a recital this week at the University of Chicago, violinist Eugene Drucker slid over to viola. Pianist Wu Han, wife of cellist David Finkel, joined the group for a Brahms Piano Quartet. The student reviewer pronounced that “Drucker really can play the viola pretty well (every now and again, a note would waver into tune after being stuck a tad flat, but otherwise he was solid).” Good to know!

11/14/06 - The Hyperbow, an experimental violin created by violinist/scientist Diana Young to document the subtleties of individual players’ technique, has received a fair amount of interest in the scientific press this fall. Read what the MIT Technology Review has to say:

Orchestra News

11/15/06 – According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra has extended its relationship with two of its successful “artistic partners.” Conductors Douglas Boyd and Roberto Abbado will continue leading the SPCO regularly through 2010 and 2011, respectively. The orchestra has abandoned a traditional music directorship in favor of a diverse array of artistic partners, including Joshua Bell.

11/14/06 – The Stage reports that the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic has reached agreement on a 21 percent pay raise for its musicians. The RLPO's base wage lags far behind the UK's top orchestras - even at the end of the new contract, musicians will earn just 25,000 pounds per year - but the deal is being seen as an indication that the orchestra has stabilized fiscally after several years of restructuring. Liverpool has been designated the Cultural Capital of Europe for 2008, which may explain the raise.

Other Music News

Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and producer Elliott Forrest has been named afternoon host at New York's 96.3 FM WQXR. He succeeds Lloyd Moss, who retired September 29 after 50 years with the station. Forrest, previously the weekend morning host at WQXR, joined the station's announcing staff in 2003 and also hosts nationally syndicated concerts by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Seattle Symphony, and the Jerusalem Symphony. In 2005 Forrest directed a concert version of Act III of Wagner's Götterdämmerung at the Hollywood Bowl with John Mauceri conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic. From 1986 to 1993 he was the morning drive-time host on New York's WNCN-FM. He holds a bachelor's degree in drama from the University of Texas-Austin.

Minnesota Public Radio has announced that Brian Newhouse, its award-winning host and senior producer of Minnesota Orchestra, will serve as host and senior producer of SymphonyCast when American Public Media assumes production and distribution of that program from NPR in January. SymphonyCast is a two-hour weekly radio program featuring full-length concerts by leading U.S. and European orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Cleveland Orchestra. Before becoming host of MPR's Minnesota Orchestra Newhouse was a writer for such public-radio series as The Writer's Almanac and the globally broadcast daily magazine European Journal.

From Sydney M.
Posted on November 17, 2006 at 3:58 AM
Hilary's so modest: "If I travel first class, I might think I'm important."

HA! Hilary Hahn not important?! What does that make the rest of us??? ;-) I hope she recovers soon.

From al ku
Posted on November 17, 2006 at 4:19 AM
cristina's demise is sad, especially with the news of partial arm amputation, which is highly unusual, even with bony involvement.

a young person with aggressive disease in the USA qualifies for both medicaid and medicare.

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