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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 2, No. 87

December 15, 2006 at 4:25 AM

Talk about educational outreach: When the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra travels to Europe next month, four junior high musicians will travel with them, reports the Saint Paul Pioneer Press.

“Two students from St. Paul's Ramsey Junior High — Clare Romey and Cecilia Mazumdar Stanger — and two from Minneapolis' Ramsey International Fine Arts Magnet — Sophia Deady and Jasmine Randle — will be traveling with the orchestra to Budapest, Hungary, where it will open the tour with a Jan. 22 concert at the Franz Liszt Academy. In Budapest, the students will meet Hungarian students with whom they've been corresponding and will see the sights of the city. Then it's off to Europe's classical music capital, Vienna, Austria, where the SPCO will be performing at the legendary Musikverein on Jan. 23. In addition to touring the cities, the students plan to record their experiences through blogs, radio, video, a performance piece or some combination. The students will be traveling with their music teachers and SPCO education manager Kate Cooper.”

Musician News

According to San Francisco Classical Voice, San Francisco State violin professor Jassen Todorov, 31, has won a Crystal Lyre Award, the highest honor for achievement in music in his native Bulgaria. “Todorov won the title in the "young performers and artists" category. Awards are selected by a 27-member jury, and presented by the Union of Musicians and Dancers, and the Ministry of Culture. "Music is very much part of the culture in Bulgaria, and it is quite an honor to be recognized," said Todorov, who was nominated in the same category two years ago, but did not win.”

William Preucil, concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra and Distinguished Professor of Violin at the Cleveland Institute of Music, has joined the faculty of Furman University (Greenville, S.C.) as Distinguished Visiting Professor of Violin. Preucil will visit the Furman campus three times each academic year to conduct violin masterclasses, teach private lessons to a select number of students, and coach the Hartness and Gladden string quartets.

12/14/06 - The Miami Herald reviewed the Miami Symphony Orchestra's Sunday night concert under conductor Eduardo Marturet. The concert also featured Time for Three: this "trio of Curtis Institute graduates, violinists Nicolas Kendall and Zachary DePue and double-bassist Ranaan Meyer, bring striking virtuosity to their Americana-flavored bluegrass music. At times the off-color jokes and self-conscious informality ('Hello Miami!') seemed more heavy-handed than the concert-hall stiffness these young artists are attempting to countervail." The reviewer also praised the group's display of "country-fiddle bravura."

12/13/06 – Two violinists were quoted in an article in the Willamette (Oregon) Weekly online about the phenomenon of agnostic and atheistic musicians performing in Handel’s Messiah. “Portland Baroque Orchestra violin section member and self-described 'spiritually minded borderline atheist' Adam Lamotte, 32, says it's the 'lushness of Handel's writing' and 'extremely satisfying counterpoint' that make it a perennial crowd-pleaser. And PBO might program it for this other reason: 'Messiah is a cash cow,' according to PBO violinist Rob Diggins. 'It gets people in the door.' Read the article here:

12/12/06 – Talk about well-rounded: The Niagara Gazette reports on Lewiston-Porter High School senior Joe McGreevy. He “doesn’t fiddle around on the wrestling mat, as his nearly 80 career wins will attest. But when he’s away from the mat, it’s an altogether different tune.McGreevy, one of the leaders for the Lew-Port wrestling team, is also an accomplished violinist. It’s a combination you don’t find too often — except at Lew-Port — where McGreevy’s younger brother Tom is also a wrestler and a violinist.”

12/2/06 – LA has a new chamber music series, Bel Air House Concerts, according to the website of the Film Music Society. “Bruce and Belinda Broughton launched a series of intimate chamber-music concerts Saturday night, Dec. 2, at their Bel-Air home, and their first outing can only be deemed an unqualified success. Twenty invited guests mingled, chatted, had dinner and enjoyed an hour of music for violin, cello and piano. Belinda Broughton – one of Los Angeles' and London's finest violinists – also happens to be a world-class chef. Her kitchen (with an entire wall library of more than 1,000 cookbooks, all of them read and used) was the first stop for guests, who enjoyed wine and hors d'oeuvres while meeting new friends or catching up with old ones. Belinda was as much "fiddler" as traditional violinist in the lively opening, gorgeous second movement and hoedown-style finale, and her pianist husband – so well known as a composer, with Oscar and Grammy nominations, multiple Emmys and frequent concert commissions – executed the complex variations with ease. Find more details of the evening here:

Orchestra News

The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra has named Canadian conductor and pianist Yannick Nézet-Séguin music director, to succeed Valery Gergiev in August 2008. Nézet-Séguin, 31,artistic director and principal conductor of the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (Ontario) has named Edwin Outwater, an energetic 35-year-old conductor from San Francisco, its new music director.

12/13/06 – is reporting that, more than three years after the Savannah Symphony disbanded, a new professional orchestra is taking shape in the historic Georgia city. Its organizers hope the group’s operating model will let the group be sustainable. The Savannah Sinfonietta and Chamber Players “was founded this past summer by William Keith, a university-level band conductor who is the new group's Executive and Artistic Director. His mission was to re-assemble the two dozen musicians from the Savannah Symphony who remained in the area and use them as the core of a new professional resident orchestra.”

From Sydney M.
Posted on December 15, 2006 at 5:00 AM
I'm listening to Bill Preucil's "American" Quartet right now! He's great.
From Karin Lin
Posted on December 15, 2006 at 7:43 PM
Wow, what a great opportunity for those kids! I'm so impressed with the SPCO's work in blazing musical trails and this is yet one more example.
From Andrew Paa
Posted on December 16, 2006 at 12:50 AM
Hey, something that is quite amazing, when the Luther College Symphony Orchestra is on residency in Vienna next month we will be watching the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra!

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