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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 2, No. 57

August 27, 2006 at 5:27 PM

One of the orchestra world’s major jobs has been filled: The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra has appointed Romanian violist Liviu Prunaru its new concertmaster. Prunaru, born in 1969, will assume the post at the beginning of the new season. He will hold the position jointly with Vesko Eschkenazy.

In 1993, Prunaru won the Eugène Ysaÿe Prize, Audience Prize and second Grand Prize of the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition. He subsequently won a number of other international competitions, including the Juilliard Mendelssohn Competition in 1999, which led to his New York solo debut at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall with the Juilliard Symphony. He has since performed as a soloist with orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra and has given recitals at major concert halls throughout the world. Prunaru studied with Alberto Lysy at the renowned Menuhin Academy in Gstaad, Switzerland and with Dorothy DeLay in New York. He is currently a professor at the Menuhin Academy and has served as guest principal violinist with the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, among others.

His predecessor, Alexander Kerr, relinquished the post to take up a professorship in violin at Indiana University.

8/24/06 - Ara Guzelimian has been named new dean of Juilliard, reports the New York Times. Guzelimian comes from Carnegie Hall, where was a key executive. “At Juilliard, Mr. Guzelimian will be second in command to the president, Joseph W. Polisi. He will oversee faculty, hiring, the curriculum and the performance programs at one of the country’s premier conservatories. Mr. Guzelimian also lectures and writes on music, and has produced radio programs. He was simultaneously artistic administrator of the Aspen Music Festival and School and artistic director of the Ojai Festival in California in the 1990’s. Before that he worked for 15 years at the Los Angeles Philharmonic as producer of its radio broadcasts and as artistic administrator.”

8/23/06 – Did anyone else notice in the obituary coverage of famed trumpeter Maynard Ferguson, who has just died at the age of 78, that he started on violin at age 4? That surely must have been due to the influence of his mother, who was a violinist with the Ottawa (Canada) Symphony and one of his leading musical influences, second only to the great Louis Armstrong, according to the AP obituary.

Musician News

The Orion String Quartet will be the ensemble-in-residence at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music during the 2006-2007 academic year.

Duo Jung-Carballo, comprised of violinist Jiwoon Jung and pianist Kim Carballo attended the chamber music festival Festival de Música de Cámera de Aguascalientes in Aguascalientes, Mexico. They participated in lessons and master classes, were part of a televised concert, and won the prestigious Manuel M. Ponce award, which includes a return trip to present a concert next season.

8/27/06 - Arnold Steinhardt, the Guarneri Quartet’s first violinist will perform trios with the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s principal cellist, Jules Eskin, and the formidable pianist Lydia Artymiw in Falls Village, Conn.

8/24/06 - Lawrence Dutton, the Emerson String Quartet’s violist, is currently out of commission for shoulder surgery. According to the New Yorker, the remaining players got some help from their friends, including the pianist Leon Fleisher, the violist Jaime Laredo, and the cellist Sharon Robinson, who join them in works by Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms at Avery Fisher Hall. Due to Dutton’s leave, that same day the young Daedalus String Quartet, winners of the 2001 Banff Competition, filled in for the Emersons at the Kaplan Penthouse.

8/24/06 – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is publicizing the philanthropic efforts of 12-year-old violinist Jenna Mitchell. In searching for a service project for her upcoming Bat Mitzvah, she decided to collect used instruments for the nearby Brookhaven Boys & Girls Club. "I saw how many kids there were there who wanted something to do in the afternoons. I saw music as a great opportunity for them." She’s gotten instruments from stores that couldn’t sell them and from people cleaning out their attics. Even old music stands and shoulder rests are coming in handy. "We've been looking for a project, and because of Jenna's violin background, we tried to come up with something that she could sink her teeth into and would also be good for other people," said Holly Mitchell, Jenna's mother. "Her violin teacher pointed her to the Boys & Girls Club because she knew there were so many children there who couldn't afford their own instruments to practice on every day." Holly Mitchell said people at the Club were a bit skeptical when her daughter first proposed the project. "We only started talking about this four weeks ago and at first, I don't think they thought it would really go anywhere," she said. "But it's really taken off." Bravo, Jenna!

Orchestra News

According to the American Symphony Orchestra League, the real-life, music-loving canine mascot of the New York Philharmonic is the subject of a new children's book, "Jake, the Philharmonic Dog," by Karen LeFrak. The tale, illustrated by Marcin Baranski, introduces readers to the instruments and sounds of the orchestra through the story of the real-life terrier that loves to interact with musicians and crew backstage at Avery Fisher Hall and has been known to sit onstage during rehearsals. LeFrak, a member of the Philharmonic board of directors, will donate all proceeds from the book to the orchestra. "Jake, the Philharmonic Dog," is published by Walker Books for Young Readers.

The Rockford Symphony Orchestra is offering a 2-hour class specifically for homeschooled students ages 5-10. "Orchestra Adventures," an interactive introduction to the instrument families of the orchestra, takes participants through Britten's "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" with listening games and other activities.

8/26/06 - The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra chose an unusual partner: Harley Davidson of Indianapolis. The two organizations teamed up to host a motorcycle ride promoting highway safety. The ride took participants from the Harley Davidson dealership to the Conner Prairie Amphitheater to attend a Marsh Symphony on the Prairie Series concert. Tickets, priced at $20, included the concert plus VIP parking and lawn seating in a reserved area.

8/24/06 - The Minnesota Orchestra’s performance at the BBC Proms in London was broadcast live and streamed online via Minnesota Public Radio. The orchestra departed on August 20 for a two-week tour of European music festivals. The tour, led by Music Director Osmo Vänskä, includes performances in Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Helsinki, and Locarno, Switzerland. Twin Cities Public Television will air a telecast of the Proms concert on September 6.

8/24/06 - One of the highlights of the Cleveland Orchestra's upcoming European tour, according to the Akron Beacon Journal, is expected to be a performance in Anton Bruckner's own church of the composer’s Symphony No. 5. Coincidentally, this lies just outside of Music Director Franz Welser-Möst birthplace of Linz, Austria. The performance will be recorded for a DVD and television broadcast.

8/21/06 - The New York Times included an article about the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, an ensemble made up of young Arab and Israeli musicians co-founded by conductor Daniel Barenboim and cultural theorist Edward Said. "This summer the orchestra's very existence has been tested as never before" as a result of the conflict between Israel and Lebanon. …For both political and security reasons, a dozen Lebanese and Syrian players decided to stay away, and a planned concert beside the pyramids near Cairo was canceled ... This year Mr. Barenboim and Mr. Said's widow, Mariam, decided that music was not enough. After two weeks of rehearsals, they proposed that a political declaration by the orchestra be added to the program for concerts on the tour. The final document reiterated principles on which the orchestra had been founded: that there is no military solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and that the destinies of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples are inextricably linked."

From Frank Self
Posted on August 28, 2006 at 5:57 PM
On a very rainy afternoon, the Steinhardt-Artymiw-Eskin Trio performed beautifully at Gordan Hall, Music Mountain, Falls Village, CT, in Turina's Piano Trio "Circulo," opus 91, Beethoven's Piano Trio in E flat, opus 70, #2, and Schumann's Piano Trioin F major, opus 80. Because Artymiw had just returned from Europe where she played on a reconditioned piano which had been Brahms, they included an encore of a trio movement by Brahms. Exquisite.

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