Violin News & Gossip, Op. 2, No. 60
September 8, 2006 at 2:34 AM
Working backwards a bit….Imagine you haven’t heard who has made it to the semifinals in Indy…
The Indianapolis Star is taking full advantage of the excitement of having the quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis in town, and the paper is providing daily coverage.
9/5/06 – The paper pointed out that female competitors outnumber males by a 2-1 margin--little did they know that 15 out of 16 semifinalists were going to be female! The reporter singled out the opening performance of Yura Lee, a Violinist.com member and the recent first-prize winner at Germany's Leopold Mozart competition. “From her first bow stroke Monday morning, the 21-year-old demonstrated a clearly defined playing style. Her Paganini Caprices (Nos. 17 and 21) combined powerful attacks with timing that maximized drama. In her Debussy encore piece, Beau Soir, Lee offered controlled delicacy.” That afternoon included the playing of Katalin Kokas, “who won the Szigeti International Violin Competition in her native Hungary the same week that her now-husband, Barnabas Kelemen, won the gold medal at the 2002 Indianapolis contest. Kokas, a violin professor in Budapest, offered commanding finger dexterity during her performance of the challenging Paganini "Caprice" No. 5, which only five other competitors have chosen to play at the Indianapolis contest.”
Other performers on Monday included Tien-Hsin Wu (Taiwan), Nicolas Koeckert (Germany) and two Korean 18-year-old women, Jinjoo Cho and Ye-Eun Choi, who were the top winners at the recent Montreal competition.
IVCI laureate Kelemen later said it was exciting—but difficult—to watch his wife compete: "You can't help with your breath and your heart," he said.
9/4/06 – On this day, the paper included an account of the random drawing would decide the schedule for the preliminary round. IVCI executive director Glen Kwok (also a violinist) called the musicians to the podium to choose a numbered luggage tag that would decide their performance spot. The IVCI board president held the bucket of tags high so everything was on the up and up. Kwok threw another twist in the process by calling the musicians up alphabetically by their country rather than by last name. Saeka Matsuyama, 25, rushed from her table to choose a tag and buried her face in her hands after selecting No. 1. No one else walked quite so fast to the podium after that.”
9/9/06 – The Decatur Daily is reporting that violinist Robert McDuffie will perform at the Huntsville (Ala.) Symphony Orchestra season-opening concert. He will perform the violin concerto by Miklós Rózsa, film score composer from Hollywood's Golden Age. “McDuffie, a champion of the violin concerto by Rózsa, has recorded the work with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and plans future performances to commemorate the centennial of the composer's birth next year.”
9/7/06 – Joshua Bell will perform the Bruch Violin Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic, Daniele Gatti conducting. Additionally, Bell performed a Massenet selection from his new album on the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon.
9/5/06 – San Francisco Classical Voice is reporting on new hires at the San Francisco Symphony: Daniel Carlson has been named associate principal second violin, and Elbert Tsai and Raushan Akhmedyarova are new violin section members.
9/3/06 – According to BroadwayWorld.com, violinist Ittai Shapira performed the solo violin part in a new piece based on Margaret Wise Brown’s beloved book, The Runaway Bunny. The 20-minute concertpiece for violin, narrator and orchestra was composed by Glen Roven. A CD with Shapira and the Royal Philharmonic, and narrated by Brooke Shields, will be released by Sony/BMG this fall, and the piece was also shown on the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon.
9/3/06 – The Louisville Courier-Journal ran a Q&A with violinist Timothy 'Terry' Durbin. A Suzuki teacher, he is a newly appointed faculty member at the University of Louisville School of Music's preparatory department. Durbin is currently a few months away from earning his D.M.A. in orchestral conducting from Claremont Graduate University in California. He and his wife, an Episcopal priest, run a retreat center at their 61-acre property in Carlisle, Ky. On the Suzuki method: "The goal of the Suzuki method is to make the world a more beautiful place through music, and we as musicians have to believe -- or at least I believe -- in the power of music to touch our lives and make us more sensitive people, more beautiful people who can get along better on this planet." Specifically, Durbin says, “I teach students motivation, and I teach them imagination. … So rather than teaching students to put their finger here and draw the bow this way, I teach more to the inner student, to light that imaginative fire.”
9/2/06 – Reginald Clews, an Encinitas, Calif. violinist who had a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. “Clews, 32, pleaded guilty on the eve of his trial in June to 18 counts of child molestation. Because of the plea, he was able to avoid being sentenced to the maximum term of 42 years in prison. … The judge pointed out that Clews had no prior criminal record and was examined by qualified psychologists who determined he is not a pedophile and isn't likely to re-offend. Therefore, sentencing in this case is not about protecting society, the judge said. … Citing many of the same factors the judge mentioned, defense attorney Michael Meaney argued that a lower prison sentence would be in order. He said Clews had already spent two years in jail away from his family, including his 2-year-old daughter. Some of Clews' supporters appeared in the courtroom yesterday, including a man who said he worked with Clews for more than eight years and described him as a ‘virtuoso musician’ who has ‘learned a great lesson’ from his actions. The victim, now a 19-year-old college student, testified at an earlier hearing that she developed a crush on Clews, who played in a classical ensemble with a relative. The crush turned into a sexual relationship that started Aug. 24, 2000, and ended June 1, 2001, according to court records. Clews played with a string ensemble, taught violin to many young people in North County and worked with the North Coast Youth Symphony Orchestra. He has not been charged with any crimes involving students.”
9/7-10/06 - The Southampton University Sinfonietta will perform in Malta and Gozo next weekend. “Through the initiative of the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts, the orchestra will perform Sketch for Orchestra, by Maltese composer Albert Garzia, written especially for the Sinfonietta's summer tour. The orchestra will be joined by the composer in Malta for the premiere of his latest challenging work. The orchestra will be accompanied this summer by the wonderful young violinist Stephen Payne for a performance of one of Mendelssohn's most popular works, his exhilarating Violin Concerto in E Minor.”
9/4/06 - The Philadelphia Orchestra's sold-out program featuring Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 - which had been anticipated as one of the peaks of the BBC Proms season at Royal Albert Hall - was canceled hours before it was to start because of a minor fire in the hall's canteen, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Nobody was hurt, and the orchestra's instruments are reported to be safe."
9/3/06 – The Seattle Times ran an update on the Seattle Symphony, noting the recent "controversial survey about artistic leadership" taken by the orchestra's musicians. "Both sides seem to be on the same page in acknowledging that better relationships are needed. Board President Mary Ann Champion likens the situation to 'a family where people have different mindsets and not always the best communications. The board and conductor have met with orchestra leaders, and we've had a good old family sit-down. I think we can fix this." The paper adds that Music Director Gerard Schwarz "says he is 'absolutely confident' of his ability to work with the musicians toward their common goal of great music. 'It has been a very tenuous time,' says Schwarz, 'but I think there are so many wonderful opportunities ahead.' Tthe orchestra is poised to announce next month a 2005-06 season shortfall in an amount that no one will specify yet," adding that the deficit is " 'part of a stabilization plan that includes the board accepting some large amounts of deficit,' according to Champion, 'but it will balance out in 2009.' "
9/3/06 – The Phoenix Symphony is launching the Phoenix Symphony Baroque Ensemble, reports the Arizona Republic. Symphony President Maryellen Gleason says, "We have an opportunity in Phoenix to do what no other professional symphony orchestra in the Western Hemisphere has dared to do: embrace this research and performance practice." Through grants from the Gary and Jean Herberger Foundation and the Ron Barness Foundation, the orchestra will begin procuring instruments and scheduling professional development workshops for symphony musicians.
From Maura GeretyWoo, Katalin Kokas is married to Barnabas Kelemen? Imagine what crazy little violinist kids they would have...
Posted on September 8, 2006 at 3:00 AM
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Revisit Violinist.com editor Laurie Niles' coverage from Canada of the 2013 Montreal International Musical Competition, including her interview with gold medalist Marc Bouchkov.
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