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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 2, No. 64

September 21, 2006 at 3:03 AM

Now that we’ve all basked in the incomparable playing of the Indianapolis competitors, it’s time to shift attention to the competitors for the 2006 Henri Vieuxtemps Prize. The finals will be held October 21.

Hrachya Avanesyan, 20, Armenia
Camille Babut du Mares, 20, Belgium
Elisabeth Deletaille, 29, Belgium
Céline Di Fabio, 23, Belgium
Marie Gabriel, 23, Belgium
Weronika Godlewska, 23, Poland
Vincent Hepp, 26, Belgium
Naoko Matsui, 27, Japan
Emilio Mecenero, 20, France
Caroline Poncelet, 24, Belgium

And here is some commentary regarding the judging rules: “The regulations stipulate: Persons, who have a family connection or relationship by marriage from the 1st to 6th degree with a competitor or who have made an essential contribution to the latter’s violin studies are not allowed to be members of the Panel of Judges. The Committee has sovereign authority to appreciate whether or not a person has made an essential contribution to a candidate’s musical learning."

The 2006 Judges are Georges Octors (President), Richard Pieta, Gaby Altmann, Jean-Paul Edgard Lochet and Tomiko Shida.

Other Musician News

The Monterey Symphony has made several new string hires based on recent auditions: violinists Sarah Gillies, Emily Packard, Li Pan and Thomas Yee; Christine Liu and Charith Premawardhana, viola and Drew Ford,, cello.

Oberlin Conservatory of Music has announced the appointment of Amir Eldan as assistant professor of cello. Formerly associate principal cello in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Eldan holds a bachelor's degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a master's from The Juilliard School, where he is currently pursuing a doctoral degree.

9/27/06 – Violinist Janet Sung will perform Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole at Idaho State University . She was recently appointed Violin Professor at the State University of New York at Fredonia School of Music.

9/21/06 – Violinist Judith Ingolfsson, former winner of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, will perform the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Northwest Indiana Symphony, reports the Northwest Indiana Times.

9/19/06 – Jazz violinist Regina Carter has been honored as one of 25 winners of a 2006 “genius” grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation of Chicago. The unsolicited award consists of $100,000 per year for five years. Funds can be used however the winner desires. Candidates are selected for their creativity, originality and potential. According to the Detroit Free Press, “the 44-year-old New York resident is known for the brushfire intensity and contagious excitement generated by her improvisations. Her CDs have explored swing-era ballads, Detroit's jazz legacy, Afro-Cuban styles and quasi-classical works.She attracted worldwide attention in 2001, when she became the first jazz musician to play Paganini's Guarneri del Gesu violin of 1743, a historic treasure in Italy.” In a separate article in the same paper on the same day, Carter shares that she is considering enrolling at Western Michigan University or New York University to complete a music therapy degree. This desire is partially motivated by her ability to reach and soothe her mother in the latter’s final days recently.

9/18/06 – As previously reported, violinist Viktoria Mullova, had to leave her Strad at home in London when she hopped on a plane to solo in the United States with the Minnesota Orchestra. is reporting that, in the U.S., she played a violin belonging to Sarah Kwak, the first associate concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra. “It's no Strad, but the virtuosa reportedly likes playing it very much.”

9/18/06 - The Hartford Courant reports that Dorothy Fidlar, the first female principal cello of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and a member of the orchestra for more than 50 years, has died. She was 89 ... “Fidlar also played first cello for the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. She retired from playing with the Hartford orchestra in the late 1990s after 52 years. The Courant once described her music as 'intensely beautiful, made up of molten tones and lovely phrasings.' Fidlar also was a faculty member at the Julius Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford, where she established a recital series called 'Meet the Cello' that featured more than 40 cellists and became a nationally recognized program."

9/16/06 - Violinist/violist John Louis Adams Sr., 82, has died of complications from cancer, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "From the 1950s to the 1970s, Mr. Adams performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra while also teaching at Agnes Scott College -- instructing students by day, cramming private lessons into every spare moment, then hurrying to rehearsals and symphony performances ... Mr. Adams started as a violist in 1950 and became principal violist in 1951. In 1962, he switched to violin and became assistant concertmaster. In 1968, he became principal second violinist and retired from the orchestra in 1972….He played in pops concerts at Chastain Park, recorded with Tony Joe White and Joe South, toured with Henry Mancini, performed with James Brown, even joined R&B singer Barry White's tour as a member of the Love Unlimited Orchestra."

Orchestra News

This weekend is at the National Symphony Orchestra is delightfully violin-heavy. First, Gil Shaham will perform the Brahms Violin Concerto at a pair of regular subscription concerts. Then, Joshua Bell will breeze into town Sunday for the Season Opening Ball Concert, where he will play the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto.

9/18/06 – The Oklahoma City Journal Record ran an article about the newly formed Tulsa Symphony, noting "the business model TSO president Frank S. Letcher developed to make 'executive musicians' of the symphony cast. By hiring the orchestra's talent full-time, doing everything from ticket sales and developing new business to teaching, much less performing, Letcher hopes to keep the staff on a regular salary not governed by a collective bargaining agreement ... This would offer a way around roadblock contract negotiations that in troubled economic times helped undercut both the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra in 2002 and the Oklahoma City Symphony in 1988 ... Under one of the unique aspects of this arrangement, [Principal Trumpet/Orchestra Manager Timothy J.] McFadden said any compensation staff musicians gain from other performances or services ... goes to the symphony. This not only encourages the musicians' community efforts, since they're already on salary, but helps lessen the financial burdens on the nonprofit orchestra." The paper adds: " 'This hasn't been done before to our knowledge, to this extent,' said Letcher, a retired neurosurgeon and U.S. Navy veteran who came up with the concept while watching Katrina relief efforts."

9/18/06 – An article in The Globe & Mail (Canada) theorizes that what ails the Toronto music scene may be too many orchestras. How about combining them? "Simply put, a super-orchestra of 150 would be large enough to handle the increased schedules of opera and ballet, and to perform a shorter Toronto Symphony season. That's how the Vienna Philharmonic functions, as one emanation of a 163-member pool that also provides players for all the ballet and opera performances at the Vienna State Opera."

From Gabriel Kastelle
Posted on September 21, 2006 at 2:38 PM
Hooray for Regina Carter!! I'm betting she'll buy more drums with the money... I really like the career trajectory of John Louis Adams Sr. described here. It takes a violist to hold down those high violin positions, right?
From Irene Chow
Posted on September 21, 2006 at 10:11 PM
If I'm not mistaken, the Monterey Symphony has also appointed a new CM. Perhaps it hasn't been made public yet...?
From Danielle G
Posted on September 22, 2006 at 11:16 AM
sarah chang was in newsweek this week too
From Christian Vachon
Posted on September 22, 2006 at 12:19 PM

The Toronto Symphony thing is different than Vienna's situation. I don't know. It's strange when a single institution takes over the entire musical life of a community...


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