January 10, 2007 at 11:56 PM
1/4/07 – Ok, this is not string-related, but who can resist the story of the soprano who is suing Hilton Hotels for $6 million because her bed was infested with bedbugs? Soprano Alison Trainer, who seems poised on the threshold of a solid American career, had 150 bites on her face and body. Her experience has made her afraid to sleep in a bed and caused weight loss and discomfort about her physical appearance, reports PlaybillArts.com.
“Trainer's lawyer, Kenneth J. Glassman, told the AP that, because of the bites, his client suffered during her stay at the Phoenix hotel between November 20 and November 26. He said, ‘She looks like a piece of wood that has been attacked by termites’. Trainer immediately noticed the itching and the blood on the sheets, according to the AP report, but was initially unaware that bedbugs were the cause. She told the New York Daily News that it was ‘a terrifying experience’: she leaped out of bed and pulled back the sheets and found that the bugs ‘were everywhere! It was like a sci-fi movie’."
1/8/07 – I heard from David Gale, a 20-year-old violinist whom I mentioned a few weeks ago in connection with one of his recitals. He wanted to share that he spent the last two weeks of December, concertizing on the Caribbean island of St. Martin-St.Maarten. According to the island’s Daily Herald, “his concerts brought together the first-ever innovative marriage of classical violin and the islands’ indigenous instrument, Steel Pan, in multiple performances with one of the greatest Steel Pan musicians in the Caribbean, Isidore York, a.k.a. ‘The Mighty Dow’.” Gale was one of 24 participants in the 10th Wieniawski International Violin Competition in Lublin, Poland.
Cadenza for the Schneidermann Violin Concerto, a novel by Joshua Cohen, has been reviewed on the popular website Bookslut as a January selection. The first thing that leaps out at the viewer or reader is that the cover intentionally evokes those beloved, iconic yellow covers from Schirmer’s Library of Musical Classics scores.
1/8/07 – Violinist Ciara Picard of Manchester, Conn., tells her hometown Journal Inquirer how her string quartet at SUNY Potsdam was chosen to play for the inauguration of New York’s governor, Eliot Spitzer, and what it was like.
1/7/07 – KSL, a Utah television station, ran a profile of Kory Katseanes, director of orchestras at Brigham Young University, and a former violinist and associate conductor of the Utah Symphony.
1/6/07 - The Los Angeles Times carried an obituary of Eleonore Schoenfeld, "an internationally recognized cellist and teacher who had been on the faculty of the [University of South California's] Thornton School of Music since 1959." Schoenfeld, "who with her violinist sister, Alice, performed and recorded for several decades as the Schoenfeld Duo" died January 1 at the home they shared in the Los Angeles area. She was 81. "Schoenfeld was born in Slovenia to a Russian mother and a Polish father, who was a concertmaster ... The family moved to Los Angeles in the early 1950s, and the sisters began an association with Idyllwild Arts Academy, which led to positions on the USC music faculty." She served as chairwoman of the strings department, and "Schoenfeld's influence was felt keenly throughout the Thornton School." Violinist Midori, who also teaches at the school, is quoted: "Schoenfeld and her sister built the international reputation of the Thornton School. I respected her for her honesty, integrity and years of experience and expertise, and I consulted with her several times on my own teaching."
1/6/07 – The Ann Arbor News reports that it's been over a year now since violist Geraldine Walther made “a daring professional leap, giving up her position as principal viola in the San Francisco Symphony to join the Takacs Quartet. The Takacs is considered one of the world's great string quartets, but orchestra jobs are considered to be more secure, and furthermore, there's never a guarantee that the chemistry necessary for a great quartet to succeed will develop properly with a new member. For her part, Walther says that she's having the time of her life.”
1/6/07 – Via the Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times notes that it's been 50 years since the death of legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini, and tributes are springing up all across the music world. "Commemorations will take place throughout 2007, mostly organized by countries and musical institutions that were touched by Toscanini's work as an artist and by his political stance as a staunch opponent of fascism and Nazism." Key events are to take place on Jan. 16, the anniversary of the maestro's death, with performances by some of the world's top orchestras.
Daniel Barenboim leads a performance of Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony at La Scala's Philharmonic in Milan, the storied opera house where Toscanini was chief conductor. On the same day, the Arturo Toscanini Philharmonic plays pieces by Verdi and Richard Strauss in the conductor's native Parma, while Lorin Maazel leads the New York Philharmonic in a gala concert at Lincoln Center in New York City.
Other Music News
1/8/07 – The Republican in Springfield, Mass. ran an article looking at a local after-school Suzuki program that falls under the federally funded "21st Century Community Learning Center Program." It sounds like a wonderful use of public money—too bad the program is set to expire next year. Let’s hope that private funding can be found.
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