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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 3, No. 4

January 14, 2007 at 4:17 PM

Despite possible appearances to the contrary, this is NOT a Joshua Bell fan site….

1/9/07 – In my 12/27/06 blog, I included a link to the Black Star News’ take on Joshua Bell’s recent visit to a Harlem school. Here is what the Archdiocese of New York had to say about the same visit. Either way, Bell comes off as an admirable person and musician. Violinist Sharon Kim is the school’s music teacher.

1/7-8/07 – Joshua Bell performed at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV. He was the featured performer at the opening of the Sony Electronics booth on the 7th and then performed at his own Showcase on the 8th. The photogenic violinist will also be featured in the Ritz Carlton Magazine, available at all of the hotel's luxury properties through March, and in the next issue of Movieline's Hollywood Life Magazine.

Musician News

Mark Kaplan, professor of violin at Indiana University, has been selected as WFIU-FM’s artist of the month for January.

Violinist Vincent P. Skowronski’s new CD, Skowronski Plays! Avec et Sans, Volume II, Live in Concert, was recently selected by the Chicago Daily Herald to its list of Top Ten Best Classical CDs of 2006. According to the Herald, "This is simply a recording of exceptional merit."

1/20/07 – Violinists Katherine Thayer and Mari Horita will appear on a recital to be given by Myrna Jeong, principal cellist with the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra. Proceeds from the recital will benefit the orchestra.

1/14/07 – If you watch Sunday’s episode of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” you’ll see eight Chicago Symphony Orchestra violinists serenade the lucky homeowner: Cornelius Chu, Nathan Cole, Alison Dalton, Nisanne Howell, Mihaela Ionescu, Wendy Koons, Joyce Noh and Akiko Tarumoto. All six of the homeowner’s children studied violin, five at Chicago’s famed Merit School of Music. The program airs at 8 pm Eastern.

1/14/07 - Violinist Annie Rodier will solo with the Santa Rosa Symphony as one of the winners of the orchestra's Concerto Competition. The first-place winner is cellist Jaime Feldman. Two student winners will also perform on flute.

1/4/07 – Violinist Lynn Chang, a teacher in the New England Conservatory’s Prep Division, performed at the inauguration of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. Yo-Yo Ma also performed, along with a 19-member string orchestra from NEC’s Prep Division.

Orchestra News

1/15/07 - The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's 15th annual tribute to Martin Luther King Jr., "A King Celebration," will be featured on a special edition of "Performance Today." The annual concert, produced by the ASO in partnership with The King Center, Morehouse, and Spelman College Glass Clubs, will take place at King's alma mater, Morehouse College, in Atlanta. The program will be broadcast by American Public Media in partnership with NPR. Check local listings for times.

1/11/07 - The Phoenix Symphony honored long-time patrons Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and her husband John Jay O'Connor at a concert. The orchestra also announced the naming of its contrabassoon chair for the O'Connors.

1/11/07 – The San Jose Mercury News reports that Symphony Silicon Valley finished its 2005-06 year with a surplus of $118,000 on an operating budget of just under $1.8 million. It was the second year in a row the orchestra operated in the black. “In its audited financial statements covering the fiscal year from July 1, 2005, to June 30, 2006, the symphony showed a small decline in contributions, partially due to the bankruptcy of Calpine, previously its largest corporate sponsor.... The current 2006-07 season 'will be tougher,' [orchestra President Andrew] Bales said. The orchestra has expanded its core series, previously limited to Saturdays and Sundays, to include four Thursday night performances. 'The success of those Thursdays will spell out how we do this year,' Bales said."

1/11/07 - The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports that the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra posted an operating surplus of $18,000 and boosted attendance by 6.5 percent last year.

1/10/07 - The Cleveland Orchestra will make its first commercial recording under music director Franz Welser-Most this week, taking advantage of a new agreement with the musicians' union which allows live concert recordings to be used for commercial releases without the usual upfront payments to the musicians. The recording of Beethoven's Ninth symphony will be Cleveland's first new CD in seven years, reports the Plain Dealer (Cleveland).

1/10/07 - The Cincinnati Symphony is projecting a $2 million-plus deficit for the current fiscal year, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer. "The short-term culprit for the deficit is a reduced contribution from the orchestra's $73.1 million endowment... Two years ago, the CSO raised ticket prices but saw a bigger drop in its subscription sales than it anticipated, Reynolds said. And it negotiated a three-year musicians' contract that froze salaries the first two years. But wages are scheduled to increase 2.4 percent this year."

1/9/07 – This week’s issue of San Francisco Classical Voice noted that, “Without an announcement, financially troubled Napa Valley Symphony has apparently halved its schedule by canceling the Tuesday repeat concerts for the season's four Sunday performances in Yountville's Lincoln Theater.”

1/8/07 – Four winners of the annual MetLife Awards have been announced, reports the American Symphony Orchestra League. The winners, who receive a $7,500 grant, are Oakland East Bay Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Longwood (Mass.) Symphony. The Virginia Symphony received a $10,000 grant for its "Harmony Project," influenced by the St. Louis Symphony's "In Unison" initiative.

From Richard Hellinger
Posted on January 14, 2007 at 4:43 PM
Yay! I was part of the 6.5 percent for the RPO!!!!
From Karin Lin
Posted on January 16, 2007 at 1:59 AM
Yeah, you can't help it if Joshua Bell just happens to be a fantastic person and violinist. :) Here's the link to the real JB fan forum:

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