Violin News & Gossip, Op. 3, No. 16
February 26, 2007 at 12:35 PM
2/22/07 – The New York Times just profiled Oberlin Conservatory: “The classical music world is often criticized for ignoring contemporary music in favor of the tried-and-true warhorses, and music schools frequently view new music as a curiosity rather than something to be taught seriously. But at Ohio's Oberlin Conservatory, the Contemporary Music Ensemble is the group that the top students clamor to join, and several highly successful professional new music ensembles have emerged from its ranks over the past decade. The article referred to violinist Jennifer Koh, who received a degree in English from Oberlin College while taking violin lessons at the conservatory. She said that the conservatory gave her the freedom to explore different things. “I was so naïve and idealistic,” she said, “that I didn’t even think about making a living, and maybe that was due to the incredibly low rent out there. In that sense it is a protected place.”
2/24/07 – According to the website Life Style Extras, a Stradivarius violin “made famous in the 1920s by Dorothy Murray Lambert, one of Britain's first women violin virtuosos, is expected to fetch nearly a £1 million when it is sold at auction in New York in April.” The 1729 instrument, called the Solomon Ex-Lambert, “was owned between the wars by Ms. Murray Lambert who was trying to break into a world dominated by male violinists. Kerry K Keane, from Christie's, said he expected the instrument, which will be on display at Christie's in London from February 23-28, to reach $1.5 million.
Violinist David Douglass has been named artist-in-residence and director of the Chicago-based Newberry Consort, effective in July.
2/27/07 – Glenn Watson, a violinist and music therapy student, has received the Earl Warner Scholarship for 2006-07. Sponsored this year by Digicel, the Earl Warner Scholarship is awarded each year by the Earl Warner Trust to a student of the performing arts in Barbados, reports the Barbados Advocate.
2/24/07 – According to The Scotsman, “It was the end of an era in the nation's music history yesterday when the veteran leader of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra announced he was stepping down. Violinist Edwin Paling has been with the RSNO for 34 years. He became the orchestra's principal first violin, and leader, in 1976, aged just 26. The influential position ranks second only to conductor. His wife, Rosalin Lazaroff, is the orchestra's principal second violin.”
2/21/07 – According to the New York Times, "Siegfried Landau, the founding conductor of what is now called the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, died on Monday night, along with his wife, Irene Gabriel, in a fire at their home in Brushton, in northern New York State. Mr. Landau was 85. His wife, a former ballet dancer, was 70. The deaths were confirmed by a spokesman for the Brooklyn Philharmonic, which was known as the Brooklyn Philharmonia during Mr. Landau's tenure, from 1955 to 1971. From 1961 to 1968, Mr. Landau was also conductor of the White Plains Symphony. From both podiums Mr. Landau regularly insisted on conducting new or rarely performed works." The obituary adds that in 1940 "Mr. Landau came to New York, where he studied with the conductor Pierre Monteux. By 1943, he had joined the faculty of the New York College of Music, now Mannes College [of Music at] The New School."
2/14/07 - Gordon Wright, founder of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and the Arctic Chamber orchestra, passed away at age 72 in his Alaskan cabin on February 14. Wright served as music director of the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra from 1969 until 1989 and as executive director of the Reznicek Society, which he formed in 1982 in the interest of championing lesser-known or forgotten composers, according to the American Orchestra Symphony League.
2/14/07 – The Scotsman waxed rather breathless concerning violinist Caroline Sharp: “A teenage violinist is poised to join the ranks of Scotland's top classical music talent. Caroline Sharp, 17, from Banff has been offered places at all four of the UK's elite music colleges, with scholarships on offer at two of them. Caroline has been offered her pick of the Royal College of Music or the Royal Academy of Music in London, plus scholarships at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester."
2/23/07 - The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the Philadelphia Orchestra "has appointed Charles Dutoit chief conductor and artistic adviser. Dutoit, 70, a longtime and frequent guest conductor here who oversees the orchestra's summer series in Saratoga, N.Y., will assume his new titles for the 2008-09 season after Christoph Eschenbach steps down. He has a contract through 2011-12, leading up to eight weeks of subscription concerts each season plus more in Saratoga and on tour….In his new post, Dutoit will take on some administrative responsibilities, the orchestra said in a statement ... Dutoit will not have authority on disciplinary action, and will not have authority over who might guest conduct the orchestra and what they program, said [orchestra President James] Undercofler. Although the players did not vote on the choice of Dutoit, orchestra management said the artistic advisory and members' committees approved the decision." This appointment is believed to provide continuity while buying time for the music director search.
2/22/07 – The Miami Herald finds itself disappointed with the New World Symphony’s 2008 programming choices: "The New World Symphony's discerning programming and mix of standard repertoire with the edgy and offbeat has been one of the main glories of its history the past two decades. Yet the Miami Beach orchestra appears to be suffering from artistic growing pains, for its 20th anniversary season is offering the most conservative, even reactionary programming in its history. Populist standards, familiar guests and conventional repertoire dominate the New World schedule to a degree that alters one's perception of the organization."
2/21/07 – According to the Norway Post, Norway is in the grip of a nationwide flu epidemic. This week, the Trondheim Symphony had to cancel a concert because of it when 30 out of 78 musicians succumbed to the flu.
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