April 26, 2007 at 1:18 AM
4/20/07 – The Guardian (UK) recently ran a pianist’s reflections on the pros and cons of performing by memory: "Playing from memory in public is a fairly recent fashion. Before the late 19th century, playing without the score was often considered a sign of casualness, even of arrogance. The custom of playing from memory developed along with the growth of a body of classics that everyone agreed were worth preserving exactly as their composers had intended. Teachers encouraged students to memorise them."
5/24/07 – This sounds like an interesting event: In addition to hearing violinist/fiddler Ed Caner perform at the Council of Smaller Enterprises Arts Business Network in Cleveland, one can also hear Caner deliver the keynote address. Caner is Director of Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Programs at Case Western Reserve University and holds a master's degree in physics and entrepreneurship from CWRU, as well as a master's degree in violin performance from Cleveland State University.
4/25/07 – The Del Sol String Quartet performed three new compositions at UC Berkeley. The concert featured works by Robin Estrada, Jen Wang, and Nils Bultmann.
4/24/07 – According to the Ottawa (Canada) Citizen, when conductor/violinist Pinchas Zukerman brought his Ottawa-based National Arts Centre Orchestra to Toronto, the reviews were blistering. Zukerman, who has been a controversial figure since taking over the NACO, took fire for his programming choices, conducting style, and solo violin skills, with one critic writing, "It doesn't get any worse than this." Interestingly, the same program had gotten two positive reviews back home in Ottawa.
4/23/07 – The Chillicothe (Ohio) Gazette profiled 13-year-old violinist Matthew Vaughn, who is Meadowmount-bound this summer. The article includes audio clips.
4/23/07 – For another take on violinist/conductor Maxim Vengerov’s tour with the UBS Verbier Chamber Orchestra and Vengerov’s injury to his bowing arm, read the New York Times’ review of the group’s Carnegie Hall concert.
4/21/07 - Gentry Lasater, an 18-year-old violinist from New Bern, NC, has won first place in the senior division of the North Carolina Symphony Youth Concerto Competition. A student of Ara Gregorian, Gentry will have the opportunity to play with the North Carolina Symphony in the near future, in addition to receiving a cash prize of $500. The first place junior division winner is 14-year-old violinist Orin Laursen from Durham, who studies with Joseph Genualdi at the North Carolina School of the Arts.
The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra has announced a timetable for expressions of interest to purchase its Golden Age Collection of historic string instruments. The 30-instrument collection includes pieces created by Stradivari, Guarneri, del Gesù, Guadagnini, and Testore, among others. The collection can be sold either as a whole or individually, and orchestra management is hoping that the purchaser of the collection will be willing to loan the instruments back to the orchestra. Expression of interest forms are due to the NJSO by June 1, and the goal is to close the sale by the end of the summer.
4/28/07 – The Montreal Symphony will wrap up its first Canadian tour with new music director Kent Nagano at the helm, reports the CBC. He was "hired to rejuvenate Montreal's premier orchestra after its reputation, and its relationship with its audience, suffered in the wake of a bitter and lengthy labour dispute in 2004-2005. His plans include not only touring the country but also bringing Canadian themes and content to the orchestra's programming, as his 2007-2008 repertoire shows."
4/25/07 – The New York Times reports that the New York Philharmonic is adding a new position, principal conductor, to its artistic roster. The person hired to fill the new job would have authority greater than that of a principal guest conductor, but would still be under the music director's final authority.
4/19/07 – It’s official: the Royal Philharmonic has snagged Charles Dutoit as its next music director, reports PlaybillArts.com. "Charles Dutoit succeeds Daniele Gatti, who steps down as the orchestra's music director when his contract expires in the summer of 2009. The position has an illustrious pedigree: the list of the Royal Philharmonic's previous principal conductors includes Thomas Beecham (who founded the orchestra), Rudolf Kempe, Antal Doráti, Walter Weller, André Previn and Vladimir Ashkenazy."
Poor Maxim. Hope his arm gets better soon.
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