July 13, 2007 at 2:22 AM
7/15/07 – Violinist Joshua Bell wraps up an Asian tour with a trio of appearances with the Malaysian Philharmonic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, playing the Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 1. Immediately upon his return, Bell will play at the Festival del Sole in Yountville, Calif. on 7/18.
7/12/07 - The Park City and Salt Lake City Music Festival, Utah's oldest classical music festival, gets under way this week. Key performers this summer include violinists Manuel Ramos and Monte Belknap.
7/11/07 - Robin Hansen, concertmaster of the Bay Area’s Midsummer Mozart Festival (ready to launch its 33rd season, July 19-29), gave a free concert in San Francisco at Noontime Concerts of a Mozart Divertimento.
7/11/07 – The Herald-Democrat of Denton County, Texas, recently profiled luthier Steven Cundall. “He’s spent the past 32 years building and restoring quality bowed string instruments — violins, cellos and violas — in his workshop, The Luthier Shop at Crossroads in Aubrey. Upstairs above the front office and showroom, the workshop overlooks five and a half acres of property with a pond and scattered beehives. The Cundalls raise their own bees, using the waxy resin byproduct, propolis, as an integral ingredient in their varnish. The instruments must have a soft but wearable varnish, allowing the sound to move through. ‘It’s flexible and doesn’t impair the tone’,” Cundall said.”
7/10/07 – Among Bloomberg’s overview of the 2007 Proms lineup comes this surprise: “Some people find it hard to walk and chew gum at the same time. Maxim Vengerov can simultaneously play the viola and dance a tango, and he's going to prove it in a ``Viola Tango Rock Concerto'' during this year's 113th season of the BBC Proms.” Alas, concertgoers will have to wait until August 18 for this concert….
7/9/07 - Erik Schumann, a rising 25-year-old violinist from Germany, had been expecting to make his Philadelphia Orchestra debut playing Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, reports PlaybillArts.com. Instead, Schumann remained in Germany, grounded by a snag in receiving the necessary visa. Philly concertmaster David Kim stepped in, having just performed the work 10 days earlier.
7/5/07 – Midori won over at least one critic in Portland: “Midori, the great violin virtuoso, came to the Oregon Bach Festival on Tuesday and flat out wowed everyone with an incredibly beautiful and spellbinding interpretation of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto,” opines the Register-Guard.
7/8/07 – The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the Philadelphia Orchestra has landed a prime spot in Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, possibly for the next three years. "Few if any classical music institutions west of the Mississippi have flourished as Bravo has: What began in 1987 with chamber music now hosts three symphony orchestras in five weeks. And this in Vail - a ski resort that didn't exist before 1962. Bravo is considered, within the classical music industry, a very enviable gig. Festival audiences have doubled in the last 10 years, from 33,000 to 66,000, and those audiences have plenty to feast on."
7/7/07 – The Houston Chronicle reports that Hans Graf has agreed to continue as music director of the Houston Symphony through the 2011-12 season. News of the contract extension comes just a month after the Symphony and its musicians agreed to a new, three-year contract.
7/7/07 – The Toronto Star issued a disappointing report from Jerusalem: “A year short of its 70th anniversary, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra will close down for good on July 15 unless a solution can be found to the latest and most perilous crisis in a series of recent financial reverses ... Barring a change of heart by the Israeli Broadcasting Authority, the orchestra will cease to exist in little more than a week. All of its musicians, who four years ago accepted a 20 per cent pay cut, will be laid off. The rest of this season's concert series will be cancelled, along with a tour of the United States planned for next year. Earlier this year, the IBA stunned Jerusalem concertgoers by announcing it was slashing its $2.7 million contribution to the orchestra's budget by 60 per cent, to $1.2 million, citing financial problems of its own. Lawyers responsible for the orchestra's financial management say they will have no choice but to close the institution down later this month, unless the IBA relents or some other solution is found.”
Main course: Fott Marhahus
Side dish: Krumplislangos
Dessert: What else? Amas Retes
For drinks, though, splurge on a bottle of Royal Tokaji aszú. I'm still underage myself so I can't speak from experience, but I've heard it's without equal. Make SURE it's spelled "Tokaji" on the label, all other spellings (Tokai, Tokay, Tokaj) indicate phony non-Hungarian rip-offs.
OK...pardon the non-sequitur, feel free to return to the topic now...
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