August 1, 2007 at 5:33 PMI just received a note from the PR rep of the Brodsky Quartet with the news that, after a year-long search, violinist Daniel Rowland has joined the group as first violinist.
From his public statement: “I remember first being thrilled by the Brodsky Quartet's exciting dynamic and colourful performances as a student, and from the first note I played with Ian, Paul and Jacky I felt a very special chemistry. I'm delighted and excited to be joining, and look forward to many years as a ‘Brodsky’.”
7/29/07 – For more about violinist Eugene Drucker’s new novel The Savior, be sure to read the informative New York Times Q&A. It also includes a fabulous video of Drucker playing the Chaconne (of extreme importance in his book) and speaking about it. Also mentioned: Variations on the Beast (Dragon Press) by Henry Grinberg. The author, “a psychoanalyst, posits Hermann Kapp-Dortmunder, a powerful maestro, as a fictional rival of Wilhelm Furtwängler (whose qualms about working under the regime he does not share) and Herbert von Karajan (whose vaulting ambition he does).”
7/28/07 – The Minneapolis Star Tribune ran the obituary of violinist Joseph Roche. “A retired violinist with the Minnesota Orchestra and the Macalester Trio, he brought smiles to the faces of his listeners and colleagues with his personality and playing. Roche, retired to Sarasota, Fla., in 1994, but annually returned to enjoy the orchestra's Sommerfest. He died unexpectedly in Minneapolis on Tuesday.”
Mr. Roche was the father of my husband’s friend from their Curtis days, cellist Gita Roche. Our condolences go out to Gita and her family!
ABS-CBN News in the Philippines recently ran an undated look at busking in Jakarta, which apparently teems with street musicians. "’Trains are spacious, so we can entertain with various instruments’, explains 31-year-old Bali, a high school drop-out who is a self-taught violinist, guitarist and keyboardist. ‘We played on buses for years but the limited space hindered our creativity’, he says of his [six-person] band, Lavaza. The group plays from mid-morning until early evening to earn up to 50,000 rupiah (five dollars) a day each.”
8/8/07 - Chinese violinist Ziao-Dong Wang will perform at the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival.
8/1/07 – Violinist Rachel Barton Pine reports that she will appear on the famed Dame Myra Hess free noontime concert series in Chicago. This recital will be the first annual Al Booth Memorial Concert for the Dame Myra Hess series, honoring the founder of the International Music Foundation.
7/29/07 – Has conductor Robert Spano, music director of the Atlanta Symphony, peaked because he has not been snapped up by a Big 5 orchestra? A healthy debate is simmering in Atlanta now, sparked by an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article assessing Spano’s marketability and future job options.
7/29/07 – The Columbia (SC) State recently profiled Opus Two, a duo consisting of violinist William Terwilliger and pianist Andrew Cooperstock, who have been teaching at Brevard Music Center in North Carolina. Terwilliger is a professor of music at the University of South Carolina.
7/28/07 – The Elysian Quartet performs on a new CD by Gabriel Prokofiev, the composer’s grandson, that purports to bring classical music back to its populist roots, according to The Guardian (UK). “The first section of the latest Nonclassical CD contains four stark, challenging movements, written by Prokofiev and performed by the Elysian Quartet, which contain echoes of the excitable, repetitive patterns of techno. Those same tracks are remixed by Hot Chip, Conboy and US grime producer Starkey, who improvise hiccuping grooves from plucked strings and such. It's interesting, abrasive and, particularly UK hip-hop head EarlyMan's remix, outright joyous.”
7/26/07 – The Cincinnati Post reports, “James Conlon, music director of the Cincinnati May Festival, has been appointed to a multi-faceted, two-year residency at New York's Juilliard School. Conlon, a Juilliard alumnus, will conduct, coach and present symposia and master classes in all three divisions of the school -- dance, drama and music -- beginning this fall. A special focus of his residency will be examining the relationship between art and society, with a concentration on Europe between 1910 and 1945 and the United States in 2007.” As music director of the Ravinia Festival, Conlon has led a series called Breaking the Silence since 2005, spotlighting composers suppressed by the Holocaust.
7/24/07 – The East Bergen Record profiled violinist Eric Silberger, who is just preparing to enter the five-year combined program at Columbia University/the Juilliard School. Silberger entered both the recent International Violin Competition of Indianapolis and the Tchaikovsky Competition, the latter as one of only two Americans.
7/28/07 – Will Video Games Live fill the empty seats in the nation’s concert Halls? The Louisville Courier-Journal classical music critic discusses this question: He says there is nothing wrong with this kind of outreach, “so long as orchestras aren't fooling themselves into thinking that the sci-fi nerds and gaming geeks that turn out for such shows will be similarly tempted by a Mahler symphony.”
Other Music Issues
7/29/07 – The Boston Globe profiled the Adult Chamber Music Institute at the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival in Blue Hill, Maine. The writer, an amateur clarinetist, vividly describes his quintet’s coaching with Abe Loft, former violinist with the storied Fine Arts Quartet. Ruth Jeka, a 79-year-old violinist from Cambridge, is briefly quoted in the article, which boasts the delightful headline of “Next summer, pack up your viola and play, play, play.”
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