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Violinist.com Interviews: Vol. 1

Our exclusive, one-on-one interviews with 27 of today's best-known violinists, including Hilary Hahn, Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, David Garrett, Anne Akiko Meyers, Maxim Vengerov, and others.


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Laurie Niles

Prayers and Encouragement for David

December 30, 2005 at 6:01 AM

We had a little mix up with the music. My stand partner thought he'd be at the rehearsal, so he took home the part. But as it turned out, he couldn't be. He called and left a message, then he called three more times just to make sure I got it.

“I'm so sorry,” he said, with genuine concern, when he finally got the real me. “I hope it's okay. I promised to run a fundraiser for my son's soccer team, and I had asked to be excused from a rehearsal before. I thought I could be at this rehearsal, but as it turns out ...”

This was no big deal, I had practice parts. This guy actually has his priorities straight, I thought. Good for him. He's there for his son, and that's more important than this rehearsal. As it turned out, we did not even rehearse that piece that night!

Over that week in September, I came to see that David Ewart was one nice guy. Just a good soul, happy and quirky, beloved by his peers.

So I felt great distress when I came to realize that the article I was reading, about a family caught up in a terrible fire after their holiday party, was about David.

It seemed completely in character that he was throwing a party for his entire block that night. Not only was he throwing a party, but he went all-out. Even Mr. and Mrs. Claus were there!

The fire started later that night, and Ewart suffered second- and third-degree burns over 32% of his body — including his hands, arms, back, chest and face. His 15-year-old son was the most seriously injured, with burns over 41% of his body. Ewart's father, 81-year-old Hugh Ewart, a retired concertmaster of the Oregon Symphony in Portland, had facial burns and a broken nose from falling.

The fire also destroyed his house, including all his family pictures. I don't know if his violin was in there. He may have to go through difficult therapy if he is to play again, as well. Ewart has played in the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, as well as for movie scores such as "Million Dollar Baby" and "Spider-Man 2."

Undoubtedly, David and his family will need financial help, and they will need much encouragement. Here's how you can help financially.

Donations for the Ewart family can be made at: Account No. 8606155136, Wells Fargo Bank, 25850 The Old Road, Stevenson Ranch, CA 91381.

Checks should be made payable to: David Ewart Catastrophe Fund.

Here, also, is a link to more fund information.

And how can we help with the encouragement? Well, I've seen you guys do it before. So you can start right here, and I'll see to it that he receives it.

From Scott 68
Posted on December 30, 2005 at 1:53 PM
what a nightmare you will my prayers
From Neil Cameron
Posted on December 30, 2005 at 3:10 PM
Here's hoping David and his family are back making music and enjoying life sooner rather than later.

Neil

From Natasha Marsalli
Posted on December 30, 2005 at 3:54 PM
As a poor highschooler, all I have are my prayers, but I offer these with true, heartfelt sympathy.
God Bless!
From Sydney Menees
Posted on December 30, 2005 at 4:59 PM
Gosh, what a terrible disaster! I am so sorry. I am wishing you and your family a speedy recovery.
From Colleen Russo
Posted on December 30, 2005 at 6:39 PM
Wow. Please let him know that we are all thinking and praying of him and his family. It's aweful how such terrible things happen to such wonderful people...
From Peggy Beaudoin
Posted on December 30, 2005 at 7:05 PM
From our family to yours, wishes and prayers for healing in the new year and the gift of music again in your lives.
From Sander Marcus
Posted on December 31, 2005 at 3:33 AM
The place to send donations deserves repeating:

"Donations for the Ewart family can be made at: Account No. 8606155136, Wells Fargo Bank, 25850 The Old Road, Stevenson Ranch, CA 91381."

From Paul Grobey
Posted on December 31, 2005 at 4:44 AM
Having attended Young Musicians and Artists' Camp in my younger years, in Salem, OR, I had the privelege of working on a somewhat close basis with Hugh Ewart. I have unfortunately never met David or his family, but Hugh was always showing us how proud he was of David--talking about his accomplishments in the studios, about his instrument, etc. Hugh doesn't have a negative, frustrated, or hurtful bone in his body. He is always easy-going, and very sweet. He used to make people feel simple happiness by asking his wife where he had misplaced his hat, or by piecing together gigantic, complicated scores for the large orchestra or by playing his violin in his white suit for the annual "banquet dinner" we had at camp which was, in all honesty, somewhat of an adolescent joke.

Obviously you can imagine my shock when I was practicing the other night and my mom asked me to come out and read what she had found on the website.

I pray for the Ewarts every night before I go to sleep, and I hope you'll do the same. I think if I was required to list the top ten nicest people I've met in my life, Hugh and Essy would be right up at the top of the list. The thing is, bad things happen to good people, and that's just the way it is. But I have faith that things will turn out O.K.

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on December 31, 2005 at 6:43 AM
I'm adding my voice to the chorus of well wishers. I'm so sorry that you and your family have had such misfortune, and I hope that you will recover and return to music making quickly.
From Laurie Niles
Posted on December 31, 2005 at 7:28 AM
I learned from David's friend and neighbor, Josy Block, that he did unfortunately lose his violin in the fire. She said in an e-mail, "It was devastating to learn that David lost his beloved violin in the fire. Although I'm not a professional musician, I did major in music (piano) and I
cannot imagine the loss he is going to feel when he realizes what happened. Especially with the significance of his unique & irreplaceable instrument."
From Laurie Niles
Posted on December 31, 2005 at 7:41 AM
Also, that David and his son, Michael, remain in critical but stable condition. Hugh is doing better, and may be released in a few days.
From Bruce Dukov
Posted on January 1, 2006 at 4:42 AM
I don't believe there could be a more caring, dedicated and deeply religious family man as David. For something to befall him of this magnitude is incomprehensible. As a close friend of David and his family for 17 years, I can only say how much he and his parents are loved and respected by so many. It is a testimony to this, that there is such a flood of support and prayer for them.
It is a bitter irony that, at David's last annual amazing Christmas party, (although I was not there to witness this) I was told that David played his heart out on his beloved Gagliano violin for 2 hours and sounded beautiful; he was transported by the spirit of the music, Christmas and friendship. How tragic that his talent is now at risk and the violin gone forever.
Send healing thoughts and prayers to David and Michael (who is the apple of his Dad's eye).

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