Midori to Join Curtis Institute Violin Faculty in 2018 border=0 align=

Midori to Join Curtis Institute Violin Faculty in 2018

June 27, 2017, 12:01 PM · Violinist Midori Goto will join the Curtis Institute of Music as a member of the violin faculty, beginning in the 2018-19 academic school year, Curtis announced on Tuesday.

"I’m extremely excited about re-locating to Philadelphia to begin working at Curtis, the very institution that has trained a great number of the musicians I most respect," Midori said in a press release.

Midori will not be replacing an outgoing faculty member at Curtis but will join a violin faculty that includes Shmuel Ashkenasi, Pamela Frank, Ida Kavafian, Aaron Rosand, and Arnold Steinhardt.

For the last 14 years, Midori, 45, has served on the faculty of the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music as distinguished professor, department chair for eight years, and as the Jascha Heifetz Chair in Violin. Before that, Midori served on faculty at the Manhattan School of Music. She will teach full-time at USC through May 2018 and assume a role as a visiting artist in fall 2018. Keep reading...

The Week in Reviews, Op. 187: Lewis Kaplan, Joshua Bell, Augustin Hadelich border=0 align=

The Week in Reviews, Op. 187: Lewis Kaplan, Joshua Bell, Augustin Hadelich

June 26, 2017, 10:57 AM · In an effort to promote the coverage of live violin performance, Violinist.com each week presents links to reviews of notable concerts and recitals around the world.

Lewis Kaplan performed Bach's Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Portland Bach Festival.

  • Portland Press Herald: "Kaplan used a modern violin in a performance that was softer-edged and less relentlessly driven than is the current fashion in Baroque playing. It recalled a time when Bach was seen, above all, as the most regal of the composers in classical music’s pantheon, and though the young players in the supporting ensemble take a different view – as was evident from their own performances later in the evening – they followed Kaplan’s lead unequivocally."

Joshua Bell performed Lalo's "Symphonie espagnole" with the San Francisco Symphony.

  • The Berkeley Daily Planet: "Joshua Bell gave as deeply expressive and gratifying a performance of Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole as one could ever hope to hear."
  • San Francisco Classical Voice: "Bell’s consistently smooth and lyrical playing, the subtle expressive variations he turned on repeating phrases, and even a way of making the sound vanish off the top end of his violin, transformed this flashy, display concerto into a captivating charmer."
Keep reading...

Violin Concert in Jail  border=0 align=

Violin Concert in Jail

June 25, 2017, 5:49 PM · Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to give a violin concert at the Ordnance Correctional Facility for the inmates and staff. I couldn’t help but feel excited as security checked my equipment and allowed me to wheel my violin on a cart through the checkpoints. As the Lieutenant and Activity Coordinator escorted me, I continued to debate in my mind which piece to begin the concert.

We entered the gymnasium and I only had a few minutes to tune and set up before the inmates entered the room. As I tuned my violin and saw people come in, I couldn’t help but smile because I’ve always wanted to play in a jail. I love bringing music to people. Especially in nursing homes, hospice, hospitals, and gyms because I feel as musicians we can make a positive impact through sharing our talents.

The Activity Coordinator told me that male and female inmates are not often allowed in the same room, so it was a treat for everyone to be together. After everyone sat down, I introduced myself and said that I would play a variety of music, ranging from Disney’s "Frozen" to Queen’s "We Are the Champions." I began the concert with "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess and could feel the atmosphere in the room change, as it does in nursing homes and hospitals. Initially I felt anxious, yet in that moment I felt peace and warmth.

As the concert continued, I could hear people singing as I played "Take Me Out to The Ballgame," and applause as I announced that I would play "Hey Jude" from the Beatles. Keep reading...

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