November 2006

Violin News & Gossip, Op. 2, No. 83

November 30, 2006 18:59


11/29/06 – An article about the chemistry of the great Italian violins ran on LiveScience.com that has garnered considerable attention. “Some have suggested that the celebrated Italian violin makers, Stradivari and Guarneri del Gesù, used chemically treated wood to create their instruments, which possess some of the most brilliant resonances ever heard with a stringed instrument. Testing this hypothesis hasn't been easy, however. Only about 650 Strads and 150 Guarneri violins are known to have survived, making sample collection a challenge. Joseph Nagyvary, a researcher at Texas A&M University devoted to recreating old Stradivarius and Guarneri violins, waited 21 years to gather enough small shavings for analysis. Nagyvary and colleagues tested the organic matter in samples taken from inside five antique violins during repair. They found strong evidence that the wood used by these masters were chemically treated. …They analysis revealed that the Cremonese masters chemically treated their wood in ways not done by their colleagues in Paris or London, nor by modern violin makers.…Understanding the chemistry of this process, which is still only hypothesized, could lead to improvements in the production of modern violins.” Read the article here: http://www.livescience.com

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11/29/06 – The New York Times ran an article on new materials in violin-making: “From Australia to Germany to Maui, there is something of an explosion under way in the use of science and new materials to test the limits of instrument-making. And the traditional violin-making and violin-playing world is taking note. Last year, one prototype, Balsa 4, [made the rounds] at an annual workshop on violin design at Oberlin College in Ohio by the Violin Society of America, a group of builders. When it was played and run through an array of tests, the instrument's responsiveness and punch startled the gathering, several participants said.

Joseph Curtin, a director of the workshop and a builder from Ann Arbor, Michigan, who received a 2005 MacArthur Foundation ‘genius award’ for his violin designs, wrote about Martin's work in the society's newsletter, saying ‘the traditional violin became obsolete in early July of 2005’."

“In an interview, Curtin said that was only partly a playful exaggeration. It will be a long time before balsa and graphite become the materials of choice, he said. But he added that Martin and other experimenters were legitimately challenging long-standing notions of what makes a great acoustic instrument, and whether past masters' work represents a sonic pinnacle or merely the best that could be achieved with traditional materials.” Read the article here: http://www.iht.com


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11/29/06 – PlaybillArts.com is reporting that a "well-known European cellist" has paid $196,000 for an early 19th-century bow made by François Xavier Tourte. The purchase was made last month via Tarisio, an online auction house specializing in musical instruments; the price, according to a report from Gramophone Online, is the highest ever paid at auction for a single bow.

Known as the "ex-Romberg," the bow was made between 1800 and 1810; its entire ownership history is documented, which adds considerably to its value. According to Gramophone Online, Bernard Romberg, a cellist, composer and friend of Beethoven, probably purchased the bow directly from Tourte; later owners include Alfredo Piatti, Robert von Mendelssohn (a cousin of the composer Felix), Max Adler (a cellist who married into the family that owned Sears Roebuck & Co.), and Edmund Kurtz, who died in 2004. The bow's newest owner has chosen to remain anonymous for now, but Jason Price of Tarisio told Gramophone that he or she "will make sure it is heard frequently on concert stages around the world."


Musician News

11/29/06 – Joshua Bell is the subject of a profile in The Jewish Week. In it, we learn that Bell is hailed as America’s greatest living violinist, is more of a cultural Jew than a religious one, and has a “typical Jewish mother.” Read the story here:
http://www.thejewishweek.com

11/27/06 – The Columbia Journalist ran a look at the positive effects of Change for Kids, a nonprofit that funds violin lessons in New York City public schools. Juilliard-trained violinist and teacher Majid Khaliq is mentioned in the article: http://www.columbiajournalist.org

11/26/06 – The Los Angeles Times ran a review of Violin Dreams, Arnold Steinhardt’s memoir. Steinhardt, of course, is the first violinist of the Guarneri String Quartet. http://www.calendarlive.com


Orchestra News

11/27/06 – Here’s a story about the Charleston (SC) Symphony’s continuing financial crisis from the Charleston Post & Courier, as well as the fact that it’s a relative bargain as symphonies go. http://www.charleston.net

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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 2, No. 82

November 26, 2006 19:49


Violinist Tom Hall receives CSO medal

On Friday night, I had the pleasure of hearing the Chicago Symphony Orchestra perform Mahler Symphony No. 7 under Conductor Emeritus Pierre Boulez. It was an exhilarating performance laced with exceptional playing from all sections, particularly the famous Chicago brass section. And sitting just six rows back on Stage Right, I had ample opportunities to observe the viola section, as Boulez typically seats the cellos next to the second violins.

But one of the evening’s highlights occurred before the performance. President Deborah Card and Maestro Boulez bestowed upon violinist Tom Hall the Theodore Thomas Medallion of Distinguished Service.

Hall retired from the orchestra last spring, capping a CSO career that began in 1970, at the dawn of the Sir Georg Solti era. In fact, Hall has the distinction of being Sir Georg’s first hire for the orchestra.

Hall was an active member of the orchestra, serving on numerous committees, including the Members, Audition, and—until last spring--the Music Director Search Committees. He is also an accomplished lecturer, writer and editor about classical music.

When Hall walked onstage in a business suit, he waved to his friends and former colleagues, perhaps seeming a bit wistful at no longer sitting on that stage himself, dressed in tails, violin in hand. He spoke eloquently, sharing the obligatory funny story about beginning with the orchestra as a young man and feeling musically overwhelmed at first. Yet, clearly, he adapted well. And he closed by offering his heartiest thanks to the audience for supporting the orchestra for so long and so well and, in the process, making the music come alive for all.


Musician News

11/25/06 – The Star-Ledger reports that 16-year-old violinist Betty Zhou was to perform with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra as the latest winner of its annual Young Artist Auditions. "’Every year, I'd go to the finals and watch the big kids and wonder: Could I do this? To me, it was legendary’, says Betty Zhou, who discovered the competition after enrolling in Juilliard's pre-college division when she was 8.” Zhou played Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy. Read more about her here: http://www.nj.com

11/23/06 – The Kansas City Star called out Jennifer Bryan, a professional violinist and special education aide, for her volunteer work as a transporter with Operation Wildlife. Once a week, she transports injured wildlife from a receiving center to a rehabilitation center.

11/23/06 – The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran an interesting profile of Austrian violinist, violist and conductor Manfred Honeck, who is in town to conduct the Pittsburgh Symphony. One of his early jobs was filling a temporary first violin vacancy in the Vienna Philharmonic, followed by earning a permanent slot in the orchestra’s viola section. Read the profile here: http://www.post-gazette.com

11/21/06 – Violinist.com member Kerah Williams, second violinist in the Fourte String Quartet, was written up in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. It turns out that the father of one of her quartet-mates writes for the paper. He proudly captured the group’s exploits during a layover in Atlanta during a trip to play for a group of lawyers in Washington, DC. It seems that the enterprising high schoolers performed spontaneously in the airport, passing the cap as they did so. The teens earned $66 on the outbound leg, $42 on the inbound. They performed at a meeting of the National Center for State Courts and were suitably wined and dined in the capital, even posing for a photo with John Roberts, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

11/19/06 – The great British violinist Emanuel “Manny” Hurwitz has died at 87. He and violist Cecil Aronowitz were famed for their performances of the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante in the 1960s, before Aronowitz’ untimely death. Hurwitz was the longtime concertmaster of both the English Chamber Orchestra and the New Philharmonia Orchestra under Otto Klemperer. Hurwitz later founded the Hurwitz Chamber Orchestra, which later became the Serenata of London. Read his obituary here: http://www.theherald.co.uk

11/18/06 - Violinist Arturo Delmoni, concertmaster of the New York City Ballet Orchestra, performed the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the New Philharmonic of New Jersey. Read an entertaining interview with him here: http://www.dailyrecord.com

11/18/06 – According to the Los Angeles Times, “Los Angeles Philharmonic music director Esa-Pekka Salonen will become principal conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London beginning next year but remain at the helm here, the London-based Guardian newspaper reported Friday." Los Angeles Philharmonic spokesman Adam Crane comments: "He will continue to have an ongoing relationship with the Los Angeles Philharmonic ... We are announcing that he's extending the evergreen clause of his contract through 2009." The paper notes: "In London, Salonen will replace Christoph von Dohnányi, who has been in the post since 1997, the Guardian said. Salonen, who is composing, could not be reached, Crane said ... Salonen's contract with the Philharmonic was set to expire at the end of 2006, but in February 2005 it was extended through 2008 with the option of an 'evergreen clause' allowing further extensions."

Orchestra News

12/5/06 - The third recording from the West-East Divan Orchestra will be released on the Warner Classics label. Beethoven's Ninth Symphony was captured live in Berlin and features soloists Angele Denoke, Waltraud Meier, Burkhard Fritz, and René Pape. The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, made up of young Arab and Israeli musicians, was founded by Daniel Barenboim, who conducts the orchestra, and the late Palestinian-born writer and intellectual Edward Said. The orchestra will make its Carnegie Hall debut on December 19, following a special concert at the United Nations.


Other Music News

12/10/06 – According to the Daily Yomiuri, Japan’s classical music television show Daimei no Nai Ongakukai 21 will commemorate its 2,000th broadcast. “Daimei no Nai Ongakukai 21 debuted in 1964 as Daimei no Nai Ongakukai. It usually features classical concerts organized for the show and taped at concert halls, inviting viewers to experience live performances.”


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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 2, No. 81

November 23, 2006 21:02

Happy Thanksgiving to all Americans, whether at home or overseas!

In the spirit of the holiday, be sure to read about ways in which Philadelphia Orchestra members give back to their community. The article, on PlaybillArts.com, features violinist Philip Kates and cellists Robert Carfaro and Ohad ("Udi") Bar-David. Read the entire piece here: http://www.playbillarts.com

11/20/06 – New England Conservatory has announced its Honors Ensembles for the 2006-07 school year. Groups audition for Honors every October before an outside panel of jurors. Winning groups receive special mentoring and the guarantee of a Jordan Hall recital. They also give three performances off campus and receive training in shaping programs for and speaking to specialized audiences. This year’s winners include:

Tesla Trio
Ethan Wood, violin
Loewi Lin, cello
Natalie Erlich, piano

Ariel Quartet
Gershon Gerchikov, violin
Alexandra Kazovsky, violin

Sergey Tarashchansky, viola
Amit Even-Tov, cello

Honors String Quartet
Annie Rabbat, violin
Ying Xue, violin

Sarah Darling, viola
Song-Ie Do, cello


Other Musician News

Violinist Michelle Witt has been appointed associate director of Stanford Lively Arts, a presenting organization based at Stanford University. She served most recently as director of the Arts & Lectures program at the University of California-Santa Cruz. A professional violinist and founder of the Mission Concert Series in Santa Cruz, Witt has taught at the University of North Carolina and the Duke University String School.

11/27/06 – Joshua Bell will perform and sign copies of his new CD, Voice of the Violin, at the Barnes and Noble (Broadway and 66th Street location) at 7pm.

11/20/06 - Katie Lee, a 21 year-old biochemistry major and amateur violinist at the University of Minnesota, has been named a 2007 Rhodes Scholar. She'll enter Oxford University in England next fall to study for a doctorate in biochemistry, focusing on cancer research, and to enter the physician's scientist training program. She's also an accomplished violinist and concertmaster of University of Minnesota Campus Orchestra. "Growing up, I was debating between a musical career and medicine, but medicine really captured my heart and mind," Lee said. "The violin is part of me and will always be there." Read the article here: http://www.twincities.com

11/20/06 - Alice Huang, a 13-year-old in Madison, Wis., plays both piano and violin very well. So well, in fact that she has won her local concerto competition for two consecutive years—on different instruments. This year, she won on violin; last year, on piano. Alice is the first student to accomplish such a feat in Madison. Read the article here: http://www.madison.com

11/20/06 - John Gruen, a former violinist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, has died at age 90, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Mr. Gruen was 19 when he auditioned for the symphony on a lark, taking time off from his studies at the then-Carnegie Institute of Technology.” Gruen was a member of the orchestra from 1936-1943, when he served in World War II. “Dad was discharged in 1946 and returned home," said his daughter. "He wanted to return to the symphony, but they paid very little, and he had a family to support.” Instead, Gruen joined the Family Services Department at Jefferson Memorial Park, where he worked for 32 years, counseling family members and assisting with funeral procedures. Read the obituary here: http://www.pittsburghalive.com


Orchestra News

11/22/06 – According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's management and players' union have reached a new four-year agreement "nine months ahead of schedule. The new contract calls for incremental pay raises over the next four years. The current 52-week minimum salary for rank-and-file ASO musicians is $79,300. That figure will rise to $88,400 by the 2010-11 season."Daniel Laufer, ASO cellist and president of the player's union, said, "The new agreement demonstrates the continuing commitment of the musicians by taking into account current financial realities facing the arts in America." In the ASO's last collective bargaining agreement with its musicians, in 2004, the players agreed to an 18-month pay freeze through the end of the 2004-05 season.

11/19/06 – The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports on the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, noting that "the family of board chairman Richard P. Simmons is donating $29.5 million to the financially struggling orchestra. The donation will help the orchestra balance its budget, but Simmons also structured the gift to spur the Pittsburgh Symphony to increase its income, while at the same time holding the line on expenses." Simmons comments: "This gift increases the endowment by $50 million, it allows us to pay down all our debt and/or increase our reserves, and it allows us to do $10 million in deferred maintenance, acoustic, electric and structural problems with this wonderful building, Heinz Hall." The paper adds: "The $29.5 million donation is the fifth-largest gift ever made to an American orchestra, according to the American Symphony Orchestra League." Read the article here: http://www.post-gazette.com

11/17/06 – Correction: The Brooklyn Philharmonic has received a $200,000 challenge gift, not the $20,000 I previously reported. My source material was incorrect.


Other Music News

11/22/06 – WFMT-FM (98.7) in Chicago has just completed its largest fundraising drive ever. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the drive netted $552,000 from some 3,400 listeners. “One reason for the increase was the offering of a unique premium: For a pledge of $3,650 (or $10 a day), contributors would receive an iPod loaded with a basic library of classical music in the form of 100 CDs. Response exceeded all expectations, with 25 calls for the premium, according to Steve Robinson, WFMT's senior vice president and general manager, who conceived of the idea with the Naxos classical label. 'At a time when there seems to be gloom and doom in the world of classical music radio, WFMT is still a shining light,' he boasted." The paper notes that Gramophone magazine's 2006 awards issue "singled out WFMT as 'a beacon for classical music' and a station that is 'rightly renowned' for its programming."

11/20/06 – However, the fortunes of recorded classical music may have just taken a nosedive. According to Musical America, "Late last week, Sony BMG Music Entertainment underwent a major downsizing. Among the casualties were the key staffers in what has come to be called Sony BMG Masterworks—encompassing Sony Classical, Columbia Masterworks, BMG Classics, RCA Red Seal, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi and pretty much every other classical or classical-related label under the legendary companies once known as CBS Records and RCA Records." Read the article here: http://www.musicalamerica.com

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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 2, No. 80

November 19, 2006 12:28


Violinist Jennifer Cappelli faced the crowd of about 150 people, said, “Cristina, this is for you, with our love.” Then, just like that, the music began.

As I have reported, Cristina Purje is a young Romanian violinist in Chicago who is fighting an aggressive form of adrenal cancer. On Friday, her colleagues from the Grant Park Symphony, a professional summer orchestra largely composed of off-season Lyric Opera of Chicago players, gathered together to donate their time and passion to raise funds to help defray the vivacious young violinist’s medical and living expenses.

Following extensive bone replacement surgery in her right arm, Purje remains unable to play violin and, given that the cancer has spread to her liver, her future remains far from certain.

But there she sat Friday night, in the front row, flanked by friends and obviously touched by the proceedings. Following the concert’s highlight, Vivaldi’s Concerto for Four Violins, she leaped up and bestowed a bouquet upon each soloist: Liba Shacht, Laura Miller, Jennifer Cappelli and Michael Shelton. And she did the same for conductor Carlos Kalmar at the concert’s completion.

Kalmar, born in Uruguay to Austrian parents and now a resident of Vienna, made the interesting comment that, while he disagreed with America on some things (presumably politics), he was struck by how Americans’ can-do attitudes extend to helping friends in need and that Cristina’s concert came together with a speed, ease and generosity that likely wouldn’t have been the case in other countries.

The concert’s repertoire was almost uniformly light (Dvorak Slavonic Dances, Brahms Hungarian Dances) with one exception: Faure’s Pavane. While my first thought was of the perils of programming a piece reflecting upon death at this type of concert, Kalmar’s comment that it was now time to show off the winds should probably be taken at face value. Purje’s tears and those of her friends flowed notably during this work, however, while they were mostly composed through the rest of the concert, one friend snapping photos throughout.

Afterwards, members of the audience and orchestra rushed to surround Purje with embraces, well wishes and laughter. It was a magical evening.

Once again, you may send checks in any amount made payable to the Grant Park Orchestra Members Committee:

Cristina’s Concert
c/o Grant Park Music Festival
205 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601


Musician News

11/18/06 – Violinist John Cerna, a physics professor at University of Arkansas at Monticello, was profiled recently by the Arkansas Catholic. Read the story here:
http:wwwarkansascatholic.org

11/18/06 – Violinist Corey Cerovsek is playing the Korngold Violin Concerto this weekend with the Edmonton Symphony. He told Edmonton’s Vue Weekly that “A bunch of themes in the Concerto are actually themes from movies. It’s cool, because you completely feel how it sounds like a 1940s movie. There are places where the orchestra comes crashing in and it’s really colourful. There should be a giant screen behind me and pictures of people riding off into the sunset!”

11/17/06 – According to the Saint Paul Pioneer Press, "Alice Preves played viola with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra for almost four decades, but she had the unusual distinction of earning her position within the ensemble three separate times. Preves, who died Wednesday at 65 from complications of liver cancer, first started playing with the orchestra in the 1960s under music director Leopold Sipe. She stepped down twice after giving birth to her daughters, Laura and Sharon. She auditioned and won her chair back each time under conductors Dennis Russell Davies and Pinchas Zukerman. Preves played consistently with the SPCO from 1982 until her retirement this fall." The article quotes Preves's former stand partner, Tamas Strasser: "She was forthright, and she was conscientious, and we trusted each other. We used to complete each other's sentences." Preves was diagnosed with liver cancer in August and retired from the orchestra the following month. “In the months before her death, Preves made a contribution to the orchestra to endow her seat, helping to support the position in the orchestra in perpetuity. Her replacement will sit in the Alice Preves Viola Chair."

11/16/06 - The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Frank E. Saam, 79, a first violinist for the Philadelphia Orchestra for 40 years, died of prostate cancer Friday at home in Lake Luzerne, N.Y. "After being discharged [from the Navy] in 1946, Mr. Saam studied violin at the New York School of Music. He graduated in 1948 and played for the Houston Symphony for one year before joining the Detroit Symphony in 1949. In 1957, the year he married Eleanor Mehrkamper, Mr. Saam was hired as a first violinist by the Philadelphia Orchestra." During his playing career he was "active in the players' unions. He was head of the Philadelphia Musical Society Local 77 contract-negotiating team. In 1993, during a World Series game, Mr. Saam played at Veterans Stadium with the orchestra before 62,000 frenzied fans. Mayor [Edward] Rendell and the Phillie Phanatic were the conductors. When it was over, Mr. Saam raised his instrument high in the air. On the back was painted a giant red P.” Saam retired in 1997.

11/16/06 – The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that Keith Lockhart will step down from his position as music director of the Utah Symphony & Opera following the 2008-09 season. "The orchestra has struggled financially in recent years and is in the middle of a recovery program. Some patrons have been perturbed by what they see as Lockhart's lack of community involvement; a professional consultant's study in 2005 said Lockhart needed to be more engaged with the orchestra." Lockhart has no plans to leave his other gig, as principal conductor of the Boston Pops.

11/16/06 – Outgoing Philadelphia Orchestra music director Christoph Eschenbach revealed at a closed rehearsal that his decision to leave was sparked by a conversation with the orchestra's president, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Eschenbach was told that "80 percent of the musicians did not agree with his artistic interpretations; that 80 percent of the musicians left concerts feeling great anger; and that the orchestra was a 'ticking time bomb’. Eschenbach's comments, in speeches before and after rehearsal, were confirmed by four musicians, all of whom declined to be named.” Read the article here:
http://www.philly.com


Orchestra News

The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra has chosen a winning work in its first International Composer Competition. Frank Proto's "Fiesta Bayou and Kismet" was selected from 53 entries representing twelve countries. He and two finalists each received a commission to create a short symphonic work referencing jazz. As the winner, Proto will have the opportunity to write a full orchestral work for the LPO's 2008-09 season.

The Brooklyn Philharmonic has received a $20,000 challenge gift from Board Chair J. Barclay Collins. The gift is the largest from an individual in the orchestra's 53-year history.

11/17/06 – The Toronto Star reports: "For the first time since it skirted bankruptcy five years ago, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra announced a budget surplus at its annual general meeting yesterday.” Ticket sales increased slightly and subscriptions held steady. But the TSO isn't completely out of the woods yet - it's still carrying a CAN$9.5 million accumulated debt, and further internal cost reductions don't seem feasible. Read the story here: http://www.thestar.com

11/16/06 – Here’s an interesting story from The Hankyoreh in Seoul: “South Korea is prime territory for touring orchestras these days, with a seemingly insatiable classical music audience lining up for tickets in numbers that most Western ensembles would kill for at home. But the popularity of the form has led to an explosion in ticket prices - how does $260 for a seat at the New York Philharmonic's concert sound? Or $400 for the Berlin Phil? And the numbers don't actually add up: there simply aren't enough music fans in Korea to justify the price spike. So who's buying the tickets, and who's getting shut out of the hall?” Read the article here: http://www.hani.co.kr

11/16/06 – According to the Charleston Post and Courier (SC), the Charleston Symphony Orchestra could be in bankruptcy by February without a life-saving $500,000 infusion from the corporate community. Currently, 99 percent of donations to the orchestra are from individuals.

11/16/06 – The Columbus Dispatch reported on the Columbus (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra's concert held that night, titled "OSU vs. Michigan in Concert: The Greatest Rivalry in Sports," conducted by Scott O'Neil. "The concert's first half will feature appearances by well-known OSU institutions: Brutus Buckeye, a part of the marching band and the Men's Glee Club, with its conductor, Robert Ward. Cheerleaders will enliven the performance as well as a pre-concert tailgate party. The orchestra will also revive a piece by PDQ Bach creator Peter Schickele called 'Adventures in Music.' It takes a sports-announcing approach to Beethoven's famous Symphony No. 5. Sean Cuellar of WSYX-TV (Channel 6) will narrate, and Jim Karsatos, former Buckeye quarterback, will be the commentator." Also featured is O'Neil's piece, "The Greatest Rivalry in Sports in Music," which is based on Charles Ives's "Princeton-Yale Football Game," a musical stunt that uses those two schools' fight songs simultaneously. "The OSU-Michigan version," writes Zuck, "has grown from Ives' two-minute idea to a 25-minute Buckeye-Wolverine 'symphony,' with audience participation and visual components -- footage from past games and visits from former Buckeye players." As a Michigan native, I have two things to say to that: Go Blue and RIP, Bo Schembechler!

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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 2, No. 79

November 16, 2006 19:01


As promised, I have obtained a mailing address so that Violinist.com members can mail checks in support of Cristina Purje, the Grant Park Symphony violinist I wrote about last week. Cristina is 26 years old and suffering from an aggressive form of adrenal cancer that has spread to her liver and required partial amputation of her right arm.

She does not have health insurance and is not eligible public aid, so members of the Grant Park Symphony, including the globe-trotting maestro Carlos Kalmar, are volunteering their services to put on a benefit concert for Cristina at the Chicago Cultural Center. All concert proceeds (and mailed donations) will be used to defray Cristina’s staggering medical expenses.

You may send checks in any amount made payable to the Grant Park Orchestra Members Committee:

Cristina’s Concert
c/o Grant Park Music Festival
205 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601

Musician News

Holly Huelskamp has been appointed assistant concertmaster of the Owensboro (Ky.) Symphony Orchestra. Huelskamp, currently a master's degree candidate at Indiana University, is a member of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and recently performed with the Spoleto Festival and at Weill Recital Hall in New York City.

11/16/06 – Violinist Robin Scott, second-prize winner of the 2006 Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, will perform a recital in Peru, Indiana. He was also a laureate in the Hellam National Competition in March 2006.

11/15/06 – The Baltimore Sun reports that violinist Hilary Hahn was due to receive a tonsillectomy on this date. The announcement came in an informal interview that ran the previous day. Get well soon, Hilary—adult tonsillectomy is no picnic! Read the story here:
http://www.baltimoresun.com

11/15/06 – The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix ran a fun interview with violinist Mark Fewer, concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony. Fewer will be performing Mendelssohn there this weekend. Read the profile here:
http://www.canada.com

11/15/06 - Violinist Lindsay Deutsch, all of 21, will perform the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Burbank Philharmonic this weekend. She told the Burbank Leader that she was inspired to become a violinist after seeing the famous segment Itzhak Perlman recorded for Sesame Street.

11/14/06 – Have you wondered what the Emerson String Quartet has been up to while violist Lawrence Dutton recovers from rotator cuff surgery? At a recital this week at the University of Chicago, violinist Eugene Drucker slid over to viola. Pianist Wu Han, wife of cellist David Finkel, joined the group for a Brahms Piano Quartet. The student reviewer pronounced that “Drucker really can play the viola pretty well (every now and again, a note would waver into tune after being stuck a tad flat, but otherwise he was solid).” Good to know!

11/14/06 - The Hyperbow, an experimental violin created by violinist/scientist Diana Young to document the subtleties of individual players’ technique, has received a fair amount of interest in the scientific press this fall. Read what the MIT Technology Review has to say:
http://www.technologyreview.com


Orchestra News

11/15/06 – According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra has extended its relationship with two of its successful “artistic partners.” Conductors Douglas Boyd and Roberto Abbado will continue leading the SPCO regularly through 2010 and 2011, respectively. The orchestra has abandoned a traditional music directorship in favor of a diverse array of artistic partners, including Joshua Bell.

11/14/06 – The Stage reports that the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic has reached agreement on a 21 percent pay raise for its musicians. The RLPO's base wage lags far behind the UK's top orchestras - even at the end of the new contract, musicians will earn just 25,000 pounds per year - but the deal is being seen as an indication that the orchestra has stabilized fiscally after several years of restructuring. Liverpool has been designated the Cultural Capital of Europe for 2008, which may explain the raise.


Other Music News

Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and producer Elliott Forrest has been named afternoon host at New York's 96.3 FM WQXR. He succeeds Lloyd Moss, who retired September 29 after 50 years with the station. Forrest, previously the weekend morning host at WQXR, joined the station's announcing staff in 2003 and also hosts nationally syndicated concerts by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Seattle Symphony, and the Jerusalem Symphony. In 2005 Forrest directed a concert version of Act III of Wagner's Götterdämmerung at the Hollywood Bowl with John Mauceri conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic. From 1986 to 1993 he was the morning drive-time host on New York's WNCN-FM. He holds a bachelor's degree in drama from the University of Texas-Austin.

Minnesota Public Radio has announced that Brian Newhouse, its award-winning host and senior producer of Minnesota Orchestra, will serve as host and senior producer of SymphonyCast when American Public Media assumes production and distribution of that program from NPR in January. SymphonyCast is a two-hour weekly radio program featuring full-length concerts by leading U.S. and European orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Cleveland Orchestra. Before becoming host of MPR's Minnesota Orchestra Newhouse was a writer for such public-radio series as The Writer's Almanac and the globally broadcast daily magazine European Journal.

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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 2, No. 78

November 12, 2006 12:30


Election Day brought good news to arts supporters in Cleveland.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Cuyahoga County's Issue 18 "will raise the county cigarette tax by 1.5 cents per cigarette starting in January, generating about $20 million per year for 10 years for arts and cultural organizations and individual artists." State Sen. Eric Fingerhut "said he thought the issue passed because voters were familiarized with the need for arts funding during the 2004 campaign for Issue 31, a proposed property-tax increase to benefit economic development, including the arts, that voters rejected ... Issue 18 revenue will be disbursed through a peer-review grant process created three years ago through a county series of public workshops."


Musician News

Cellist Charlie Tyler has won the Cleveland Institute of Music 2007 concerto competition, reports Violinist.com member Andrew Sords. Tyler will perform the Barber Cello Concerto with the CIM Orchestra in early 2007.

11/24/06 – Cellist Truls Mørk has cancelled his upcoming performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra on November 24, 25 and 28, at which he was to perform Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1. Mørk’s father is terminally ill, necessitating the cellist’s withdrawal last month from a North American chamber music tour. Alisa Weilerstein will substitute in the same concerto in her Philadelphia Orchestra debut.

11/19/06 – The Azerbaijan News Agency announced that Russian violinist Ekaterina Florova, “a laureate of many international music contests, scholar of the Violin Art Fund (Moscow), Spivakov International Charitable Fund, and N. Petrov International Fund”, will perform Mendelssohn and Shostakovich concerti with the Azerbaijan Symphony.

11/19/06 - Violist Patricia McCarty and pianist Eric Larsen will perform a recital presented by the Philadelphia Viola Society. The program will include works by Bach, Fuchs, Arthur Benjamin and
Bernstein/Rosen.

11/16/06 – WFIU-FM in Bloomington will play a track from Chicago violinist Vincent Skowronski’s newest recording, “Skowronski Plays!” at 7:45 p.m. Eastern. You can listen online at: http://www.indiana.edu/~wfiu

11/11-12/06 - Violinist Jaime Laredo and cellist Sharon Robinson performed the Brahms Double Concerto with the Indianapolis Symphony, in Indianapolis and then again today in Bloomington.

11/11/06 – The Monterey Herald reports that violinist Phillip Levy performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 with the Monterey Symphony. “Levy's return to the Monterey Symphony marks the first time the violinist has performed with the orchestra since his departure as concertmaster 10 years ago. In a telephone interview, Levy talked about his busy, happy life as a soloist in Los Angeles and as a studio musician and faculty member at California State University, Long Beach and Santa Monica College.”

11/11/06 – The Austrian violinist Benjamin Schmid performed on the Cape Town Concert Series in Cape Town, South Africa. Partnered by Swiss pianist Ariane Haering, he will perform sonatas by Mozart and Ravel, the partita by Lutoslawski and the Grand Duo Concertante by Liszt.

11/8/06 – The Halifax Chronicle-Herald profiled violinist Mark Djokic: “Wearing a black Fender guitar T-shirt and an all-white hoodie, 24-year-old Marc Djokic takes an iPod out of his ear to tell me about his new, $300,000 Johannes Franciscus Pressenda, 1820 violin. He’s only had it since Sept. 20 and on Friday in St. Matthew’s United Church, he will play it in public for the first time as the featured soloist with the Chebucto Orchestra in Mendelssohn’s violin concerto. Djokic won a three-year loan of the Pressenda, one of 10 vintage violins in the 2006 Canada Council Instrument Bank competition, on Sept. 19. The mint condition Italian masterwork is a far cry, you might think, from the electric violin he played …” Read the article here: http://thechonicleherald.ca

10/19/06 – The Akron Beacon-Journal ran a profile of violinist Axel Strauss that includes talk about Dorothy DeLay and his J.F. Pressenda violin. Read it here:
http://www.ohio.com


Orchestra News

11/10/06 – According to the Dallas Morning News, the musicians of the Dallas Opera Orchestra have rejected a new contract that both sides believed was settled earlier this week. For the moment, the orchestra is continuing to work, though it hasn't ruled out a strike. “Representatives from both sides reached a contract agreement Monday, after six months of on-and-off negotiations, the last two sessions with a federal mediator. But implementation required a majority vote of the full orchestra membership, and according to [AFM President Joshua] Hair the musicians "overwhelmingly rejected it." The five-year contract would cover the opera company's fall 2009 move into the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts' new Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House. According to Mr. Hair, it called for raises of 2 percent in each of the first three years, a 7.8 percent raise in the fourth year and a 5 percent raise in the final year.” Even more contentious is management’s insistence on reducing the orchestra’s size by four players through attrition. Read the details here:
http://www.dallasnews.com

11/7/06 – According to the Tulsa Collegian, "The City of Tulsa has not had its own orchestra since the Tulsa Philharmonic went bankrupt in 2001. Friday night, the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra opened its first concert season ever with Beethoven's Fifth Symphony." Barbara Reif, operations manager for the TSO, comments: "A true professional orchestra is not a luxury for a vibrant and emerging city such as Tulsa, but a necessity ... A professional orchestra is a keystone to the arts community. Everything can be built upon that orchestra." The article notes: "The organization uses a new business model, which was invented by [TSO founder Frank] Letcher ... There is an artistic management group that selects the season's program, the conductor and the dates. This group consists entirely of TSO musicians. The decisions are then made by formal consensus between the rest of the TSO… The Schusterman Foundation just gave [the TSO] a challenge grant of $100,000 for every $200,000 the orchestra raises. Right now they have already raised over $600,000."

4 replies | Archive link


Violin News & Gossip, Op. 2, No. 77

November 8, 2006 21:44

When you see the headline “Brass and strings’ secret love child,” you know you just have to read the accompanying article. And you cross your fingers that a photo is included. Luckily, there is. So here’s the scoop, from an 11/3/06 piece in The Guardian (UK):

“When violinist and composer Aleks Kolkowski was on a visit to Budapest in 1998, a curious musical instrument caught his eye: a freakish hybrid that looked like the result of a drunken coupling between a violin and a saxophone. He bought one of these ‘strange, horned violins’, which, he found, were made for Transylvanian folk musicians. But he also discovered that the instrument was a form of ‘Stroh’ violin, an eccentric type of fiddle developed in the late 19th century but almost obsolete by the second world war. Except in Transylvania, that is. And, oddly enough, Burma, where a form of horned violin is also still made and played today.

Fascination soon turned to obsession. After several years of haunting junk shops and eBay, Kolkowski has finally assembled a string quartet's worth of Stroh instruments - the only one in the world….”

http://www.arts.guardian.co.uk

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Here’s a touching story involving the man with a heart the size of Texas, Yo-Yo Ma.

From the 10/29/06 Los Angeles Times: columnist Steve Lopez wrote about Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, a bassist who attended The Juilliard School before suffering a mental breakdown in his third year. "In the 33 years since then, many of them spent living on the streets of Cleveland and Los Angeles, Ayers has often wondered about his former classmates, holding onto a connection to them through the music he continued playing," Lopez writes, noting that "for a brief time, [Ayers and Yo-Yo Ma] played in the same Juilliard orchestra, although Ayers didn't think of Ma as a peer." Lopez writes of bringing Ayers to a Los Angeles Philharmonic concert at Disney Hall featuring Ma, and of bringing Ayers backstage to meet the cellist after the program: "Ma reached around Mr. Ayers and pulled him close. 'I just want to tell you,' Ma said through a bear hug, 'what it means to meet you. To meet somebody who really, really loves music. We're brothers. In a rare moment, Mr. Ayers was practically speechless."

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In late October, the 30th Concours Prix de Vieuxtemps in Verviers wrapped up, announcing these winners:

1st prize, Hrachya Avanesyan
1st incentive prize, Caroline Poncelet
2nd incentive prize, Wéronika Godlewska
3rd incentive prize, Vincent Hepp


Other Musician News

The Charleston Symphony Orchestra has appointed Yuriy Bekker as concertmaster. A native of Minsk, Belarus, Bekker moved to New York City with his family in 1992. He has played with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, Houston Grand Opera and Ballet Orchestras, the Louisville Orchestra, the New World Symphony, and as concertmaster of the orchestra at Peabody Conservatory, where he received his graduate performance diploma as a student of Herbert Greenberg. Bekker also holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Indiana University.

The Jupiter String Quartet has been named the sixth recipient of the biennial Cleveland Quartet Award, administered by Chamber Music America. The award sets the quartet up for concerts with eight prominent presenters over the next two years.

11/6/06 – According to the Hagerstown Morning Herald, Midori made time to meet with 24 local high school and college students in conjunction with an area performance. Local music teachers apparently received letters asking them to submit names of their top students; winners were chosen by lottery. Read the story here:
http://www.herald-mail.com

11/5/06 – In conjunction with Sarah Chang’s appearance this week with the Utah Symphony, the Deseret News ran an interview with the 26-year-old violinist. In it, she reflects on why she declined to perform the Brahms Violin Concerto until she was “much older,” as in 18 years old. Read the interview here:
http://www.deseretnews.com

10/22/06 – Violinist and violist Jaropolk Lassowsky, longtime faculty member at Clarion University in Pennsylvania, died after a brief bout with cancer. From the university’s web site: “Dr. Lassowsky was the long-time University Symphony Orchestra director and violin and viola instructor, and took on the responsibility of teaching all strings lessons and techniques courses for the last 9 years. …Dr. Lassowsky was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholar Award in the summer of 2003 to travel to Ukraine to conduct and teach at Kherson State University. During his summer stay in Ukraine, Dr. Lassowsky conducted four different orchestras, taught courses in computer applications in music and music publishing, and premiered several of his music compositions and arrangements with the Kherson orchestras. At the conclusion of his summer appointment, the authorities supervising his activities in the Ukraine were so impressed and pleased by Dr. Lassowsky’s work, they requested from the Fulbright Foundation an extension of his stay to include the Fall ’03 semester.”


Orchestra News

The Cleveland Orchestra has received a $5 million donation from patron Norma Lerner.

11/8/06 – The San Antonio Symphony Orchestra has announced that it will not renew the contract of music director Larry Rachleff when it expires at the end of the 2007-08 season, reports the San Antonio Express News. The paper quotes David Green, the orchestra's president and CEO, as saying, "My thought is that San Antonio would most benefit from a music director who lives here." He pointed out that Christopher Wilkins, Rachleff's predecessor, moved to the Texas city when his tenure began in 1991. Rachleff lives in Houston, where he teaches at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music…The San Antonio Symphony Players Association issued a statement saying the musicians "are deeply disappointed and disturbed" by the decision, according to the paper.

11/5/06 - The New York Philharmonic launched a tour of the Far East with music director Lorin Maazel with a concert in Tokyo.

2 replies | Archive link


Violin News & Gossip, Op. 2, No. 76

November 5, 2006 18:12


11/17/06 - Conductor Carlos Kalmar and members of Chicago's Grant Park Symphony Orchestra will perform a benefit concert to raise funds for a 26-year-old Romanian violinist with cancer.

Christina Purje was diagnosed last summer with adrenal cancer. She does not have health insurance or qualify for public assistance, reports PlaybillArts.com. All funds raised at the concert will help pay for Purje's treatment.

“In April, Purje began experiencing severe pain in her right arm. A biopsy showed that she had adrenal cancer which had metastasized to her arm; she had surgery to remove the affected area of her arm and lost the ability to play the violin. The cancer has also metastasized to her liver.”

In my mid-week column, I will post a mailing address should any Violinist.com readers wish to send financial and emotional support.

================

11/1/06 – The Seattle Times ran an interesting article discussing why there are so few black musicians in classical music. Violinist Quinton Morris, a member of the all-African-American string octet The Young Eight, is featured prominently. Read the article here:
http://www.seattletimes.com


Musician News

Radio Polska is running an undated press release announcing the winners of the recent 13th Henryk Wieniawski competition.

First place: Agata Szymczewska, Poland
Second place: Airi Suzuki, Japan
Third place: Anna Maria Staśkiewicz, Poland
Fourth place: Lev Solodovnikov, Russia
Fifth place: Jarosław Nadrzycki, Poland
Sixth place: Maria Machowska, Poland

“The jury decided to specially mention Russian Simeon Klimashevski…. The winner also received 25 thousand dollars and the gold medal od the Wieniawski Society, not to mention the collection of additional prizes, all of which numbered more than 30. Among them were offers of recordings for a selection of labels, starting with Polish Radio and Polish Television, the National Philharmonic in Warsaw to Agnieszka Duczmal’s chamber orchestra and the Bydgoszcz Philharmonic to Lahti in Finland. Kruk jewellers company presented the artist with a silver statue of a violin. All of the laureates were also funded violin cases from the Artonus company.”

11/4/06 – As reported in July, the great German chamber group Musica Antiqua Köln is disbanding due to the career-ending focal dystonia of its founder and leader, violinist Reinhard Goebel. The group is wrapping up its final American tour this week, with a run up the California coast. But here’s the unexpected twist from a New York Times review of the group’s Nov. 2 performance: “Mr. Goebel, once a virtuosic player, has been through a lot. A hand injury in 1990 forced him to relearn the violin left-handed, and he recovered much of his earlier form. More recently he switched back, but his problems worsened. In August he walked out of a rehearsal in frustration and did not return, leaving the ensemble to undertake its last tour on its own. It was a bit odd: imagine the Miles Davis Quintet playing a farewell tour without its namesake.”

11/4/06 – The Oregonian profiled Megan Carr LaPorte, a violinist who belongs to her high school's marching band. “But the 17-year-old senior never marches. She stands, near the sidelines. With an acoustic violin, modified for electronic use, planted under her chin. Fiddling away. ‘Every time I play, at least 40 or 50 people come up and say, “Wow, you play violin with the marching band,” LaPorte says. ‘It really shocks people’."

11/1/06 – PlaybillArts.com ran a feature on violinist Nicolae Bica, who was selected to be photographed for the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra’s season brochure. Bica has been a member of the second violin section since 1999 and “was something of a no-brainer in terms of being selected as a subject for the 2006-2007 season brochure. Charming, affable, with a marvelous sense of humor and generosity of spirit, Bica is also very photogenic. But no one had any idea what a terrific model he would be. After some three hours in the photo studio, Bica said he was just warming up. He struck a variety of poses and offered photographer Scott Ferguson an assortment of expressions: thoughtful, pensive, moody, sleepy, ruminative. He held his violin perpendicular to his thigh and stood like Donatello's David.”

11/1/06 – The Tacoma News Tribune reports on the death of violinist and violist John Howard Walters. “The long-time concertmaster and principal violist with the Tacoma Symphony died at home Wednesday after suffering a stroke in September 2005. He was 90." Walters studied violin and viola at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. "In 1945, he became the first concertmaster of the CPS-Tacoma Symphony, later to become the Tacoma Symphony, under Raymond Vaught, a position he held for 11 years ... After taking a short break from the symphony in 1956, Walters returned as principal violist, a position he held until his retirement in 1984, leading to his unofficial title among colleagues of 'the old man of the orchestra.' He also played occasionally with the Seattle Symphony, and backed Nat King Cole during the Seattle World's Fair. In Tacoma he was a member of several string quartets, and was concertmaster of the Tacoma Community College Chamber Orchestra for 22 years, retiring in 2001 because of poor eyesight."

11/1/06 - New Jersey Symphony Orchestra cellist Gretchen Gonzales died Oct. 23 of breast cancer, according to the Bergen County Record (NJ). She was 43. The obituary quotes her husband: "Through the chemotherapy and all she was going through, she never missed work until the last six months ... Even then, she was trying to play, trying to get back to it. Her mind-set was she was going to beat this and play again for the symphony." Fran Rowell, a cellist with the symphony, comments: "It's much more than showing up during work hours ... To be unwell and still put in the preparation required -- that's a real testament to her."


Orchestra News

11/2/06 - The West Australian Symphony Orchestra embarrassed itself last week after publishing brochures touting Edo de Waart as its next music director, only to have de Waart pull out of the negotiations, which had not been finalized. Now, the WASO's board chair has publicly apologized to de Waart for comments made by the orchestra's president at the time, in which it was implied that de Waart's change of heart had to do with not wanting to pay Australian taxes.

11/2/06 – According to the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Philharmonic has a new assistant conductor: "French conductor Lionel Bringuier, who turned 20 on Sept. 24… Currently assistant conductor of the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, he will be the youngest assistant conductor in the Philharmonic's 87-year history."


Other Music News

11/3/06 – According to the New York Times, "International Creative Management, a talent agency giant, is selling its classical music division to top managers and Newsweb, a Chicago printing and media company, the agency said yesterday. The sale comes after a deal between ICM and IMG Artists, another leading player in classical music management, collapsed last summer. ICM has said that it wants to focus on its core areas: film, television, publishing and popular music. Newsweb, a privately held corporation, owns several radio stations, a television station and a newspaper printing company, along with other investments ... The agency's roster includes Daniel Barenboim, Emanuel Ax, Gidon Kremer, Midori, Yo-Yo Ma, the Tokyo String Quartet and orchestras including the Cleveland, Philadelphia, Staatskapelle Berlin and Academy of St. Martin in the Fields."

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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 2, No. 75

November 1, 2006 19:39


In keeping with the ghostly spirit of Halloween fun, on 10/31, the Houston Chronicle ran a fun ghost story. It seems the Houston Public Library's Julia Ideson building is said to be haunted by a violin-playing ghost. “In its early years, the Ideson, named in honor of the city's first librarian, was home to Jacob Frank Cramer, an elderly man of uncertain past who worked as night watchman, gardener and handyman. In his leisure hours, he played the violin…” Read the story here:
http://www.chron.com

===========

10/26/06 – Several violinists were featured, um, prominently in a Vancouver alt-weekly, Georgia Straigh, about the pressure some classical artists feel to glam it up as part of marketing their music. Nicola Benedetti is the issue’s cover girl. “Robin Lynn Braun is a 27-year-old blond, blue-eyed classically trained musician. If you frequent the Orpheum, you might have noticed her in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s first violin section: she’s the one wearing the black leather pants. Like any other aspiring pro musician, she regularly gets new head shots taken, wears eye-catching ensembles on-stage, and generally works it when she has to. Talent will get you so far, she knows. But today, more than ever in the classical world, marketing will get you farther….

It was only a matter of time before the PR excesses of the pop world crept into the more staid realm of classical music. Okay, so we haven’t seen anything quite approximating Christina Aguilera’s Dirrty video, but London, Ontario–born violinist Lara St. John sure got tongues wagging—and, in some cases, drooling—when, at age 25, she released her 1995 debut CD, Bach Works for Solo Violin. The album’s cover depicted an adolescent-looking St. John, nude from the waist up, her long hair slightly dishevelled, her violin held to coyly cover her breasts. It was enough to send one local scribe sputtering that St. John looked like a “bedraggled nymphet”. It seems St. John and her management took note. For the cover of her second album, Gypsy, St. John covered up just slightly; she donned a black leather jacket—and very little else.

Which isn’t to say that image hasn’t always played a part in filling concert halls—hard to believe it, but Anne-Sophie Mutter sparked whispers of disapproval way back in the ’80s, when she began playing her Stradivarius in gravity-defying strapless gowns and discussed her passion for fast cars. It’s just that, according to Alan Gove, marketing director for the VSO, slick, sexy marketing is being used to drive classical musicians at earlier and earlier stages in their careers…. Read the article here:
http://www.straight.com


Other Musician News

Daniel Szasz has been named concertmaster of the Lake Placid (N.Y.) Sinfonietta beginning with the 2007 summer season. He has been concertmaster of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra since 1997.

11/07/06 - The Los Angeles Piano Quartet will perform at the Eastman School of Music. Its newest member, is Eastman faculty cellist Steven Doane. The rest of the quartet consists of violinist Michi Wiancko, violist Katherine Murdock and Xak Bjerken, piano.

10/31/06 –The Gulf Coast Symphony has a new concertmaster, Jenny Gregoire of Tuscaloosa, Ala., who will make her public debut playing Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. The Sun-Herald of southern Mississippi ran this biography of her: “The violinist and new concertmaster is also concertmaster with the Mobile Symphony Orchestra, a position she has held for about four years, and with the Meridian Symphony Orchestra…Gregoire was born in Quebec, Canada, and studied at the Quebec Music Conservatoire with Jean Angers and Liliane Granier-Le Sage, where she earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in violin performance. She later earned a master's degree in violin performance and pedagogy at Northwestern University in Chicago, where she also played with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. In September 2000, she joined the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas and the next year was appointed to her current position with the Mobile Symphony. Gregoire is an adjunct violin instructor at the University of Alabama and performs regularly with the Alabama Symphony and the Pensacola Symphony. During summer months, she performs and teaches at the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, N.C

10/30/06 – The American Chronicle ran a profile of Pavel Farkas, concertmaster of the California Philharmonic. Read it here:

http://www.americanchronicle.com

10/29/06 – After 35 years, Elliott Golub played his last concert as concertmaster of the Chicago-based Music of the Baroque. On the program was Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante, which he played with Li-Kuo Chang, assistant principal viola of the Chicago Symphony.

Orchestra News

10/31/06 – The Record (Kitchener, Ont.) shares the happy news that the community has bailed out the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, saving it from looming bankruptcy and closure. “In less than a month, more than 1,400 people pledged a total of $2.3 million to the struggling orchestra. It's enough money to ensure the symphony will not be forced to shut down at the end of this month. ... On Oct. 4, the symphony announced it needed $2.5 million by the end of the month or it wouldn't be able to carry on. As the symphony works on a sustainability plan, musicians and staff have taken pay cuts.”

10/28/06 – The Detroit News ran an article speculating that the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, two years into a music director search, could possibly snag Sir Andrew Davis. Read it here:

http://www.detroitnews.com


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