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

November 12, 2006 at 7:30 PM

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 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

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:

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:

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:

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:

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."

From Amy F.
Posted on November 13, 2006 at 12:25 AM
congrats to charlie!!!!! he's a phenomenal cellist and musician! :)
From Donna Clegg
Posted on November 13, 2006 at 2:19 PM
Wow - go Cuyahoga County! I can't imagine what $20 million a year will do for the arts. Talk about thinking outside the box for funding....
From Ray Randall
Posted on November 13, 2006 at 4:39 PM
As a former Tulsa Philharmonic player I hope the new version is successful. WTG folks.
From Emily Grossman
Posted on November 13, 2006 at 7:17 PM
Yay Tulsa.

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