December 1, 2006 at 1:59 AM
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
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."
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:
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
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
Also, Hagyary is definitely controversial. I wondered if any of that controversy would pop up here in response to me quoting an article in which he was working his publicity machine.
Thanks for the comments!
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