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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 2, No. 84

December 4, 2006 at 4:09 AM

The WFMT Radio Network is producing a documentary about the life of Arturo Toscanini in recognition of the 50th anniversary of his death next month. Anyone who knew the Maestro is invited to contact Karen Shear at 212-496-9418 or


Musician News

12/1/06 – North Shore Sunday in Mass. ran an interesting article about a new group of instruments created by Carleen Hutchins, including an alto violin (nearly cello-size!) and others. The Peabody Quartet played a concert on them yesterday. Read the feature here:

12/1/06 – Violinist Kyoko Yonemoto of Tokyo has won first prize in the Fourth Paganini Moscow International Violin Competition. Read the Japan Times item here:

12/1/06 – The Arizona Star ran a charming profile of 19-year-old violinist Caitlin Tully, a Canadian-American who attends Princeton and hops a train to study with Itzhak Perlman in New York. Read it here:

11/30/06 – The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ran an interview with Joshua Bell in conjunction with a local appearance. Read it here:

11/30/06 – Violinist Clare Hurrell won the East Lindsey Young Musician of the Year title in Horncastle, England. The 16-year-old plans to enter the contest on clarinet next year and hopes to make a career of music. She receives a smashing silver trophy along with the title.

11/30/06 – Violinist Jamie Lee, 16, has won the annual concerto competition sponsored by the Kennett (Pa.) Symphony. In addition to soloing with the orchestra next year, she won $500.

11/29/06 – When Catherine Hewgill, principal cello of the Sydney Symphony, slipped on ice, her first thought was to protect her 300-year-old cello. And she did, but at the expense of her wrist, which was broken in multiple places. Read the story of her long recovery here:

Orchestra News

The Maryland Classic Youth Orchestra has received a pledge of $50,000 from Margaret Makris, in memory of her late husband, composer Andreas Makris.

12/19/06 – The Boston Symphony will release its first recording with Music Director James Levine. Appearing on the Nonesuch label, the recording will include Peter Lieberson’s Neruda Songs, which the orchestra co-commissioned with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson is the soloist.

11/29/06 – The Boston Pops has fired its principal guest conductor, Bruce Hangen, who had been in the post since 1979. The orchestra is not commenting on the reasons for the dismissal.

11/29/06 – Lorin Maazel, music director of the New York Philharmonic, has made it known that he has a candidate in mind to succeed him at the end of the decade: his old friend, former Chicago Symphony music director Daniel Barenboim. Barenboim claims he’s not interested in leading another American orchestra. Read the New York Times article here:

From John Baker
Posted on December 4, 2006 at 2:37 PM
I had the great privilege of briefly meeting Kyoko Yonemoto at the airport in Moscow last Saturday morning. Her unassuming and open demeanor, and her obvious great talent in winning this as well as other competitions, will take her very far in the Violin World. This was my Gift from above for that day. Congratulations, Kyoko!
From bilbo Pratt
Posted on December 5, 2006 at 4:05 PM
I joined the New Violin Family Association last year.

A little clarification regarding the Alto Violin:

Within this "family" the normal violin becomes the "mezzo", and the cello becomes the "baritone" and the viola becomes the "alto". There is a new instrument added between the 'cello register and the viola, and this is called the "tenor". Note that the tenor is an octave lower than violin in its tuning.

The Alto is played either as a viola, on the shoulder, or on a stick, violincello style.

Yo-yo Ma recorded with a 'cello style alto violin.

Note that the dimensions of the "baritone" are not the same as the violincello that we are familiar with. The baritone looks like a violin in proportions, rather than "thick" like a 'cello.

In addition to the instruments I've listed, there are two basses, one in the range of a regular bass viol, and the other in between. Further, there are two high-register instruments: a soprano, and a treble violin, with the treble being an ocatave above the standard violin.


From Jim W. Miller
Posted on December 6, 2006 at 10:07 PM
Winners of that competition are so friendly it's scary!

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