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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 2, No. 20

April 20, 2006 at 11:58 AM

Musician News

Jayce Ogren has been named assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra and music director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, effective in September. A native of Hoquiam, Washington, he is currently a conducting apprentice at the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and has guest-conducted orchestras in both Sweden and Finland as well as the New World Symphony, Boston's Callithumpian Consort, the Harvard Group for New Music, and the New England Conservatory Opera Theater.

Theodore Kuchar, music director of the Reno Chamber Orchestra, has renewed his contract for three years beginning with the 2006-07 season. He continues as music director/conductor of the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra, chief conductor of the Czech Republic's Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra, and resident conductor of the Kent Blossom Music Festival.

The St. Lawrence String Quartet is currently on tour ranging from Texas to Canada. See them if you can; it may be your last chance to see the group before its September shakeup. As reported here previously, current second violinist Barry Shiffman will be heading to Canada’s Banff Centre as director of music programs. Scott St. John, from the University of Toronto faculty, will take Shiffman's place.

4/27/06 – If you’ll be in San Francisco on this date, you’ll surely want to attend a recital by Midori that builds upon an earlier session. In collaboration with Ruth Felt of San Francisco Performances, and with the help of a grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation, Midori has brought her Contemporary Music Recital Program, begun 18 months ago in Japan, to San Francisco, reports San Francisco Classical Voice. “The program consists of a full day of lectures, master classes, a panel discussion, audience Q&A, and reception (all constituting the workshop), followed by the actual recital. The program is split here: She conducted the workshop on traditional Tax Day at the Jewish Community Center; the recital will occur at Herbst Theatre on April 27.”

4/25/06 – Bassist extraordinaire Edgar Meyer is releasing a self-titled CD in which he plays the piano, guitar, banjo, gamba and the double bass.

4/13/06Victor Yampolsky will be much-missed in Omaha, Neb. The Omaha World-Herald reports that "This weekend, the Omaha Symphony's beloved Russian-born music director emeritus will appear with the orchestra for the last time as principal guest conductor.…Though Yampolsky will retain his title as the Omaha Symphony's music director emeritus indefinitely, he is not a scheduled conductor on the 2006-2007 schedule.” The paper adds: "Many think he will be most remembered for ... bringing the musicians to a new level of professionalism." Yampolsky also is Professor and Director of Orchestras and Northwestern University and Music Director of the Peninsula Music Festival.

Orchestra News

4/13/06 - The Kansas City Symphony's concert in the Flint Hills has sold out two months before the June 10 event, reports the Kansas City Star. “Interest in the 5,000 tickets was so high that organizers say the open-air Symphony in the Flint Hills will become an annual affair. They are close to picking a date in June for 2007." For the event, the Kansas City Symphony and Chorus will perform with the world-music ensemble Paul Winter Consort in the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve near Strong City, Kan. -- for an all-day festival and evening concert. Concert patrons will park in a nearby plot and walk or ride hay wagons to the 10-acre concert site a mile into the hills. "Sales soared after the concert appeared on the cover of the 2006 Official Kansas Tour Guide and in Midwest Living, Kansas! and the American Automobile Association's Home & Away magazine." The article quotes Kathy Miller, chair of Symphony in the Flint Hills Inc.: "There is something pretty fascinating about the idea of a symphony playing out in the middle of the tallgrass prairie ... It has captured people's imagination."

3/29/06 - Britain's Halle Orchestra has canceled an impending tour to the United States because of the cost of visas, reports The Guardian (UK). "Managers said yesterday they had cancelled the tour when they realised that the cost of arranging the visas, estimated at £45,000, would render the trip uneconomic. Other agents said rock musicians, also fed up with the process and expense, were refusing to visit the US to work."

3/29/06 - The Music Toronto Chamber Society has played its last program, according to the Toronto Star.

From Laurie Niles
Posted on April 20, 2006 at 5:43 PM
Victor Yampolsky is such a fantastic conductor. I was in the Omaha Symphony more than 10 years ago, during the big conductor search. The musicians who knew him (I'd gone to Northwestern) fought hard for Yampolsky's candidacy. Of course, as soon as he conducted, everyone realized what a brilliant musician he was! I was sad to leave that orchestra just as he was starting, but very happy his tenure there has been so successful.
From Laurie Niles
Posted on April 20, 2006 at 6:01 PM
Okay, here is the review of Yampolsky's concert. You have to register to get into my former employer's website, but you can do so with bugmenot.

The review says that 1,400 people gave Victor a standing ovation before the concert even began! He did indeed have a profound effect on that community.

From Sydney Menees
Posted on April 20, 2006 at 6:11 PM
Awwww, the dear ol' KC Sym...reminds me of home....
From Sydney Menees
Posted on April 20, 2006 at 6:13 PM
Gosh, KS weather is pretty testy! I hope there's not a terrible storm. Do you know if Michael Stern is conducting?
From Emily Liz
Posted on April 21, 2006 at 12:46 AM
I love Victor hehe. He has been so kind to me. When I went to the Peninsula Music Festival in Door County, Wisconsin, in 2004, the concert had moved me to tears and when I met him afterward, I apologized for my wads of Kleenex. He shot me a knowing glance and commented, "Oh, I have Kleenex too." He even offered to give me a violin lesson (I think he would have if I would have brought my instrument with me), talked about taking lessons with Oistrakh ("oh, you don't want to hear about that"), and on top of that, asked me, my mom, and my friend to the exclusive after party. And he didn't even know us!!! Whenever there are live recordings of his on Wisconsin Public Radio, I record them and remember how wonderful the concert and party were.

Here's to Victor.

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