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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 2, No. 35

June 11, 2006 at 5:29 PM

I recently received a note from our dear friend, Dr. Gregory Cowell, with the happy news that his 9-year-old violinist daughter, Cathryn Cowell, won first place in the Midwest Regional Fleadh Cheoil in the 12 and under category. This fleadh (pronounced “flah”) is sponsored by Comhaltas, the principal organizing body promoting Irish culture and music worldwide. Cathryn will compete at the Fleadh Cheoil (All-Ireland competitions) in Letterkenny, Ireland on August 25th. Congratulations, Cathryn!


Violinist Ani Kavafian, along with clarinetist David Shifrin and pianist Andre-Michel Schub, has formed the Kavafian-Schub-Shifrin Trio, or the KSS Trio for short. In order to take full advantage of the clarinet-trio repertoire, Kavafian plays both violin and viola with the group.

The played a delightful performance on the Saint Paul Sunday radio program. To hear more, go to

I’ve always been interested in hearing of Ms. Kavafian’s accomplishments, as I had the pleasure of studying viola with her stepfather and early teacher, Ara Zerounian, in the late 1970s. On rare occasions, she would be visiting—and practicing—during my lessons. What a privilege to hear her!


The results are in for the 6th Annual Leopold Mozart International Violin Competition, which concluded in Augsburg, Germany on May 28. Contestants competed for a total prize of 35,000 EUR and various concert engagements. The finalists performed with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, conducted by Dimitri Sitkovetsky.

The winners are:

Yura Lee, Korea – 1st prize
Gahyun Cho, Korea – 2nd prize
Yuki Manuela Janke, Germany – 3rd prize

Additionally, Lee won the Audience Prize and the Prize of the Young Musicians’ Jury. Nurit Stark of Israel won the special prize for the best interpretation of the contemporary commissioned work.

The following violinists won Young Musicians Awards, splitting 2,100 EUR among them:

Cecilia Bernardini, Italy
Miki Kobayashi, Japan
Maria Machowska, Poland

And five violinists were awarded concert engagements:

Sarah Christian, Germany
Judy Kang, Canada
David Schulteiss, Germany
Eugen Tichindeleanu, Romania
Kyoko Yonemoto, Japan

Other Musician News

Louise Dubin is acting principal cellist of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra through the end of 2006.

6/8/06 – Will Maxim Vengerov soon be without a record label? Gramophone reported that Warner Classics is being rolled into Rhino, Warner's reissue division, which would “reduce the so-called majors in the classical record arena to just EMI, Universal and Sony-BMG." Almost immediately, the label has issued a statement saying it will "remain a key part of the Warner music family." The company says Warner Classics will continue to release new recordings and develop its catalogue, which includes Teldec Classics and Erato Disques.

6/8/06 – Conductor Osmo Vanska, the Minnesota Orchestra's music director, will leave his post as chief conductor of Finland's Lahti Symphony at the end of the 2007-08 season, concluding a two-decade tenure, reports the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

6/8/06 - Marin Alsop, music director designate of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, "becomes the first woman to conduct an entire program with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam" this weekend with her appearance as guest conductor, reports the Baltimore Sun.

6/6/06 – Conductor Richard Kapp, who founded and led the chamber orchestra Philharmonia Virtuosi, died at his home in Danbury, Conn. at age 69, reports the New York Times. The cause was cancer. "Mr. Kapp started his orchestra in 1968, and it became a fixture on the New York-area musical scene until it suspended concerts in 2004, when he became ill ... The orchestra attracted top-flight musicians and soloists, and its concerts featured folksy talk from the podium by Mr. Kapp." Wakin adds: "In 1977, he recorded 'Greatest Hits of 1720' for CBS Masterworks, which became a big seller. He followed up with hit parades from 1721, 1790 and the 1900's. They were collections of generally shorter, more accessible works designed to have popular appeal." The obituary quotes Kapp from a 1980 New York Times interview: "We don't take ourselves too seriously. We tend to play less intellectual, more joyous music. We look at this as entertainment, a source of pleasure."

From Preston Hawes
Posted on June 11, 2006 at 9:14 PM
Thanks for the KSS Trio link. It was nice to hear my teacher play viola. It's amazing how she plays so perfectly on such a huge instrument in ratio to her size...such tiny hands.


From Jim W. Miller
Posted on June 12, 2006 at 12:22 AM
Congratulations, Cathryn!! Woot woot! Make them buy you ice cream!

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