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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 3, No. 1

January 4, 2007 at 7:15 PM

Happy New Year to all!

Musician News

Vanessa Rose has been named director of operations at the New York Youth Symphony. Currently special projects manager at the American Symphony Orchestra League, she is an accomplished violinist who has performed with the Harrisburg Symphony and New World Symphony, among others. Rose holds violin performance degrees from Mannes and Eastman.

1/2/07The Oregonian ran an article about Staff Sgt. Erika Sato, a local violinist who played at President Gerald Ford’s state funeral. Sato, a violinist with the U.S. Marine Chamber Orchestra, holds bachelor's and master's degrees in music from the Juilliard School, where she studied with violinist Masao Kawasaki. “Sato joined the Marine Chamber Orchestra in August 2003, a month after enlisting as a staff sergeant under a four-year contract for band duty only. She now lives in Washington, D.C. ‘We're the only ones who don't go through boot camp’, she said. ‘We do have orientation, where they teach us how to salute and wear the uniform’.

12/31/06 - An obituary in the Columbus Dispatch (Ohio) notes the death of Columbus native Lois A. Sims at the age of 79. In 1946, Sims, a graduate of Ohio State University, "was one of the original violinists in the newly organized Columbus Philharmonic Orchestra, under conductor Izler Solomon. After raising five children, she spent more than 25 years working at OSU library, mostly the music library, as circulation manager then as cataloguer, retiring in 2003."

12/31/06The San Diego Union-Tribune recently profiled Jeff Thayer, the 31-year-old concertmaster of the San Diego Symphony.

12/30/06 – For more on Nathaniel Ayers, a homeless, Juilliard-trained bassist who was warmly embraced at a recent concert by former Juilliard classmate Yo-Yo Ma, read this column at the KTLA website from LA Times columnist Steve Lopez. Lopez is near completion of a book about Ayers, and reports that a movie studio has optioned Ayers’ story. One interesting tidbit from the column is that, after the onset of his mental illness 35 years ago, Ayers switched to cello and violin because they were easier to transport via shopping cart.

12/30/06 – According to the Something Jewish website, a number of British Jews “have been recognised for their achievements and contribution to society in this year's New Year Honours.” They include Kay Hurwitz, “wife of noted violinist Emanuel Hurwitz who died in November was awarded an MBE for services to music. Hurwitz, herself is a violin and viola teacher.”

Orchestra News

1/2/07 – The Philadelphia Inquirer was quick to jump on the fact that at least a quarter of the musicians playing the Philadelphia Orchestra’s New Year concert were substitutes: “It might not be worth noting had the members of the orchestra been less righteous about such matters in the past." But, the article noted, the plus side was that members who don't normally get the chance took solos: “The most delightful consequence was a chance to hear first associate concertmaster Juliette Kang, whose sweetness and strength make her one of the orchestra's best recent hires.”

1/2/07 – In honor of the 70th anniversary of the Israel Philharmonic’s founding, the Jewish Ledger ran a profile of the orchestra and its music director for life, Zubin Mehta.

12/30/06 - The New York Times reviewed a concert by the New York String Orchestra led by its director, violinist Jaime Laredo. "Its 63 student musicians, all between the ages of 15 and 22, join the ensemble through competitive auditions and are given full scholarships to come to New York from around the country. Once here, they spend 10 days at the New York String Orchestra Seminar playing chamber music and preparing for two [full] orchestral concerts at Carnegie Hall." Thursday's performance "wasn't just about technical polish and youthful energy, although those qualities were abundant. Its salient feature was the vitality that comes from approaching familiar war horses like the Beethoven Eighth Symphony and Brahms D minor Piano Concerto as fresh experiences."

12/26/06 – According to, the New York Philharmonic will broadcast 10 concerts per year on radio stations throughout Europe, as part of an agreement with BBC Radio 3 and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). The Philharmonic says it will become the first American symphony orchestra with a regular presence on European radio. “According to a statement from the orchestra, the broadcasts will reach between 3 million and 7 million listeners. The concerts — selected from the Philharmonic's 2006–07 season — will be produced and distributed by BBC Radio 3 beginning in early 2007. Program details will be announced later.”

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on January 5, 2007 at 2:05 PM
A book and a movie sort of makes things clearer. What happened backstage was just the normal, decent, friendly thing to do. You know he's a decent guy with lots humanity from the things he chooses to do musically. You can pretty much tell by looking at him, really.

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