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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 3, No. 7

January 24, 2007 at 6:13 PM

As of today, we’re even more famous: is the subject of an article in the Christian Science Monitor as an example of a website that can serve as a model to many others for its tight vision and collaborative execution.

Tom Regan writes, “More than a few times over the past few years, people at technology conferences or seminars walk up to me and ask how they can start their own websites. ‘Is there any site that I can use as a model?’ is one of their frequently asked questions.

‘Yes, one in particular’, is my response. ‘’.”

Let’s have a big shoutout for Laurie, who was interviewed, and Robert!


Unfortunately, Chicago has just lost one of its most prominent—and gifted—accompanists. Melody Lord died last week of breast cancer at the age of 57, and her loss will be deeply felt, particularly by the flutists and singers who were her preferred partners. She made five recordings and performed hundreds of recitals with Donald Peck, longtime principal flutist of the Chicago Symphony. She taught at DePaul University for 20 years and more recently at Sherwood Conservatory of Music.

My husband, a cellist, had the pleasure of being accompanied by Melody on several occasions and was thoroughly impressed by her musicianship and professionalism each time.

From the Chicago Tribune obituary: “She was the best pianist in her high school and figured she was quite proficient until her tryout for the piano program at DePaul University. ‘They laughed at her’, her daughter said.

She embarked on a practice schedule that never really let up. Her children remember going to sleep to the sounds of their mother hard at work at her Schimmel baby grand. She would often play until 2 or 3 in the morning, only a few hours before she had to get up to get her girls ready for school.”


1/22/07 – The Washington Post reports: "Washington's WGMS-FM will stop airing classical music, a format it has carried for nearly 60 years, but the music of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven won't disappear from the local radio airwaves. In an unusual arrangement, WGMS, a commercial station, has agreed to help public station WETA-FM resume the classical-music broadcasts WETA dropped nearly two years ago, the two stations said today. WETA (90.9) will go back to playing classical music at 8 p.m. tonight, abandoning the news and talk programming that had replaced its classical broadcasts in February 2005. WGMS, in turn, is expected to announce later today that it will change its call letters and adopt a new format. Sources indicated that it would become a news and talk station."

Musician News

1/23/07 - Violinist Gil Shaham appeared as featured soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra Carnegie Hall, replacing bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff, who had been scheduled to perform but bowed out earlier this week due to a bronchial infection. Shaham performed Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5.

1/22/07 - Violinist Mary Elizabeth Keller of Hawaii took first place in the Junior String Competition's Southwest Division, in a competition held by the Music Teachers National Association in Salt Lake City. Mary, a 14-year-old student of James Stanford, competed earlier this month against state winners from Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. She goes on to the national contest in March.

1/21/07 – The Detroit Free Press profiled violinist Andrea Jarrett, who won the 2006 Birmingham-Bloomfield Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition.

1/20/07 – A work from violinist Vincent P. Skowronski’s new CD was featured on WFIU-FM radio, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. The station selected Szymanowski’s Sonata in D Minor from the disc Skowronski Plays! Avec et Sans, Volume 2.

1/18/07 – Violinists “blanketed” the Tampa Bay area last weekend, when Joshua Bell and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg both came to town, reports the St. Petersburg Times.

1/17/07 - Jazz violinist John Blake is trying to change the “stereotypes” of classical violin by introducing children to jazz at a string improvisation workshop for young musicians and their teachers at New Jersey City University, reports the New Jersey Star-Ledger. The masterclass was part of the annual New Jersey String Symposium offered by the New Jersey chapter of the American String Teachers Association.

Orchestra News

1/22/07 – The Indianapolis Symphony has received a Joyce Award, which Chicago-based Joyce Foundation has bestowed annually since 2004 on five Midwest performing and visual arts organizations. The $50,000 award is so that Peruvian-Chinese composer Lena Frank can compose a work for the orchestra.

1/19/07 - The Berkeley (Calif.) Symphony has announced that music director Kent Nagano will step down as music director in 2009, following three decades of service. The orchestra will mount an international search for his replacement, according to

From Richard Hellinger
Posted on January 24, 2007 at 7:34 PM
What a great article on! It is true, this is a great site. It is both fun and educational. I have learned more here about the violin in almost 1 year than I have in 6 years of lessons.
From Eric Godfrey
Posted on January 25, 2007 at 4:45 AM
And just who is going to pay for the 2 new servers that the added load on the site (e.g., this evening) is going to require? :)
I guess we'd ALL like to be that popular!
(it was a great article, full of well-deserved praise)
From Gregory Zinkl
Posted on January 25, 2007 at 3:12 PM
Does that mean Nagano is available? Jeez, send him to Chicago! We are so hurting for real leadership at the CSO.

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