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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 3, No. 80

October 7, 2007 at 4:11 PM

10/3/07 – It’s official: young violinist Julia Fischer has been named the Classic FM Gramophone Artist of the Year 2007, reports In online voting co-sponsored by classical radio stations in 13 countries, the 24-year-old native of Munich triumphed over such renowned artists as cellist Steven Isserlis, violinist Vadim Repin, conductors Valery Gergiev and Daniel Barenboim, and opera stars Natalie Dessay and Bryn Terfel. Eminent maestro Claudio Abbado came in second in the vote totals.

String winners were otherwise sparse this year, but young conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, won the second annual WQXR Gramophone Special Recognition Award, presented by the magazine and New York radio station 96.3 WQXR-FM. The citation states that Dudamel and the Bolívar Youth Orchestra "were chosen for their outstanding contribution to the world of classical music and the example they give of what music can do to transform people's lives."

And in the chamber music category, the Pavel Haas Quartet won for its Supraphon release of Janácek String Quartets.

Musician News

Violinist Hannah Cho has been appointed assistant concertmaster of the Southwest Florida Symphony. Additionally, Danut Muresan is the new principal second violin, Jean Phelan the new assistant principal viola and Susannah Kelly the new assistant principal cello.

David Waldman has been named the fourth chair first violin the Colorado Symphony Orchestra for 2007-08, while Tena White has received a one-year section violin appointment.

Violist Gillian Rogell, who heads the chamber music faculty in the New England Conservatory's School of Continuing Education, has released a DVD, At the Heart of Chamber Music, that uses footage of NEC's Jupiter Quartet and Paul Katz of the NEC College faculty in coachings and rehearsals. Rogell says the DVD "was conceived as a way to help young professional string players become good chamber music coaches."

10/8/07 – Violinist Daniel Hope is releasing his Deutsche Grammophon recording of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto. The Guardian (UK) ran an insightful interview with Hope in which the violinist recounts his first exposure to this concerto: “There he was, a precocious eight-year-old, frustrated with his teachers - who for a year had restricted him to ‘learning’ a single four-minute-long Bach phrase. So one day he smuggled a copy of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto into the toilet, locked the door, and began playing.”

10/4/07 – Violinist Kyoko Takezawa performed the Bartok Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Seattle Symphony.

10/3/07 – The New York Times notes that "music education links the teacher who once was the pupil to the pupil who will one day be the teacher," adding that programming at Carnegie Hall will explore this theme throughout the season. “The Yale School of Music illustrated this circular cause and effect with two of its quartet ensembles. The Tokyo String Quartet and the Alianza Quartet, separately and together, played music by Beethoven, Brahms and Mendelssohn at Zankel Hall. The Tokyo has been functioning for almost 40 years and has been in residence at Yale since 1976. The Alianza musicians have learned from the Tokyo players; they are still at Yale, waiting for the time when they will be doing for younger musicians what Yale is doing for them now. The matching of talent makes or breaks a new string quartet, and the young Alianza players seem on an equal level. They have evidently worked scrupulously on blending and balance, and as befits their time of life, they boil over with an edge-of-the-seat eagerness."

10/3/07 – The Bakersfield Californian turned the spotlight on Bakersfield Symphony violinists Rebecca Brooks and Jean Dodson: “In 1964, conductor Edouard Hurlimann paired new violinist Rebecca Brooks with two-year veteran Jean Dodson on the first stand. Dodson would turn the page for Brooks. She's still doing it. For the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, violinists Brooks, 71, and Dodson, 69, have shared the same music stand for 43 years and have no intention of relinquishing their bows any time soon.”

9/26/07 – The University of Southern California has announced the death of eminent violin professor Eudice Shapiro, a mainstay of Los Angeles classical music for decades. “Shapiro was born in 1914 in New York. She began her solo career with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra when she was 12, and she later studied at the Curis Institute with acclaimed violinist Efrem Zimbalist. Shapiro originally played a Stradivarius violin but later preferred to play a classical Peter Guarnarius violin. Between 1941 and 1966, she worked as a concertmaster for numerous Hollywood studios, including Paramount.” She joined USC in 1956 and continued teaching until last spring. The Thornton School of Music and her family have created Eudice Shapiro Endowed Violin Scholarship, which is accepting donations.

Orchestra News

10/2/07 – The Utah Symphony made the front page of the Emery County Progress: "The Utah Symphony came to Emery County to share their love and concern with county residents. In the wake of the Crandall Canyon mine disaster symphony members wondered what they could do to help. Symphony director Keith Lockhart said they decided to do what they do best and that is to make music. So, with the help of many volunteers a concert was put together for the communities here in the county." The program included music by Bach, Copland, Elgar, and the spirituals "Steal Away/Deep River" with Renese King as arranger and featured soloist. Price (UT) Mayor Joe Picollo called the concert "a beautiful way to help heal."

10/2/07 - Musicians of the Pacific Symphony have voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new five-year contract, reports the Orange County Register. The outcome of the ratification vote wasn't really in doubt, since the contract will boost the musicians' pay a whopping 41 percent.

10/2/07 – The Lyric Opera of Chicago prepares to bid farewell to conductor Bruno Bartoletti, who is leading his last performances at Civic Opera House. Following the current run of Verdi's La traviata, which opened the company's 2007-08 season last weekend, he will bid his Chicago colleagues a final farewell. Bartoletti made his U.S. debut at Lyric Opera in 1956, conducting Verdi's Il trovatore. In 1964 he became the company's so-artistic director; from 1975 to 1999 he was sole artistic director and has since served as artistic director emeritus. When he departs Chicago next month, he will have conducted 592 performances of 55 operas there.

10/1/07 - Donald Runnicles, currently music director of San Francisco Opera, has been appointed chief conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, reports the San Francisco Examiner. His initial three-year term begins in September of 2009. This is his first post in his native Scotland in nearly 20 years.

From Frank-Michael Fischer
Posted on October 7, 2007 at 6:38 PM
There is a TV feature (in English) about Julia Fischer winning the "Artist of the Year 2007" award in the largest ever classical music poll, broadcast on DW World TV yesterday. One may download the six minutes portrait from:

The video file there is: euromaxxEN.wmv .
The download will take more than 2.5 mins.

(In case there are problems with handling the download: Just click on the link above, the browser shows "Index of " and so on. Right click on euromaxxEN.wmv and select "Save link as" or similar.)



From Frank-Michael Fischer
Posted on October 7, 2007 at 6:41 PM
Sorry, something went wrong with the ftp link here:

Please do not click on

but copy and paste it with your mouse as URL address in your browser instead.


From Laurie Niles
Posted on October 8, 2007 at 4:02 AM
Congratulations to Julia!
From Frank-Michael Fischer
Posted on October 8, 2007 at 6:44 AM
I'll give your congratulations to Julia today, Laurie. Thanks a lot. She is even posting here from time to time, so Julia might have read your comment already.


From Karin Lin
Posted on October 8, 2007 at 6:21 PM
The story of Gustavo Dudamel and the Simon Simón Bolívar Youth orchestra is so inspiring; I'm so glad they are receiving such recognition. I can't wait until they come to San Francisco next month!

And congratulations to Julia as well!

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