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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 3, No. 84

October 21, 2007 at 10:03 PM

10/19/07 – Now that violinist David Juritz has completed his round-the-world busking sojourn, guess which city proved to be the most lucrative: his home base of London, ironically, reports the
Times of London
. Juritz wrapped up his odyssey in New York late last week and should be heading home for London from New York any day now. Since leaving home June 9, his tally for charity stands at £30,000 — including £7,000 dropped into his violin case.

Musician News

10/28/ reports that violinist Joshua Bell will perform the world premiere of 16-year-old Jay Greenberg's Violin Concerto with the Orchestra of St. Luke's in Carnegie Hall.

10/19/07 – The Star Tribune (Minneapolis) reports that "Japanese violinist Midori has selected Dawson, Minn., population 1,500, and Fergus Falls as two of four rural areas in America in which she will perform. Next week's concerts are part of a program to promote classical music in areas that don't often get to hear it." The Dawson-Boyd Arts Association had been courting Midori for two years. Its application, and one from Fergus Falls, was selected from 15 others submitted, said Kelly Gehrs, director of Partners in Performance. ... To land the concerts, communities must be at least 100 miles from a major cultural center, demonstrate support for classical music and have a plan on how to deal with concert proceeds." Dawson proceeds will help bolster the string program in Dawson-Boyd schools.

10/19/07 – The Seattle Times ran the obituary of Norma Durst, a violist with the Seattle Symphony for nearly half a century. Like so many other violists, she began her musical studies on violin, later switching to viola.

10/18/07 – According to The Scotsman, a violin teacher “targeted a [town councilor] by scratching his BMW and daubing it with goat's cheese and eggs because he backed the creation of a sports pitch near her home. Susan Matasovska, who provides school pupils with violin lessons, was protesting against Midlothian Council's decision to provide a £420,000 synthetic football pitch in a Penicuik park.”

10/17/07 - According to, Brian Boychuk, a violinist with Canada's National Arts Centre Orchestra, has been signed by Creators Syndicate for U.S. and worldwide syndication for a comic strip, “The Chuckle Bros.” Boychuk and his brother Ron originated the strip "several years ago." The strip makes its official debut on Oct. 22.

10/8/07The Telegraph (UK) included a brief but intriguing report about Sue Shortland-Webb, a violinist who stopped her car to help an unconscious stranger. While she administered aid, thieves stole her car, not realizing it contained her £25,000 violin. The instrument was later recovered from a nearby hedge.

Orchestra News

According to, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra has instituted a new program called Encore!, in which ticket-holders can hear a concert a second time for free. Concertgoers can exchange used tickets from a concert for tickets to a remaining performance of the same program at the orchestra’s box office.

10/19/07 – The American Symphony Orchestra League is facing a change in leadership. Henry Fogel will step down as president and CEO at the conclusion of his contract. Jesse Rosen, a longtime staffer, is named new president and CEO effective July 1, 2008. Fogel will continue his ambassadorial role to a variety of American orchestras.

10/18/07 – According to the Bostonist, "[Astronaut Stephanie] Wilson, a Pittsfield native preparing for her second trip into space for NASA, is planning to bring a page from Beethoven's 9th Symphony (‘Ode to Joy') onto the space shuttle Discovery later this month. A fan of the [Boston Symphony Orchestra] and its annual Tanglewood summer season, Wilson approached BSO Maestro James Levine about being able to bring something from the symphony with her on her trip into space. Levine and members of the BSO signed a page from the conducting score and handed it over, according to a release from Symphony Hall, so that she would have a keepsake when she and the rest of the Discovery crew launch on October 23."

10/13/07 – The New York Times reports: "New York Philharmonic officials were returning yesterday from an exploratory trip to North Korea with glowing reports of concert possibilities in the capital, Pyongyang, but they faced the potentially difficult task of selling the idea to the players... Orchestra management calls the visit purely musical and apolitical, but Korea experts say a concert in Pyongyang by a major American orchestra would be a publicity coup for North Korea."

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on October 23, 2007 at 4:07 AM
I wonder if publicity coup is what constructive engagement is called when diplomats aren't running the show...

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