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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 3, No. 12

February 11, 2007 at 6:06 PM

2/8/07 - Cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich is currently being treated at Moscow’s premier cancer hospital, reports “The 79-year-old maestro has undergone 'a complex operation,' according to KP, and his doctors are 'seriously worried' about his condition. Currently only his closest relations and associates are allowed to visit him; a special exception was made for President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday."

Here is the Boston Herald’s version of events.

Musician News

2/10/07 – Violinist Samuel Thompson performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Cortland (NY) Chamber Orchestra to raise funds for the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra.

2/9/07 – According to the Daily Yomiuri, violinist Mariko Senju has released a new CD, Dolce, on Toshiba EMI. "The Duranty model of Stradivarius violin that I obtained four years ago enabled me to create a much softer sound, so I came to hope to play a whole album of tender, or dolce ['sweet' in Italian], numbers. Such numbers bring out the strengths of the playing more than anything’, Senju said, adding that she decided on the lineup of the album as if the violin itself was telling her what to include.”

2/8/07 - The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the death of Peter A. Guroff, violist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. "For nearly a decade and a half, after being diagnosed with lymphoma, the violist's fortitude helped to keep him an active member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and a strong presence for his young family. 'In the last 15 years, he probably missed fewer days than most people missed with the flu,' said PSO section mate Paul Silver." The article continues, "Mr. Guroff was being treated for cancer after he had a relapse in the fall. Tuesday evening, the Mt. Lebanon resident died of pneumonia at West Penn Hospital. He was 47."

2/8/07 – The
Hagerstown (MD) Morning Herald
recently ran a Q&A interview with Petr Skopek, a first violinist with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra.

2/7/07 – Get to know rock violinist Bobby Yang in this Vail (CO) Daily News profile. " ‘I try to create the perfect balance between lyrical singing and 300-mile-an-hour shredding’, Yang says. ‘But without the classical training, I wouldn't be able to play the way I do. The violin is 600 years old for a reason. You can make an entire range of sounds - you just have to know how to pull it out. If you want to make an ugly sound, it's cool. But you can't make an ugly sound before you make a beautiful sound’."

1/30/07 – Luthier Bob Harvey, a self-proclaimed hippie, has found joy and satisfaction in making violins, the Bangor (ME) Daily News reports. Harvey, 78, is on his 52nd violin.

Orchestra News

The Pasadena POPS Orchestra is seeking student musicians in middle school and high school to apply for a chance to perform with the orchestra on three POPS summer concerts. The Side-by-Side-by-Symphony program, developed in 2000, targets both experienced young musicians and those who aspire to play with an orchestra but have never had the opportunity to do so. Up to twenty winners will receive private instruction from orchestra members, participate in a master class, and attend a seminar on developing as a musician, in addition to participating in the concerts.

The Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra has been named Youth Orchestra of the Year by the Illinois Council of Orchestras in recognition of its 2005-2006 30th anniversary season. The ESYO completed its first tour overseas to the International Youth Festival in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 2006 and established a chamber music institute for EYSO members and non-member students who want to play in a chamber group.

2/8/07 – According to the Toronto Star, “The Toronto Symphony took a chance when it hired the relatively inexperienced (though unquestionably gifted) conductor Peter Oundjian to be its music director in 2004. But Oundjian's skill on the podium and profile as a homegrown success story have boosted ticket sales, and this week, the TSO announced that he will be staying at least through 2012.”

Other Music News

2/2/07 – The Manhattan School of Music is raising some eyebrows with its newest project: a luxury penthouse apartment for the school’s new president, reports the New York Times. The penthouse was newly unveiled in conjunction with a large performance and rehearsal room and a new recital hall ... The paper opines, “Part of the penthouse's value is the image it projects. In the hunt for big-game donors, an exercise crucial to any nonprofit institution, Manhattan decided it needed a prime location to entertain potential contributors. 'This is an investment that will pay off many times over,' Mr. Sirota [the president] said, including an increase in scholarships. Publicizing the apartment also serves the broader project of sprucing up the school's image, which includes the addition of well-known names to the teaching roster, a new contemporary-music program, plans to start a program in musical theater, an overhaul of its logo and printed materials, even new banners on the building."

From jennifer steinfeldt warren
Posted on February 12, 2007 at 1:31 PM
"If you want to make an ugly sound, it's cool. But you can't make an ugly sound before you make a beautiful sound’."

...I know what he is meaning, but I don't know that I'd agree with that statement...!


From Bram Heemskerk
Posted on February 13, 2007 at 12:14 PM
Hi Darcy. I never read in your entries news about André Rieu. Is the reason that you also hate this person like many violinists, although he is the most famous violinist of the world?
From Darcy Lewis
Posted on February 14, 2007 at 5:58 PM
Hi Bram,
Did you send me a news item about your man? If so, please resend. Thanks! D.

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