[This piece has been edited since it was first posted. -- Editor.]
2/14/07 – From its very first words, the Cleveland Scene’s article is an attention-grabber:
"Underneath its glossy exterior, the Cleveland Orchestra has a dark side. His name is William Preucil"
(Blame the copy editor, not the reporter, for the hyperbole in the deck... but then keep reading the piece.)
The article has roiled the classical music community in Cleveland, with its accusations of nepotism and sexual harassment against the orchestra's 12-year concertmaster. More than 200 comments have been appended to the article, many attacking it.
Quite a thought-provoking read...
2/24/07 – Violinist Peter Winograd, a member of the American String Quartet, will perform the Bruch Violin Concerto (G minor) with the Pueblo (CO) Symphony, reports the Pueblo Chieftain. Winograd’s wife is violinist Caterina Szepes, a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
The Hindu, India’s national newspaper, recently published a profile of the great jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty.
2/20/07 – Violinist Judith Ingolfsson will fill in for violinist Marco Rizzi at a special concert of the Ronen Chamber Ensemble in Indianapolis. Ingolfsson, currently a faculty member at the University of Colorado at Boulder, is the 1998 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis Gold Medalist. Rizzi is unable to enter the United States due to visa problems. In a press release, the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis explained the circumstances: “An unfortunate by-product of post-9/11 life is the difficulty that international artists experience when trying to perform in the United States. The IVCI began the visa application process for Marco Rizzi last November. This process is not supposed to take more than three months, and commonly takes less time. Last week, with no word about the visa, IVCI administration appealed to Senator Lugar's office for help. Our Senator was successful in getting Rizzi's visa application approved by the U. S. government this week, and had it wired to the American Embassy office in Germany where Rizzi lives and works. The breakdown occurred at the American Embassy in Germany when they refused to grant the interview or necessary paperwork allowing Rizzi to travel.”
2/14/07 - In La Scena Musicale, Norman Lebrecht profiles violinist Ruth Palmer, who independently recorded Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1. “Ruth Palmer is part of a new phenomenon. Every year, London’s four conservatories turn out 90-100 outstandingly accomplished string players who face an uphill struggle to find a vacant orchestral seat. No change on that front. The more devastating challenge is the one that faces the elite half-dozen among them who have been groomed to be the soloists of the future. These college stars find after the graduation concert that they are too old, at 25, to get a record audition, an agent or a big date. In our cultural fixation with extreme youth and sex appeal, only teenaged competition winners get taken on; the rest have to rummage for crumbs.” Read the article to find out how Palmer made her dream come true.
The Boston Symphony Orchestra has announced the appointment of two assistant conductors, Julian Kuerti and Shi-Yeon Sung. Kuerti, currently assistant conductor of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, began his training in violin.
The MIT Symphony Orchestra has appointed Adam Kerry Boyles its music director, effective this fall. Boyles is currently music director of the Southern Arizona Symphony.
The Philadelphia Orchestra is bringing together Arab and Jewish musicians for two "Intercultural Journeys" concerts in March. Curated and hosted by Philadelphia Orchestra cellist Ohad "Udi" Bar-David, a native of Israel, these family concerts will feature an Arab-Jewish ensemble of five musicians in collaboration with the orchestra. The program showcases traditional Arab and Jewish music and also highlights the influence of Middle Eastern music on Western classical composers.
2/16/07 – This weekend, the Lancaster (PA) Symphony is presenting a complete performance of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, reports the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal. The soloists--Mauricio Gonzelez (Spring), Michael Jamanis (Summer), Igor Yuzefovich (Autumn), and Odin Rathnam (Winter)—will rotate sitting in the concertmaster’s chair as well. The newspaper offered an entertaining Q&A in which each violinist answered the same questions.
2/15/07 – According to MusicalAmerica.com, Berlin's Komische Oper has appointed American Carl St. Clair. “For 17 seasons now St. Clair has headed California's Pacific Symphony, including a noteworthy European tour.”
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