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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 3, No. 24

March 25, 2007 at 5:24 PM

3/21/07- Violinist Joshua Bell has been named the winner of this year’s Avery Fisher Prize, which carries a $75,000 honorarium. The prize, which Bell will receive in April, honors career achievement. According to the Associated Press, which posted a Q&A interview with Bell, “The award is named for the late classical music benefactor and electronics wizard who helped fund Lincoln Center. Previous winners include cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianists Emanuel Ax and Andre Watts, and violinists Sarah Chang and Midori.”

When the reporter asks what Bell hasn’t yet done, the answer is illuminating: “I’m embarrassed to say what I haven‘t done — 20th century violin repertoire, I’ve done only a few. I haven‘t done the Bartok, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Berg (concertos). ... The problem is I am playing too many concerts and juggling all that I have done and introducing one concerto a year — often a new one. ...

Also, the older I get the harder it is to learn, particularly by memory. I don‘t like using music for concertos but I may just resign myself to all concertos I learn now. ... because anything I learned as a kid, I can drop it for 15 years (and) I can bring it up again and it will be right there. But things I‘ve learned as an adult, you have to keep drumming it back into your head again.”

Interestingly, the first place I encountered this news was in the Sky Valley Journal of Sky Valley, Wyoming, which posted the article on its website just a few minutes after AP did. For space, the paper edited out many of the AP reporter’s questions, which is amusing but confusing. So here’s a link to the Washington Post version, which managed to find room to print the Qs as well as the As.

For those who have been wondering how this prize-winning year would unfold for Augustin Hadelich after he won the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, I have received an update from IVCI.

On April 17, Hadelich will present his first concert in Indianapolis as the reigning Competition champion. His partner, for this and other tour appearances, will be pianist Yingdi Sun, the 2005 International Franz Liszt Piano Competition first prize winner.

The Indianapolis concert kicks off the American leg of the “Pure Gold Tour”, part of the prize package that each artist won as first prize winners in each of their respective competitions. During March, the artists are performing in six venues in The Netherlands and Germany. In the United States in April, they will perform several dates in Indiana and Pennsylvania, as well as on the famed Dame Myra Hess series at the Chicago Cultural Center. That April 25th performance will be simulcast on WFMT-98.7 FM and over the station’s website,

At Lincoln Center in November 2007, Hadelich will present a solo recital at the Reade Theater. In January 2008, he will make his Carnegie Hall orchestral debut, performing the Brahms Double Concerto with cellist Alban Gerhardt and the Fort Worth Symphony. This will be followed by his Carnegie Hall solo recital debut on March 28, 2008 in Stern Auditorium. Then, in May 2008, he will perform in collaboration with Midori at the Rose Theater.

The 2007-08 season will also mark Hadelich’s professional recording debut with three orchestral CDs: the complete solo violin sonatas of Telemann and the complete violin concerti of Hadyn for Naxos; the Tchaikovsky concerto with the Saarbrücken Radio Orchestra; and a recital CD with pianist Robert Kulek on the AVIE label.

Congratulations again, Augustin!

Musician News

4/7/07 - Violinist Tricia Park will perform a recital designed to celebrate the friendship between composer Johannes Brahms and violinist Joseph Joachim at the University of Iowa. She joined the Iowa faculty as first violinist of the Maia String Quartet in 2005.

3/31/07 - Philadelphia Orchestra violinist Kimberly Fisher will be the guest soloist of the Great Hall Chamber Orchestra at its spring concert at Bryn Mawr College.

3/24/07 – The Florida Orchestra presented a concert with a lot of “violin power”: concertmaster Jeffrey Multer soloed in a program of Mozart while another fine violinist was on the podium: Scott Yoo, who, as a violinist, won the 1988 Josef Gingold International Violin Competition, now the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. Last year, Yoo made his first appearance as violinist and conductor with the San Francisco Symphony.

3/22/07 – The Worcester (MA) Telegram & Gazette ran a profile of violinist Kyung Sun Lee, who often performs with her pianist/conductor husband, Brian Suits.

3/22/07 - Lincoln Center presented the Daedalus Quartet with a 2007 Martin E. Segal Award. The $5,000 awards, to be used for career advancement, are given annually to two rising young artists in recognition of outstanding achievement. Mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey was the other recipient.

3/21/07 - More than a year after a series of ailments forced him to cancel all of his engagements, Seiji Ozawa has returned to conducting with a series of opera performances in Japan, reports “Ozawa, now 71, was obliged to withdraw from all of his performances through 2006 due to severe bouts of pneumonia, shingles and related ailments. His next scheduled appearance at the Vienna State Opera, of which he is music director, will be with a production of Wagner's Der fliegende Holländer beginning April 29.”

3/21/07 – Violinist Benjamin Hudson, concertmaster of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, soloed with that orchestra in Bach's Violin Concerto, BWV 1056 in a Denver performance.

3/210/7 – Violinist Anna Lee is a recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award. She will receive an award of $10,000 to help her continue her music studies and assist her with music-related needs. You can hear Anna, who is 11, on the NPR website.

Orchestra News

The Foundation for the Santa Fe Symphony and the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus have received a $1 million gift from Eddie and Peaches Gilbert, BGK Properties, and the Garfield Street Foundation. This gift will underwrite a series of showcase concerts featuring renowned soloists over the next six years, among other things.

The Houston Symphony’s “A Touch of Class(ical) and all that Jazz 2007” Ball on March 2 raised $1 million for the orchestra’s education and outreach programs. This is the second year in a row in which the Symphony Ball, organized by the Houston Symphony League, has reached the seven-figure mark.

The San Francisco Symphony and Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas have been nominated for a Rose d’Or award (for international television programming) in the category of Best Arts Documentary for their “Keeping Score” program on Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring.” A jury of international television professionals winnowed more than 350 submissions to a field of 72 nominees; this documentary series, seen in the United States on PBS since 2004, is the only American contender. In related news, the radio series titled “The MTT Files,” to be distributed by American Public Media beginning next month. Michael Tilson Thomas hosts the eight one-hour shows.

Midori’s Orchestra Residencies Program has announced its recipients for the 2008-09 season: the Elgin Symphony and Youth Orchestras and the Mobile Symphony and Youth Orchestras. During the spring of 2009, violinist Midori will spend about a week in each community, working with the youth orchestras, performing with the affiliated adult orchestras, and participating in community education and outreach projects.

3/23/07 – The Grand Rapids Press reports that the Grand Rapids Symphony has been awarded a $40,000 grant by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation “to develop a two-year plan to integrate diversity planning into other aspects of the organization, including marketing and recruiting board members and staff.” The paper adds: “Last year, the Grand Rapids Symphony received a $55,000 grant from the Battle Creek-based Kellogg Foundation to support a ‘Young, Gifted & Black’ scholarship fund to pay for private music lessons to promising young African-American students.”

3/21/07 – According to the Charlotte Observer (NC), the musicians of the Charlotte Symphony “have agreed to a pay cut next season, they announced Wednesday. They'll give up two weeks of work, and forego most of a pair of raises called for in their contract. As a result, the base salary will fall to $34,770 from this season's $36,000. The terms change the five-year contract agreed on in 2003, when talks broke down in a seven-week strike.” The changes are expected to save the orchestra about $400,000, compared with the original agreement. “Renegotiating the contract was one of several suggestions from a consultant who studied orchestra operations last fall. Orchestra board members, following another of the recommendations, increased their donations by a total of about $60,000, Osborne said. The board's action helped persuade the players to agree to the pay cut, said violinist Elizabeth Pistolesi, chairman of the committee that represents the players.”

From Pieter Viljoen
Posted on March 25, 2007 at 6:39 PM
I still don't understand why Joshua Bell, who gets like $50,000 a concert, needs the money from the Avery Fischer grant. Of course, I can name a ton of artists who got it when they definately needed the money, but guys like Bell should probably be given honorary awards.
From Sydney M.
Posted on March 25, 2007 at 6:51 PM
I can't wait to see Hadelich perform the Dvorak concerto with the Kansas City Symphony next season!
From Maura Gerety
Posted on March 25, 2007 at 7:33 PM
OOOOOH--Hadelich is playing Dvorak in KC next year? When?!
From Maura Gerety
Posted on March 25, 2007 at 7:33 PM
(Pieter, I agree, seems a bit strange for JB to get that grant...isn't it usually for "rising stars"?)
From Richard Hellinger
Posted on March 25, 2007 at 8:54 PM
I love keeping score.. My favorite is the Copland!
From Sydney M.
Posted on March 25, 2007 at 9:09 PM
You guys, he didn't win the GRANT this time (he won it a long time ago), he wont the PRIZE.

Maura, he's coming May 30 - June 1, 2008. It would be great if you could come!

From Pieter Viljoen
Posted on March 25, 2007 at 10:17 PM
Wow... seeing Hadelich play Dvorak would be incredible. He's made for a concerto like that. Hopefully I end up somewhere where I can hear him play it.
From Neil Cameron
Posted on March 26, 2007 at 12:14 AM
Be that as it may Sydney, it's still a free $75K simply for being successful. I know it's not confined to just musicians, but I find giving a prize and a truck load of dosh to someone already making truck loads of dosh simply because they have succeeded in making truck loads of dosh ... odd.


From Sydney M.
Posted on March 26, 2007 at 12:48 AM
That's what I thought too. If he is a successful musician, why are they giving him more money? Maybe if he donated some of it or something...
From Karin Lin
Posted on March 26, 2007 at 2:42 AM
Just a bit of clarification: The Avery Fisher [i]Career Grant[/i] is what's given to rising stars; Joshua Bell received that when he was 18. The Avery Fisher [i]Prize[/i] is a recognition for excellence and achievement. I agree that it's a little strange for it to carry such a huge cash award, but at least for Josh, it's the honor more than the money that matters most.
From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on March 26, 2007 at 3:10 AM
On April 14, just a few days before any of the concerts mentioned here, Augustin Hadelich will be playing the Glazunov violin concerto with the Longwood Symphony Orchestra in Boston, in a concert to benefit the Boston Shriners Hospital.

From Anne Horvath
Posted on March 26, 2007 at 3:25 AM

I am fervently excited about the upcoming Hadelich recording of the Telemann sonatas!
From Terri Bora
Posted on March 26, 2007 at 12:38 PM
What's wrong with Josh Bell as the recepient? Look at who has been chosen priviously. Watts, YoYoMa, they are not playing on street corners?It says it is for carrer achievement, and evidently he qualifies.
From Laurie Niles
Posted on March 26, 2007 at 7:45 PM
We are our own worst enemy. Be glad a violinist was awarded the prize!
From Jim W. Miller
Posted on March 26, 2007 at 8:31 PM
Of course he doesn't need the money. This is where they usually parlay the prize into publicity by donating it to a worthy cause. Of course he doesn't need publicity either. He should just buy a new Porche and wrap it around a tree. God I'm such a cynic.
From Neil Cameron
Posted on March 26, 2007 at 9:40 PM
Laurie, why should I be glad it's a violinist or a musican at all? It's simply some rich person getting richer simply for already being rich. Nothing whatsoever for any of us to be thankful for unless we are the rich p**** who's getting even richer.

It's one of those things about society that I detest - the worship of celebrity and wealth. It's a concept that's rather sad if you think about it. Rewarding celebrity or wealth purely for celebrity or wealth's sake. Something I'm most certainly never going to be "glad" of.


From Neil Cameron
Posted on March 26, 2007 at 9:45 PM
Hmmmm, somebody didn't close a p tag.

Let's try that. :)


From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on March 26, 2007 at 11:07 PM
It might have been me, because I tried to put in a link to the Haedlich concert (above) that I don't see now, but now I can't edit my comment!
From John Baker
Posted on March 27, 2007 at 12:28 AM
A bit GREEN with ENVY are we? Why should JB be knocked because he used his time and talent to become a Leading Violinist of our time? It is his fruitful use of his Gift and we should be thanking him for giving it to us for our enjoyment. Or are we a bit Socialist, thinking that eveyone can have Excellence spread thin into Mediocity? Rejoice with him in his good fortune? Mourne with him in his mis-fortune.
From Pieter Viljoen
Posted on March 27, 2007 at 2:56 AM
No one said he shouldn't be recognized. I just remarked that I find it amusing that they give him some money, which is not dissimilar to the concert fee he'd get for a bit marquee evening.
From Neil Cameron
Posted on March 27, 2007 at 10:54 AM
Oh goody, I'm both envious and socialist simply because I disagree with Bell getting a free $75,000. Or could it possibly be the reasons I disagree are the ones I already stated? Perish the thought.



PS: use of the term "socialist" as an insult says much, much more about the person trying to turn it into an insult than anything else.

From Maura Gerety
Posted on March 27, 2007 at 3:14 PM
Oh yes, here we go again, any criticism of anything to do with a famous violinist, and it just means we're jealous. Classic.
From Jim W. Miller
Posted on March 27, 2007 at 8:05 PM
Maura, please. At least let us have our misery.

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