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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 3, No. 26

April 1, 2007 at 9:47 PM

3/30/07 – Have you ever wondered what the procedure is for being allowed to play one of those uber-incredible Strad or Guarneri violins that land on the auction block at one of the major auction houses? Well, it’s pretty simple, according to the New York Times: Just ask the right person and show your “violin hickey” and you’re in. At least, that’s what violinists Albert Cheng, Dr. Kenneth Christman and Natalie Smithson did.

3/28/07 – What should post-secondary musical education encompass? The BusinessWeek article “Teaching Musicians to be Entrepreneurs” explores the role of business training in a musical education. "In most areas of higher education, entrepreneurship has long lost its stigma as a career path for those without one. But at the nation's top music conservatories that stigma is still very much alive, despite the fact that the "traditional" career path for classically trained musicians--one that ends with steady employment in a symphony orchestra--is difficult." But some schools are slowly starting to embrace the idea that a musical education can be supplemented with a practical back-up business plan.

Musician News

4/2/07 – Violinist Emma Shook will perform a recital at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minn. She is a member of the Cleveland Orchestra who formerly played the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra.

4/1/07 – Read The State’s (SC) profile of a bevy of sisters who play as a string quartet: “The Jackson sisters from Columbia started their journey as a string quartet a dozen years ago. It has led them to performances at countless weddings and events, including the Governor’s Women’s Achievement Awards, and a CD of hymn arrangements entitled Rejoice.”

3/31/07 – The
Fort Collins (CO) Weekly
notes that violinist Elizabeth Pitcairn’s solo recital was going to be performed on the Strad that inspired the movie The Red Violin: “It’s the stuff movies are made of—literally. The Academy Award-winning film The Red Violin was inspired by the Christie’s auction, during which John Pitcairn secretly bought his 16-year-old granddaughter an instrument that would help her to become an acclaimed performer. ‘The way things were going, it was decided that even though I was so young, it was time to get me a solo instrument like that’, Pitcairn says. That’s when the stars aligned, she says, and the Mendelssohn Stradivarius was put on the auction block at Christie’s of London. In 1990, Pitcairn’s grandfather anonymously purchased the highly sought-after violin and gave it to the young violinist, who at that age had already performed her first professional concert. No one knew Pitcairn owned the Strad until she began to play it publicly later in her career.”

3/30/07 – The Oregonian notes that violinist Stanley Ritchie made his debut with the Portland Baroque Orchestra this weekend in a program of early classical-era orchestral music by Mozart and Haydn and their contemporaries. Ritchie, who has taught at Indiana University since 1982, is a teacher of PBO's concertmaster, Carla Moore.

3/29/07 – Violinist Jan Bislin of Abbotsford, BC, won four awards at the recent Chilliwack Lions Club and Music Festival.

3/28/07 – The Cleveland Plain Dealer liked Margaret Brouwer's Concerto for Violin and Chamber Orchestra, which received its world premiere with violinist Michi Wiancko and CityMusic Cleveland. “Brouwer, head of the composition department at the Cleveland Institute of Music, knows her way around the violin. She played the instrument professionally before devoting herself entirely to composing. But what makes her concerto so alluring is its surprising tension between skittish and poetic material.”

3/28/07 – The Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader ran the Sacramento Bee’s positive review violinist Viktoria Mullova’s new CD and notes her additional role: “The music on Viktoria Mullova & Katia Lebeque in Recital a brilliantly played CD, bears the stamp of a musician, not a record label, calling the shots (Mullova executive-produced the CD).”

3/26/07 – Violinist Cho-Liang Lin performed the Tsontakis Violin Concerto No. 1. with the Albany Symphony, in a reprise of a popular 2003 concert. According to the Albany Times-Union, “Tsontakis and his music are increasingly in demand and so an ASO/Tsontakis recording is in the works, with Sunday sessions for the Concerto.”

Orchestra News

3/28/07 – On the 30th anniversary of the American Composers Orchestra, the New York Times marked the occasion with a profile: “In an ideal musical culture there would be no need for the American Composers Orchestra. Classical music programs in the United States would not be dominated, as they mostly are, by the works of dead European males."

3/25/07 - The Kansas City Star reported on the National Symphony Orchestra’s American Residencies program, which takes the orchestra to a different state each year for an extended residency. “This month Kansas becomes the 17th residency of the NSO’s ongoing series, which the 48-year-old [NSO Assistant Conductor Emil] de Cou described as ‘the most important thing the orchestra does.’ ” The article noted that the residency features “almost 100 events in several communities” alongside “formal full-orchestra concerts,” quoting de Cou: “I like us being kind of like the people’s orchestra ... And at the end of each tour, the orchestra is completely invigorated — no longer just an orchestra but 100 individually activated musicians.” De Cou adds: “We go there to reinforce what the communities are already doing, to put a spotlight on it. Everything we do is driven to help the local arts organizations, and all the money that is made stays in the community.”

From Ihnsouk Guim
Posted on April 2, 2007 at 12:33 PM
Am I a cynic to think that the article about Elizabeth Pitcairn and her violin cheesy?

I just wonder how I would feel if people talk more about my violin in my concert than my playing itself?


From Darcy Lewis
Posted on April 2, 2007 at 4:26 PM
Well, in fairness, the article about Pitcairn ran before her appearance, so it was bound to be a feature, not a review.


From Ihnsouk Guim
Posted on April 2, 2007 at 6:40 PM
Thank you for clarifying. - Ihnsouk

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