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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 3, No. 32

April 22, 2007 at 5:22 PM

Musician News

4/19/07 – Violinist Sharon Schuman is organizing a benefit concert in Eugene, Ore., to pay medical costs for the cancericken daughter of another violinist, Rachel Hurwitz. The Eugene (Ore.)
tells the sad story of a San Francisco two-year-old stricken with an aggressive form of jaw cancer. Ana, whose grandparents are prominent musicians in Eugene, is undergoing a “massive” chemotherapy regimen. Schuman’s quartet, which includes violinist Matthew Fuller, violist Jessica Lambert and cellist Anne Ridlington is repeating a sold-out concert from February, with all proceeds donated to Ana.

4/19/07 – Violinist Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica received a mixed review this week from the Akron (Ohio) Beacon-Journal that stemmed from his decision not to program more of the new music for which he is known. “Leader Gidon Kremer, 60, is an iconoclastic violinist. He's more an ideas guy than someone who blinds you with the beauty of his playing.”

4/19/07 - The Daily Telegraph (London) profiled Austrian violinist/conductor Thomas Zehetmair. “Now in his late forties, he’s risen quietly to the top rank of violinists, appearing regularly with orchestras such as the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Cleveland [Orchestra], and the Boston Symphony. He’s done this through sheer musicality, as he doesn’t cut a romantic figure on the platform like Maxim Vengerov.”

4/19/07 – Violinist Ilya Gringolts performed a recital in Pittsburgh and received a lukewarm review from the Post-Gazette. The reviewer, who professes great admiration for Gringolts’ recordings, complained that his live performance was “on cruise control.”

4/18/07 – Violinist Maxim Vengerov, touring with the Swiss UBS Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra as soloist and conductor, had to alter his plans in Toronto due to an injury to his bow arm, reports the Toronto Star. Toronto violinist Mayumi Seiler replaced Vengerov in the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante, then sat concertmaster for the Mozart Symphony No. 29, which replaced his Violin Concerto No. 4. “Seiler is an excellent soloist, too, as well as a tireless champion of young musicians. But her tone is steelier and her dynamic range more controlled. Nonetheless, she was an exemplary last-minute substitution.”

4/16/07 – Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia concertmaster Gloria Justens received special treatment from violin soloist Salvatore Accardo, who kissed her hand during his ovation, and a shout-out in the ensuring Philadelphia Inquirer review, which was rather mixed on Accardo.

4/14/07 – According to the Simi Valley (Ca.) Acorn, violinist Jennifer Liu won the Classical Instrumentalist Grand Prize during the 19th annual Music Center Spotlight Awards at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. Liu, a Simi Valley resident, is 14 years old.

4/14/07 – Cellist David Pereira, who played with the Australia Ensemble and was principal cellist of the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, has been forced to retire because of a psychiatric illness, according to “The Australian, which calls Pereira the country's top cellist, writes that he had hoped to return to performing after staying in a psychiatric institution and taking medicine to combat his obsessive-compulsive disorder. But while the medication reportedly staved off suicide, it left him with a trembling of the hands that restricted his cello playing.”

Orchestra News

4/18/07 - The New Haven Register reports that the New Haven Symphony Orchestra has appointed “acclaimed British conductor” William Boughton as its new music director. Boughton will succeed the outgoing Jung-Ho Pak on July 1.

4/18/07 – The Capital Times reports that, next year, the Madison Symphony Orchestra will ask ticket-holders to choose which one of four symphonies they want to hear performed. The choices are Beethoven's No. 1, Schubert's No. 9, Brahms' No. 1 and American composer John Corigliano's No. 1 "Of Rage and Remembrance" (composed in 1988 as an elegy for friends and colleagues who had died of AIDS). … "It's part of an ongoing effort to get the audience more involved," says Music Director John DeMain. “I'm very comfortable with any one of the choices. It will be interesting to see how many people take the time to participate in it. It brings an element of fun and joy and involvement into the process."

4/15/07 – The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on diversity in American orchestras and, in particular, conditions in the Philadelphia Orchestra, which “has made some headway in bringing its sound to African Americans -- who make up 43 percent of Philadelphia County and 20 percent of the eight-county region -- with an annual tribute to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., neighborhood concerts that have resulted in a developing relationship with groups in Camden, and other programs.” But he adds: “ ‘You can’t get around the fact there are a lot of people of color who we are not engaging’. The article quotes Aaron P. Dworkin, an African-American violinist and founder and president of the Sphinx Organization, a Detroit-based advocacy group that works with young minority classical musicians: “Classical music ... has created a very negative impression within the African-American community about what it stands for, who plays it, and who listens to it.”

4/12/07 - The National Symphony Orchestra has named Iván Fischer its Principal Conductor, reports “The two-year appointment will become effective with the 2008-2009 season, reports The National Symphony's fifth music director, Leonard Slatkin, will step down at the end of the 2007-8 season. Maestro Fischer's term as Principal Conductor runs through the 2009-10 season; during that time the music director search will be ongoing.”

From Igor Yuzefovich
Posted on April 22, 2007 at 9:20 PM
Hmmmm... an injury to his bowing arm you say eh? ......... hmmm... interesting..... very very interesting....... ;-)
From Maura Gerety
Posted on April 22, 2007 at 9:43 PM
Is there supposed to be a joke in there somewhere, Igor? Sorry but I'm not getting it.
From Elizabeth Smith
Posted on April 23, 2007 at 2:57 AM
David Kim (Concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra) might be alarmed to hear that Gloria Justen has taken over his job and usurped his rightful kisses. All kidding aside, Gloria Justen is concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, not the Philly Orchestra, although the similarity of names makes such confusage understandable.
From Ihnsouk Guim
Posted on April 23, 2007 at 1:15 PM
To me, Igor's post, if a joke, doesn't sound funny. I am sure I am totally off; His post seems to suggests that there is an unmentional possibly dishonorable reason behind the cancellation, not a broken arm. Since I am short on imagination, I much prefer if people just say it out loud and be resposible for their comments or hold it totally.


From Maura Gerety
Posted on April 23, 2007 at 3:34 PM
Indeed Ihnsouk, that is the impression I got as well--my response was an attempt at restrained sarcasm. :)Igor, will you please indulge us and clarify what you meant by your remark?
From Darcy Lewis
Posted on April 23, 2007 at 3:41 PM
Thank you for your correction--tired brain at work sometimes. Yes, Justen is CM of the Chamber Orch.

here is the link to the Zehetmair profile:

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on April 24, 2007 at 1:00 AM
American and Western European women - which of those two guys would you rather get involved with if you met them in a bar?
From benny atkinson
Posted on April 24, 2007 at 9:21 AM
Igor, I am not sure what you meant, but the same happened in New York. Maybe he should rest the arm alltogether. Conducting probably does not help. I am worried about the rest of the tour.
From Maura Gerety
Posted on April 24, 2007 at 2:10 PM
Get well soon Maxim! :(
From Nate Robinson
Posted on April 24, 2007 at 6:35 PM
Conducting yes, very physically straining :)
From Igor Yuzefovich
Posted on April 25, 2007 at 12:57 PM
Oh boy... A joke is not funny when it needs to be explained. So... all kidding aside, hand injuries are no joke.

Best wishes to Maxim for a quick recovery.

From Maura Gerety
Posted on April 25, 2007 at 1:46 PM
Igor, some of us just got the wrong impression--as much our fault as yours. No hard feelings. ;)

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