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Violin News & Gosip, Op. 3, No. 47

June 14, 2007 at 8:37 PM

6/11/07 - This week’s big news: After 45 years performing, the Guarneri String Quartet is packing it in.

“The Guarneri String Quartet announced today its plans to retire in 2009. “After 45 years of performing, the group's members — Arnold Steinhardt and John Dalley (violins), Michael Tree (viola) and Peter Wiley (cello) — feel that it's time to leave the stage.” has a brief story, but you can bet there’ll be lots more said in the months and years to come on this important development.


6/9/07 – Eminent London violinist David Juritz has embarked on a five-month odyssey during which he’ll travel 60,000 miles covering 25 countries busking for charity, reports the Times of London. “Juritz, who is regarded as one of the world’s finest violinists, is making the trip to raise £500,000 for charities that bring music to poor children. He will begin his journey tomorrow at Turnham Green Tube station, West London, with nothing but an empty wallet, a rucksack and his 18th-century violin.”

Here’s another take on the same story from Reuters India that clarifies the issue of the violin Juritz will be using: “For the entire enterprise, he will play a violin made for him by a friend with whom he used to busk in South Africa. The highly sought-after 1748 Guadagnini violin he usually plays will be left safely at home. Juritz once spent 20 minutes wrestling with an Italian who grabbed his violin while busking in Florence in 1978 and isn't going to let that happen to such a precious instrument. ‘That's staying here under lock and key’, he said with a chuckle.”

One wonders what Mr. Juritz thinks of Joshua Bell’s and Tamsyn Little’s well-publicized recent attempts at busking…..

Musician News

Violinist Alexander Kerr has been named principal guest concertmaster at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Kerr will continue on faculty at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music and at Aspen Music Festival and School. He is scheduled to appear as ISO concertmaster approximately six times next season. Kerr will share leadership duties with Zach De Pue, the ISO’s newly appointed concertmaster, allowing the latter to maintain an active tour schedule with his trio Time For Three. Before coming to Indianapolis Kerr was concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; he had earlier served as concertmaster of the Cincinnati and Charleston symphony orchestras.

Violinist Jing Zeng has been appointed to the first violin section of the Phoenix Symphony. She is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

6/10/07 – The Deseret (Utah) News reports that Utah luthier Charles Liu is sponsoring the Stradivarius International Violin Competition. “The four-day event will host 71 young violinists from around the state and Intermountain West area, as well as from the rest of the country. There will also be competitors from Canada, Europe and Asia….As it took shape, Liu divided the competition into two large categories. The senior level features violinists between the ages of 17 and 25. For the inaugural competition, 15 young men and women will converge on Salt Lake City to compete for a $10,000 first prize and a solo engagement with the Utah Symphony during the summer of 2008.” The final round will be held on Thursday, June 14, 2007, so check Sunday’s Violin News & Gossip for the results.

6/10/07 - The New Century Chamber Orchestra continues its concertmaster-conductor search, as the group brings in a slew of top violinists to lead the ensemble, notes San Francisco Classical Voice. “The search has also highlighted the concertmaster’s role. Is he/she a conductor? A soloist? A member of the first violin section? A chamber musician? …The fourth and final guest concertmaster for 2006-2007 was Cho-Liang Lin, in a program of two serenades, a contemporary concerto, and a Mozart symphony. Throughout the Sunday afternoon concert in Marin, Lin’s violin could be heard distinctly, his playing full of crisp and resolute articulation. His sound could always be distinguished from the other players based on his attack and personality. In the concerto, this proved ideal. But in the symphony, for example, Lin’s violin could still be heard apart from his section. He did not make the transition from soloist to orchestra member. Aside from that, the concert went well.”

6/8/07 – The St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times ran an encouraging story about Joe Ginem, a 16-year-old violinist who suffered bone cancer in his bow arm. Ginem recovered following grueling bouts of chemotherapy and a surgery in which his shoulder ball and socket and upper arm were replaced with a titanium prosthetic. Last week, Ginem was in the Patel Conservatory Youth Orchestra when it played at Carnegie Hall.

Orchestra News

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the University of Minnesota School of Music have announced the appointment of Mark Russell Smith as a shared conductor for the two organizations; he will serve as artistic director of orchestral studies at UM and director of new music projects at the SPCO. At the SPCO he will conduct six weeks each season, with a particular focus on contemporary music. Smith remains music director of the Richmond (Va.) Symphony Orchestra, where his current contract runs through the 2008-09 season.

6/24/07 – The Vermont Youth Orchestra will embark on a tour of China. Twenty-five of the group’s musicians are members of “The China Project,” a program created for the VYO by the Young Writer’s Project. Since March, students have attended workshops in writing, photography, videography, audiography and Chinese culture. Their goal is to create a multimedia journal documenting the VYO’s two-week tour of China.

6/12/07 – The Houston Chronicle, reports: “The Houston Symphony and its musicians agreed to a new contract Tuesday that increases the annual minimum salary to $81,900. …Key terms of the symphony contract, which came four months early, are the gradual elimination of the three unpaid furlough weeks each player currently has, plus a modest increase in the minimum weekly salary, or scale, over three years ... The current scale of $1,520 will ultimately increase to $1,575 in 2009-10….The minimum prescribed size of the Houston orchestra remains at 84 members under the new contract. However, the ensemble has been performing with more players and likely will have 87 to 88 members next season.”

6/12/07 – The Jerusalem Post reports: “Budget cuts at the Israel Broadcasting Authority may result in the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra being disbanded. The JSO was founded and is heavily funded by the IBA.” Principal Bassoonist Richard Paley comments: “We thought we were just getting past all the [financial trouble] ... and then we received a letter from [IBA chairman] Moshe Gavish telling us that they were going to cut the budget by 60 percent….Four years ago the JSO was put into receivership due to mismanagement and was in danger of being liquidated. It was saved by Leon Botstein, who accepted the position of music director and formed the American Friends of the JSO to raise funds. Botstein worked for free because the salary he was offered wouldn’t have even covered his traveling expenses, he said. As part of the JSO’s recovery program, orchestra members accepted a voluntary 20% pay cut. The JSO is set to celebrate its 70th anniversary next year.”

6/7/07 – According to the Niagara Falls Review (ON), the Niagara Symphony must raise $500,000 by mid-June to avoid bankruptcy. “As the five-week emergency fundraiser for the Niagara Symphony strives to meet its ambitious goal, individuals across the region are helping the organization inch toward survival. The symphony launched its fundraising campaign May 10, citing a fall in donations for its $100,000 debt. The symphony has garnered $100,000 in donations, through concerts, outdoor performances and community donations, chairman David Randall said. The symphony is asking all levels of government for a total of $100,000, but they are not banking on that commitment, Randall said.

From Patrick Hu
Posted on June 15, 2007 at 6:56 AM
OMG! The guarneri string quartet is one of my absolute favorite quartets! I love their Late Beethoven recordings! This is so sad!
From Johann Paetsch
Posted on June 15, 2007 at 2:16 PM
Tchaikovsky Competition Violin Division Iive with the internet.
June 15, 2007 Live XIII Contest behalf Chaykovskogo online and broadcast TV Culture


For the first time, the opening and closing XIII International contest the Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky broadcast live on television and online, competitive tours can be seen in real time online channel "Culture". June 13, a solemn opening of the contest, June 30, see the final gala.
indows media player (File menu -> Open URL)


(translated from the Russian site)
From 13 to 30 June, see the live TV broadcast on the events of the competition, "News reports in the culture" and the July 10 broadcast of "Play winners XIII International Competition behalf P.I. God ".

Schedule of games :
June 13 at 18:40-opening contest (live on TV).
From 15 to 19 June from 10:00 to 13:10 and from 18:00 to 21:00, 1 st, violin (live on the site).
From 21 to 24 June from 11:00 to 14:30 and from 19:00 to 21:10-2 round, violin (live on the site).
From 27 to 29 June from 19:00 to 21:30-3 tour, violin (live on the site).
June 30 at 19:10-closing contest (live on TV).

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