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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 50

June 24, 2007 at 2:29 PM

Musician News

7/17/07 – Violinist Karen Gomyo will solo with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. From the Top host and pianist Christopher O’Reilly will appear on the same program. Gomyo's summer season also includes appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra July 13 and San Francisco Symphony July 19.

6/23/07 – Violinist Rachel Barton Pine performed a recital at the gala celebration for the 50th anniversary of the United Church of Christ in Hartford, CT. Barton Pine notes: “During the 8:00 hour that evening, I will give a short speech about my faith journey and perform my own virtuosic variations on Happy Birthday.” Then, beginning on June 24, she will spend the week teaching and performing at Mark O’Connor’s Tennessee Fiddle Camp.

6/23/07 - The Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio performed the final concert of the 2007 Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle series. Violist Michael Tree and clarinetist Ricardo Morales were their guests. The series was launched 57 years ago with the assistance of Emil Hauser, then a member of the Bard College faculty and original first violinist of the Budapest Quartet. Violinist Jaime Laredo and cellist Sharon Robinson are the series’ current artistic directors.

6/20/07 – According to Film Music Magazine, Tom Lee has “apparently been reelected president of the American Federation of Musicians (the primary musicians' union in North America,) a post he has held since 2001. Lee's reelection had been somewhat in question, as there has been much dissension among union members concerning his leadership in recent years. Particularly aggrieved have been West Coast-based recording musicians, who made a direct attempt to run Lee out of office at this week's AFM conference in Las Vegas.”

6/20/07 – The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Maurice Wolfson, a violinist whose 40-year career in the Cleveland Orchestra included performances under four music directors, has died at 95. “Wolfson joined the orchestra in 1945 following an audition for Erich Leinsdorf… He never attended college. Instead, he studied philosophy and poetry on his own and composed. ‘He pushed himself with natural talent, because he didn't have the opportunity of conservatory training’, [his daughter] said. ‘He played from his heart’."

6/19/07 – The Chicago Sun-Times reports on the Juilliard String Quartet’s Ravinia performance: “About midway through the Juilliard String Quartet's Tuesday night performance of Bartok's String Quartet No. 3, cellist Joel Krosnick snapped a string and had to head backstage to replace it. As he returned to his chair on the stage of the Ravinia Festival's Martin Theatre, first violinist Joel Smirnoff turned to the audience and said, ‘Since this work is such a taut entity, we will play it again from the start.’ What a perfect description of a complex, challenging work, and what a treat for the audience!

6/19/ reports that Italian cellist Mario Brunello, accompanied by what must have been the world's most devoted audience, climbed 4,500 vertical feet to the summit of Japan's Mount Fuji last weekend (with his cello,) and then played a recital of solo Bach on the mountaintop.

6/6/07 – The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Mary West, a Minneapolis violin teacher who once played at the White House for Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, died of cancer in her daughter's home in St. Paul at 97. The daughter estimates that her mother taught 45 hours of lessons a week until three months before she died: ‘Music was her whole life’. member Jenni Volby, who informed us of West’s death, notes that her teacher studied with Sevcik: “As a violinist, to imagine studying the exercises of Sevcik with the man himself seemed so unreal!”

Orchestra News

6/25/07 - The Sonora Strings, an advanced touring group of a private Suzuki string school in Madison, Wisc., will return home from a week-long tour of Costa Rica. The tour was led by Madison Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Maria Rosa Germain.

6/17/07 – The San Antonio Express-News has laid it on the line regarding the San Antonio Symphony: “San Antonio, Texas, is a huge city by American standards, and yet, its orchestra is the very definition of small time, with stagnant wages, an undersized complement of musicians, and a board that seems either uninterested or incapable of raising even the bare minimum that the organization needs to avoid crisis every few years. The board's timidity indicates economic leadership that doesn't have the will, energy or ambition to lead -- that likes to claim the title of a major city but doesn't want to work very hard to make it so.”

6/14/07 - The Virginian-Pilot (Richmond) notes that the Buffalo Philharmonic has reached a settlement with a former oboist who had been claiming that anti-gay discrimination was involved in his dismissal from the orchestra. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. A hearing of the dispute, scheduled for next week before the New York State Division of Human Rights, has been canceled. This paper covered the story because Buffalo music director Joann Falletta also leads the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.

From David Russell
Posted on June 24, 2007 at 4:55 PM
The passing of Mary West is sad news. I had the pleasure of teaching several of her students in the past. She was a true force in the violin world. Her legacy continues through the lives she has touched. Well done, Mary.
From Eugene Chan
Posted on June 24, 2007 at 7:40 PM
"Italian cellist Mario Brunello, accompanied by what must have been the world's most devoted audience, climbed 4,500 vertical feet to the summit of Japan's Mount Fuji last weekend (with his cello,) and then played a recital of solo Bach on the mountaintop."

And STILL someone's cell phone rang...

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