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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 3, No. 54

July 9, 2007 at 12:22 AM

Musician News

7/10/07 – Violinist Gil Shaham will solo at the Hollywood Bowl; the Jewish Journal ran an advance feature on him. “Though Shaham's musical interests are wide-ranging -- he's equally comfortable performing Mozart and Beethoven or Stravinsky and Prokofiev -- he is at the moment in the thrall of a piece little known to Western audiences, the "Butterfly Lovers" concerto, a throbbing, romantic work of relatively recent vintage by two Chinese students who were later persecuted during the Cultural Revolution. If you don't know it, you're not alone, though Shaham hopes to change that with his recording of it, intended for release in the foreseeable but not immediate future.”

7/7/07 – The London Free Press profiled violinist Mary Elizabeth Brown, Orchestra London associate concertmaster. “Brown, 24, was appointed to the Orchestra London post last year, after deciding to take a chance at a professional audition. Recently, she hit the stage with her buddies in London rock band Hue at Toronto's NXNE fest, grabbed four hours of sleep and auditioned for the concertmaster job with Sinfonia Toronto. That approach worked, too.”

7/7/07 – The Toronto Star looked at what Palestinian classical musicians must do to get training, focusing on violinist Tyme Khleifi. "‘I think I had, in all my life, 11 teachers’, says the sloe-eyed, 17-year-old. The problem is not that Khleifi is a quarrelsome person or a difficult student. The problem is her address. Khleifi is Arab, and she resides in the Palestinian territories.”

7/7/07 - Florentino Dias, conductor of the Rio de Janeiro Philharmonic Orchestra, was honored by the American Bibliographical Institute and International Bibliographical Centre at their annual World Forum in Washington, DC, with an award established in his name. The Florentino Dias Foundation Award will be given annually and will recognize an international candidate’s achievement in classical music.

7/6/07 – Newspapers around the country have apparently decided that jazz violinist Johnny Frigo, who died last week at 90, must have indeed been noteworthy, because they have begun running obituaries of him, albeit belatedly. The Washington Post noted, “He accommodated a variety of musical styles, performing with such strikingly different jazz entertainers as clarinetist Pee Wee Russell, guitarist Charlie Byrd and bassist Oscar Pettiford as well as singers Barbra Streisand, Dinah Washington, Helen Merrill and Mahalia Jackson.”

7/6/07 - Violinist Lisa Batiashvili has signed an exclusive recording contract with Sony BMG Masterworks, reports The article includes a brief biography of the violinist, along with the announcement that Sony will release her recording of the Sibelius and Lindberg concertos in September.

7/6/07 – The Ellsworth (Maine) American profiled violinist Francis Fortier, who apparently seriously considered pursuing a professional baseball career before committing to music. “If things had turned out differently, he would have been wielding a Louisville Slugger instead of a 300-year-old Stradivarius, but Fortier turned down a career in professional baseball to be a concert violinist.”

7/5/07- The Seattle Post-Intelligencer notes that a pair of sisters will be performing at the Olympic Music Festival for the first time: violinist Elisa Barston and cellist Amy Sue Barston. Elisa is the principal second of the Seattle Symphony, while Amy Sue is New York-based and the cellist of the Corigliano String Quartet.

7/5/07 – The Orange County Register ran a round-up review of several new violin recordings, including those by Maxim Vengerov, Sergey Khachatryan, Baiba Skride, and Julia Fischer, who probably fared the best with the reviewer.

7/1/07 – The Seattle Times profiled violinist and violin collector David Fulton, who has recently sold seven of his violins, including some of the world’s best. “Fulton's mother once thought her gifted son would grow up to be a great violinist beloved by audiences the world over. Instead, Fulton quips, ‘I am beloved by violin dealers the world over’."

From Kelsey Z.
Posted on July 9, 2007 at 3:01 AM
Yay Mary-Beth!!!!! That's so awesome to see she's doing so well :D
From Ruth Kuefler
Posted on July 9, 2007 at 3:13 AM
I'm glad Gil Shaham is giving the Butterfly Lover's Concorto some more publicity - it really is a beautiful piece. I'll look foward to his recording!
From Donna Clegg
Posted on July 9, 2007 at 11:56 AM
When I attended Mark O'Connor's Fiddle Camp a few summers ago, Johnny Frigo was the most fun teacher to take classes from. He will be missed.
From Linda Lerskier
Posted on July 9, 2007 at 1:47 PM
Yay for Lisa Batiashvili! I was lucky enough to hear her preform Shostakovich with the NY Phil a couple of months ago, and it was just chilling to the bone. I loved it.

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