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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 3, No. 57

July 20, 2007 at 2:06 AM

Musician News

7/19/07 - Violinist Dylana Jenson is playing a pair of recitals at the Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck for a salute to festival founder, violinist Elaine Richey. The programs include sonatas by Beethoven and Brahms, as well as Ravel's Tzigane.

7/18/07 – Violinist Lara St. John is playing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with the Brooklyn Philharmonic this week at four outdoor performances around the city, notes the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. “On stage, Ms. St. John plays a rare, classic Guadagnini violin that dates to 1779. For many years, the violin was unaccounted for, but it was rediscovered in the early 20th century. In the 1920s, it was played by a child prodigy in the U.S. who died of tuberculosis while still in his teens, and his father buried it with his son in the family mausoleum, according to a Brooklyn Philharmonic spokesperson. In the 1930s, after it became clear how valuable the violin was, the father removed it from the mausoleum. From there, it passed through several hands, until an anonymous donor purchased it and gave it in trust to Ms. St. John several years ago. Before obtaining the Guadagnini, she played a Stradivarius, the spokesperson added.”

7/17/07San Francisco Classical Voice profiled the Escher String Quartet: “What struck [Emerson String Quartet cellist David] Finckel was their technical proficiency, both as individuals and as an ensemble. ‘They chose very difficult pieces — the Bartók String Quartet No. 5 and the Debussy String Quartet — and played them at the very highest level’, says Finckel. ‘That was unusual for a quartet that was playing together for only two years. As much as one could be, they are a string quartet prodigy’. The quartet consists of violinists Adam Barnett-Hart and Wu Jie, violist Pierre Lapointe, and cellist Andrew Janss.

7/16/07 - Violinist Ben Morrison, a 21-year-old student at the New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University has won both the Rotorua Concerto Competition and the senior recital category. He plans to use his $8000 prize money towards the cost of studying at the Graz School of Music in Austria where he is headed later this year.

7/12/07 - Vartan Manoogian, professor of violin at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music, died on Thursday, July 12, according to a news release from the university. He was 71. “Manoogian served as associate concertmaster of the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra and later as concertmaster of L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, directed by Ernest Ansermet. He was artist in residence at the North Carolina School of the Arts and a member of the Claremont String Quartet before joining the UW-Madison faculty in 1980.” See the discussion of Manoogian’s death here.

7/12/07 – From the Daventry Express in England: Violinist John Brine, 82, received the incredible gift of violin when his local newspaper covered him winning a music competition at age 13. The judges commented that he would be an even better violinist if he had a quality instrument. “One widow reading the paper decided to give Mr Brine her husband’s violin, on the condition that it was never sold and when he was finished using it he passed it on to the next generation of musicians. Now, after almost playing the instrument – which was made in France in 1894 – for more than 60 years, he has given it to 16-year-old Christine Andrews.”

Orchestra News

7/17/07 – The big news in the music world this week: "The New York Philharmonic reached into its family tree and plucked Alan Gilbert, the 40-year-old son of two Philharmonic musicians, as its next music director, making him the first native New Yorker in the position and a rare American in the job,” reports the New York Times. “Philharmonic officials also said they would appoint an elder statesman, Riccardo Muti, 65, to serve in a supporting role equivalent to principal guest conductor… Mr. Gilbert’s mother, Yoko Takebe, is a violinist, and his father, Michael Gilbert, also a violinist, retired in 2001.”

7/17/07Musical America reports that the Jerusalem Symphony has managed to carry on, at least for a while. "The Israeli court ruled July 15 that IBA [the orchestra’s main funder] -- in the financial difficulty itself -- would have to continue funding the JSO, until additional means from other sources could be secured by the orchestra."

7/14/07 – The San Diego Union-Tribune profiled the East County Youth Symphony. “Music can be an expensive hobby for young musicians, and even joining a youth orchestra often requires the payment of hefty fees. But a new organization in San Diego is offering the orchestra experience free of charge to anyone who can pass muster at the audition. East County Youth Symphony wants to attract more members and enough donations to eventually purchase instruments and pay for music lessons for students whose families can't afford them."

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on July 20, 2007 at 5:34 PM
I don't know what to think about Lara's violin. I'll bet it has so much mojo it glows in the dark though. More than black cat bone and John the Conqueror root combined.
From Joshua Hong
Posted on July 20, 2007 at 7:14 PM
Escher String Quartet is amazing.
From Penelope Brackenbury
Posted on July 20, 2007 at 8:37 PM
I was thinking the same Jim... that sucker was in a sealed casket for years.


From Oliver Bedford
Posted on July 21, 2007 at 9:50 PM
If it was in a mausoleum, maybe it was locked away with the coffin (casket) rather than actually inside it with the body.

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