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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 3, No. 58

July 22, 2007 at 5:45 PM

7/21/07 – The Associated Press is running a fascinating story about a New York Philharmonic cellist resigning to follow her dream: “A blaring ambulance siren and a mellow-toned cello: They hardly make perfect harmony. But they're the main themes in the life of Nancy Donaruma, who is retiring from the New York Philharmonic to take on another job she loves — as a full-time paramedic. After 31 years in the top-tier orchestra, playing with conductors including Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta and Lorin Maazel, the 59-year-old cellist will go from a hefty six-figure annual income to a ‘low five-figure’ salary. That's the price she's willing to pay to fulfill her lifetime fascination with medicine.”

Having written about medicine and EMS for years, I’m all the more surprised by this choice. EMS is widely referred to as a young person’s game because of the low pay, irregular hours and intense stresses it places on the body, particularly the back and neck. By age 30-35, many paramedics are considering moving into management so they can raise their incomes, spare their backs and have a normal family schedule.

Kudos to Ms. Donaruma for fulfilling her goals!

More About…

….Conductor Alan Gilbert’s appointment as the next music director of the New York Philharmonic:

1. The chief music critic of the New York Times is elated by this hiring.
2. The Phil’s musicians are also pleased, notes the Times.
3. The New York Sun weighs in, too, noting Gilbert’s strengths and weaknesses.

Musician News

The Juilliard School has announced the appointment of several prominent artists to its faculty, effective with the 2007-08 academic year, including violinists David Chan, Kyung-Wha Chung and Sylvia Rosenberg.

Yosuke Kawasaki has been named concertmaster of the National Arts Centre Orchestra, effective with the 2007-08 season. A founding member of the D’Amici String Quartet, he is currently concertmaster of Century Orchestra Osaka and co-concertmaster of the Mito Chamber and Saito Kinen orchestras. He attended Juilliard for both pre-collegiate and collegiate training, studying with Dorothy DeLay, Hyo Kang, Felix Galimir, and Joel Smirnoff, and graduating in 1998.

8/8/07 - The Anti-Defamation League will honor conductor James Conlon with its Crystal Globe Award at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Ill., for championing the works of composers silenced under the Third Reich. As music director of the festival, Conlon launched Breaking the Silence in 2005, and each season the series focuses on the music of a different composer suppressed during the Holocaust. Thus far he has highlighted Viktor Ullmann and Erwin Schulhof, and this summer will feature works by Viennese composer/conductor Alexander Zemlinsky.

7/22/07 – Violinist Gil Shaham will play a Mozart Violin Concerto with the New York Philharmonic today at the Vail Music Festival in Colorado.

7/19/07 – The Adelaide (Australia) Advertiser reports that Canadian violinist Terence Tam, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra's concertmaster, has resigned just 18 months into his four-year contract. “Tam, 37, took up the role in March last year and will finish at the end of this year's season in December. ASO chief executive Rainer Jozeps said Tam, who moved to Adelaide with his concert pianist wife, Lorraine Min, and daughter Tallulah, had learnt his mother-in-law has cancer. ‘It's just one of those circumstances where they really feel they need to return to Canada’, Mr Jozeps said.”

7/19/07 – The Columbia (MO) Tribune profiled violinist Philippe Quint, who is Russian-born: "’The violin was not my choice. I thought it was a new toy - break it and move on to the next one’, he said. ‘It’s not like in America. Here they ask what would you like to do, what do you dream to be. And they ask that to a 4-year-old. In Russia, it doesn’t work like this. It’s like, “You’re going to be a violinist.” Trust me, I had no choice. But sometimes it’s a good thing not to have a choice. You’re pressed into doing one thing and doing it really well.’” Quint will make his acting debut in the upcoming feature Russian Blues, in a leading role alongside William Hurt.

Orchestra News

The Albuquerque Youth Symphony has appointed Gabriel Gordon conductor for the 2007-08 season. A native of New York, Gordon was the founding conductor of the Chamber Orchestra at Tower Hill (comprising members of the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and New Jersey Symphony). A violinist, he was recently selected as a member of the New Mexico Symphony, and reportedly is a finalist for the concertmaster position in the Santa Fe Symphony.

7/20/07 - reports: “In one of the worst kept secrets in the music world, Italian conductor Daniele Gatti, 45, finally has been named successor to Kurt Masur as music director of the Orchestre National de France … Gatti takes the helm full-time Sept. 1, 2008 for a term of five years….In November, Gatti announced that he would not renew his contract as music director of Bologna’s Teatro Comunale when it expired in June after ten seasons in the post. Masur, who has led the Orchestre National de France since 2002, will become its honorary music director upon the arrival of Gatti.”

7/18/07 - The Chicago Symphony hopes to name its next music director by the end of the 2007-08 season, and its CEO says that a shortlist of "between three and seven" conductors is already in place, reports the Chicago Tribune. "Those generating the biggest buzz within the orchestra as likely candidates for Daniel Barenboim's former post are the Italian maestros Riccardo Muti and Riccardo Chailly

7/14/07 - The third annual Great Wall International Music Academy is underway, with young string players from around the world congregating in Beijing for four weeks of master classes, lessons, and concerts under the theme “Olympic Prelude.” Continuing through August 12, the academy is led by faculty from the University of Cincinnati, Beijing Central Conservatory, Ball State University, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, London’s Royal Academy of Music, the Hochschule für Musik Köln, Shanghai Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, and the University of Iowa.

From Scott 68
Posted on July 23, 2007 at 12:43 AM
ms chung has been a favorite for a long time
From Man Wong
Posted on July 23, 2007 at 8:49 PM
Yes, it's too bad she doesn't perform in concert anymore. I never got to see/hear her live and would've loved to do so. Still, I'm very glad for the few footages of her (particularly from the old days) on YouTube.


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