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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 3, No. 59

July 25, 2007 at 4:48 PM

I was delighted to hear from David Juritz this morning. David, an eminent London-based violinist, is currently busking his way through Asia. He is in the middle of a 5-month tour designed to raise funds for children’s charities and funded solely by his busking income. Read this
Times of London
article for more on his odyssey.

Here’s what David had to say:

Hi Darcy,

Am in Singapore at the moment, having been a bit held up by my lack of a visa for India. Am making a last minute diversion to Taipei instead. Re Joshua Bell and Tasmin Little; I reckon their experiences are pretty typical. It's hard work although I would recommend they give Sydney a try. Busker friendly and very generous. [This refers to my blog comment wondering what David thought about Bell’s and Little’s much-publicized busking experiments.]

I'm also discovering that one doesn't have much firepower with a violin. On noisy streets you aren't really heard from more than a few feet away, by which time people have already made up their minds about whether they're going to drop a coin in your case or not.

Also found in Cape Town that having a bunch of kids playing along will double your takings. My only problem is that I can't afford to buy air tickets for all of them.

Best wishes,


Hopefully, David will keep us informed of his busking adventures!

Musician News

7/23/07 – According to the Associated Press “James Levine, music director of New York’s Metropolitan Opera and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, canceled his weekend appearances at the Verbier Festival, citing health. Levine, 64, was to have conducted the opening concert Friday and another on Sunday. ‘My doctors have strongly advised me not to travel but to stay calm and collect my energies,’ Levine said in a statement on the festival’s Web site. Levine has been with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood…. He also takes the BSO on tour to Switzerland, Germany, France and Britain from Aug. 26 to Sept. 7. ‘He’s fine,’ BSO spokeswoman Bernadette Horgan said Monday.”

7/23/07 – The Lexington (Mass.) Minuteman reports that Yuki Beppu is the youngest member of the Lexington Players’ orchestra for its summer production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. “Yuki is 10 years old and a student at Fiske School. She has played violin since she was 4. The daughter of Yuko and Hideyuki Beppu, she studies at New England Conservatory’s Preparatory School. Yuki not only stands out in the Lexington Players’ production of Beauty and the Beast because she is the youngest musician; she’s also the sole violinist in the orchestra, which includes two oboes, a flute, and a French horn.”

7/22/07 – The Chicago Sun-Times profiled violinist Rachel Barton-Pine and delved into her latest project, an auditory tribute to American violinist Maud Powell.

7/22/07 – Violinists Lesley Chen and Jaime Herrera were quoted in an El Paso Times article that noted that a vast majority of El Paso Symphony members also teach music in the area.

7/22/07 – The Herald-Sun (Australia) recently profiled Dutch violinist Andre Rieu “[who] may be enjoying the rarity of having broken through musical barriers, but it is both a blessing and a curse. The purists view with suspicion a classical musician who likes to play tunes such as My Way and The Music of the Night. The populists may be equally suspicious, if more respectful, of the classic heritage and training.”

7/21/07 – “From her teens, Lisa Batiashvili has been hailed as a great future star of the violin - but only this week, at the relatively advanced age of 28, has she finally signed a major long-term record deal. What took her so long?” That’s what The Telegraph (UK) wanted to know, anyway…

7/21/07 – The Los Angeles Times ran an interesting profile of conductor Kent Nagano, who is completing his first year as music director of the Bavarian State Opera, "A Californian of Japanese heritage, Nagano is, for Munich, an exotic, which can work both in his favor and against it. He has the advantage of the novelty factor, and the city itself is cosmopolitan and even has liberal pockets these days. He treats people with great respect, and he drives expensive sports cars very fast -- two traits that go over well in Bavaria. But out in the less-tolerant countryside, Nagano says, he can be made to feel distinctly unwelcome entering into a provincial guesthouse."

7/20/07 – The Lancaster (PA) Intelligencer Journal recently conducted a Q&A with the violinist Midori in which she discusses her Partnerships in Performance program.

7/20/07 – The Register-Guard (Eugene, Ore.) recently wrote: “A little more than 10 years ago, Aaron Meyer found himself in a sadly common position after earning a degree from a liberal arts college: He wasn't trained for a profession. Although it had been six years since he'd estranged himself from his violin, the need for a paycheck drove him back to his most marketable skill. So the classically trained musician started free-lancing.”

7/19/07 – The NPR website contains a transcript of a Fred Child/Performance Today segment with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. In it, she talks about her recent rededication to the works of Mozart. The site, of course, includes audio files of Mutter’s visit to the studio.

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