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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 3, No. 65

August 15, 2007 at 9:20 PM

Well, today (8/15/07) is the centennial of the death of the great violinist Joseph Joachim. Be sure to read what the New York Times has to say about this pillar of 19th-century violin literatures and technique.


Israeli violinist Hagai Shaham has accepted an invitation to teach at the University of Southern California for one year. In response, the Israeli website ran a profile of Shaham that both lauds the violinist and laments his absence from the local music scene, even though it is scheduled to last just one year.

Musician News

10/6/07 - David Chan, concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, will launch The Woodlands (Texas) Symphony Orchestra's year-long celebration of its fifteenth season. Chan is currently on the faculty of The Juilliard School. He and his wife, violinist Catherine Ro, and daughter Annalise, live in New York City.

9/15/07 -Jazz violinist Rodney McCoy will play in Salem, Ohio at a fundraising benefit for an athletic scholarship in the name of C. Elliott Dunlap, a 1970 Salem High School graduate, who died in 2004.

8/12/07 – Jazz violinist Carolyn Dutton is the subject of a brief profile in the Indianapolis Star. We learn that small-group swing, a little-appreciated form of music, is her passion.

8/10/07 – Former Cleveland Orchestra violinist Maurice Leysens has died at 96, reports the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times: “The night before, he gave a private violin lesson at his home, just like always... In 1951, he moved to Florida. Here, he played for the Florida Gulf Coast Symphony now the Florida Orchestra, the Florida Philharmonic and the Tampa Bay Symphony.”

8/10/07 – Violinist Staff Sgt. Sheng-Tsung Wang has joined the United States Marine Chamber Orchestra, reports the Ellicott City (Md.) View. “The orchestra is one arm of ‘The President’s Own’, and regularly performs at White House dinners and receptions, as well as other functions in the Washington, D.C., area. Every fall, the orchestra also goes on a national tour through about 44 cities. Its primary mission, however, is to provide music for the president of the United States and the commandant of the Marine Corps.”

8/8/07 – According to, jazz violinist Christian Howes has a new DVD release out on Arkadia DVD, the new DVD division of Arkadia Records. “Christian Howes & The Horacio Icasto Quartet: Live in Madrid” includes jazz classics such as Nuages and I’ve Got Rhythm plus various original numbers.

8/8/07 – Opus, a new play about the offstage lives of a string quartet, opened in New York and earned a favorable review from the New York Times. Violist-cum-playwright Michael Hollinger moved on to theater after studying music at Oberlin. The actors are not musicians, incidentally, though they reportedly provide a good facsimile.

8/5/07 – Violinist Cho-Liang Lin, director of La Jolla Music Society SummerFest, has launched a new “An Evening With ... ” component to the series. The San Diego Union-Tribune asked him about why he chose the music for the first installment (8/8/07) and what it means to him. The first performance in the series was Aug. 8. Violinist Sarah Chang and cellist Lynn Harrell will perform a similar recital on Aug. 22.

Orchestra News

8/8/07 - The St. Petersburg Philharmonic has announced that it will undertake a 20-city U.S. tour this fall, reports Their first appearance will be in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 23 and the tour will conclude in Seattle on Nov. 20. Violinist Julia Fischer will appear as soloist in the Beethoven Violin Concerto in a number of the tour stops.

8/6/07 – Musicians in the Philadelphia Orchestra will have an unusually large say in the selection of their next music director, according to Subcommittees of the Players Committee will quietly solicit input from their colleagues following guest conductor appearances.

From Michael Avagliano
Posted on August 16, 2007 at 4:26 AM
No offense intended to Hagai Shaham, but I'm pretty sure John Dalley is the only second violinist the Guarneri has ever had....
From Darcy Lewis
Posted on August 16, 2007 at 1:05 PM
I believe you're right. Since I'm leaving for vacation tomorrow and don't have time to delve into this, I've deleted the reference. Thanks.


From E. Smith
Posted on August 16, 2007 at 10:09 PM
The play Opus premiered at the Arden Theater in Philadelphia a couple of years go. I didn't get to see it then, but from the reviews the production (particularly the use of non-musician actors) sounded quite interesting.
From Tim Chi
Posted on August 18, 2007 at 12:47 PM
Hagai Shaham's beautiful playing can be sampled on Youtube.

I like the beautiful sound and the smile at the end:


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