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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 3, No. 71

September 5, 2007 at 4:26 PM

I received a note from member Igor Pikayzen, currently of the Juilliard School, announcing the results of the International Violin Competition Kloster-Schontal in Schontal, Germany.

Here are the results:

1st prize - Dalia Kuznecovaite (Lithuania)
2nd prize (shared) - Igor Pikayzen (Russia)
2nd prize (shared) - Triin Ruubel (Estonia)
4th prize - Ji Min Lim (Korea)
5th prize - Liya Yakupova (Russia)

Prize for best interpretation of the Bach work - Igor Pikayzen
Prize for best interpretation of the Brahms sonata - Triin Ruubel
Prize for the best interpretation of the virtuoso work - Ayaka Tabuchi

Congratulations, Igor!


10/12-14/07 - The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston is hosting a conference to “create a national focus on new career models in classical music performance.” The conference will feature the ensemble eighth blackbird, the Chiara String Quartet, and Dr. Shoshana Dobrow, an expert in “the dynamics of career phenomena.” The forum will bring together student leaders from many of the nation’s top music schools and conservatories. For more information, contact publicist Laura Grant at 978-208-0552 or

Musician News

9/8/07 – Violinist Alex Markov will perform at Couture Fashion Week in New York City. In addition to playing his classical violin, Markov will also perform on a custom electric violin created for him by designer James V. Remington.

9/4/07 – The Shanghai Quartet appeared in recital at Bard College with cellist Hai-Ye Ni.

9/2/07 – The Halifax Chronicle Herald outlined the undergraduate audition process of local violinist Celeste Williams, who is off to the Mozarteum in Salzburg this week. She offers an interesting comparison between the collegial atmosphere in Salzburg versus a more cutthroat approach in the States.

9/1/07 – The Philadelphia Inquirer noted the passing of Margarita Zarraga O'Donnell, 91, a violinist and music teacher. “Mrs. O'Donnell began to study music when she was 7, after a man carrying a violin knocked on her parents' door in Fishtown and offered lessons. She was selected by her father from family's seven children to take the lessons, said her granddaughter, Margarite Zettervall.”

9/1/07 – Nightline profiled bluegrass fiddler Alison Krauss, noting that she received her first violin at the age of five and began by studying classical music. The ABC News website includes a video clip of Krauss performing.

8/31/07 – Jazz violinist Regina Carter opened the Detroit International Jazz Festival, along with Herbie Hancock. According to the Detroit Free Press, “Carter is a bit of a throwback. Her solos are unstudied constructions with clear melodic phrasing and hot, on-the-beat swing. Playing with little vibrato and bluesy slides, she recalled the pre-bop violinist Stuff Smith, even on a slick bebop blues by Lucky Thompson. Still, there was less fire Friday than I’ve heard from her in the past. She rarely sounded relaxed, and had to restart the ballad, Ravel’s Pavane for a Dead Princess, because of on-stage feedback.”

8/30/07 – The International Herald-Tribune profiled luthier Geoffrey Allison. Actually, that’s Sergeant Geoffrey Allison, at least until next year, when he plans to retire from the military and support himself as a luthier. He even worked on instruments while serving as a medic in Iraq.

Orchestra News

9/5/07 - The Chicago Symphony Orchestra will honor the memory of Sir Georg Solti, its music director from 1969 to 1991, with a free musical tribute in the Solti Gardens on the tenth anniversary of his death. The one-hour event will include a performance by members of the CSO’s brass section. Also planned in the conductor’s memory are a free CSO performance of Mozart’s “Magic Flute” Overture in Millennium Park on September 9; the dedication to Sir Georg of Bernard Haitink’s October 18 program in Symphony Center; and a special BP Chicago Symphony Orchestra radio broadcast on October 21, which would have been Sir Georg’s 95th birthday. And here’s what the Chicago Tribune had to say about Solti’s legacy: “It seems clear today that when Georg Solti and his fellow podium titans Herbert von Karajan and Leonard Bernstein departed the scene, something in the classical music culture vanished along with them…Solti was not only the last superstar conductor. He added his own Dionysian intensity to the Apollonian foundation set down by his predecessors Fritz Reiner and Jean Martinon. The result, mellowed and refined by Daniel Barenboim in the years subsequent to Solti, is the superbly flexible ensemble of virtuoso musicians we know today."

9/4/07 – The Baltimore Sun is bullish on Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony, offering a positive assessment of her interim tenure as music director and the orchestra’s return to commercial recording. “Sony Classical [has just] release[d] the orchestra's first commercial recording in eight years, a powerhouse performance of John Corigliano's Red Violin Concerto, splendidly recorded live at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall last June.” Joshua Bell is the soloist; the article includes video from the performance.

9/2/07 – The Fort Worth Star-Telegram previewed the Dallas Symphony Orchestra's season-opening program this weekend, which features Leila Josefowicz performing John Adams's 1993 Violin Concerto. "As a new music specialist who has performed the work many times, Josefowicz says that its reception with audiences is quite unusual for contemporary music. ‘After each concert, a lot of people come up to me and say, "This is my first classical music concert" and can't say enough how much they love this piece,' she says. ‘It goes against the cliché of people not knowing or liking new music' ... The 30-minute concerto's fast-slow-fast structure and its first movement cadenza are among its few classical conventions. Otherwise, Adams' writing for the solo violin has an improvisatory quality, particularly in the first movement. ‘It's very much like John Coltrane,' Josefowicz says. ‘But at the same time [the violin part] needs to fit in very precisely with the orchestra.' "

8/31/07 - Bargaining teams representing the San Antonio Symphony and its musicians reached agreement Friday on a four-year contract that gives more work weeks and money to the orchestra and extensive broadcast rights to the symphony, reports the San Antonio Express-News. “The previous three-year contract, under which minimum base pay was $1,000 a week for 26 weeks last season, expired at midnight Friday. Under the new agreement, base pay starts at $1,000 a week for 27 weeks for the 2007-08 season and rises to $1,045 a week for 30 weeks in the 2010-11 season.”

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