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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 3, No. 75

September 20, 2007 at 11:41 PM

Violinist Tomas Cotik wrote to let us know that he has been appointed a violinist with the Harrington String Quartet. The Amarillo (Texas) Globe-News reports that he has also been named concertmaster of the Amarillo Symphony and will teach violin at West Texas A&M University.

Congratulations, Tomas!


9/13/07 - Violinist Aaron Rosand and his wife, Monica Woo, have given $1.5 million to the Curtis Institute of Music to endow a chair in violin studies bearing Rosand's name. The Aaron Rosand Chair in Violin Studies will be held by Joseph Silverstein, a violin faculty member and conductor.

To endow the new chair, Rosand has given Curtis a significant interest in his violin, the valuable "Kochanski" Guarneri del Gesu violin of 1741. Rosand purchased the violin in 1957 and has used it continuously for 50 years. He has played the violin in countless concerts and on more than 35 CDs and DVDs. He called the instrument "the voice of my dreams." A Curtis graduate, Rosand has served on the institute's teaching staff for 25 years.


9/17/07 – The Kansas City Star notes the behind-the-scenes challenges luthiers face in procuring enough of the right kinds of wood to make violins and other stringed instruments: “The best tone woods are becoming unavailable or prohibitively expensive as the world’s forests succumb to overharvesting, illegal logging and pollution.”

But it’s impossible not to take issue with this statement: “Orchestras, bands and parlor pickers for two centuries have enjoyed affordable instruments made from the finest tone woods cut from old-growth forests.”

However, it’s always welcome when a metropolitan daily turns its lens on issues related to classical music.

Musician News

José Maria Blumenschein has been named associate concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, he is a founding member of the newly established Vertigo String Quartet. Dara Morales joined the orchestra in July as assistant principal second violin; she had previously held that title at the Utah Symphony and Opera and holds bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Marc Rovetti joined the violin section in June, having been a member of the New World Symphony, the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Rothko String Quartet, and the Mark Morris Dance Group Ensemble.; he holds bachelor’s and master’s degree from The Juilliard School and an advanced certificate from New York University. Additionally, the orchestra hired or promoted three violists: Kirsten Johnson, Kerri Ryan and Marvin Moon.

Jason Posnock has been named concertmaster of the Asheville Symphony; a graduate of Princeton University and Carnegie Mellon University, he teaches at Brevard Music Center and is a regular substitute with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Violist Kara Poorbaugh has been appointed principal in the orchestra.

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra has a new principal violist: Victor de Almeida Most recently principal viola in the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, he had held that post with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra from 2002 to 2004 and was a regular substitute with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra from 2001 to 2004. De Almeida earned his bachelor’s degree and graduate performance diploma from the Peabody Institute of Music.

10/12/07 - Violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg will solo with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in the Bruch Violin Concerto to open the orchestra’s new season.

9/17/07 – Cleveland Orchestra concertmaster William Preucil played a recital at Furman University, where he is a distinguished visiting professor of violin. Preucil joined the Furman music faculty in December 2006, and will use this concert to inaugurate his tenure at Furman. Preucil will visit Furman three times during each academic year, where he will present a public violin master class, teach private lessons to selected Furman students and coach the Hartness and Gladden String Quartets. Thomas Joiner, a Furman professor of violin, assisted.

Orchestra News

9/16/07 - The Buffalo Philharmonic has re-upped music director JoAnn Falletta through 2013, and announced significant progress on a $30 million endowment drive that the orchestra hopes will give it long-term financial stability. The BPO also balanced its annual budget for the third year in a row, reports the Buffalo News.

9/15/07 - Canada’s leading orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, can learn from its rival in Montreal, opines the Toronto Star. “While our orchestra is clearly superior, the MSO – with its hype and light shows – simply has more pizzazzIt wasn't too long ago that the Montreal and Toronto symphonies were both in the grip of fiscal and artistic crisis. These days, each orchestra has a popular new music director, a newly invigorated sound, and at least a modicum of financial stability. But only the Montreal Symphony has really managed to create a citywide buzz around itself, and the Toronto Symphony could learn a lot from its Quebec counterpart about manufacturing public interest.”

9/13/07 - A tentative deal has been reached for a new musicians' contract at the Utah Symphony & Opera, with both sides agreeing to recommend ratification, according to the Deseret News.. Previously, the musicians had soundly rejected a proposal that management had called its "last, best, and final offer" to avert a work stoppage. The main sticking point had been wages - the US&O is one of the lowest-paid full-time orchestras in the US.

From Cathy Strauss
Posted on September 21, 2007 at 1:51 PM
There was an unfortunate error in the information regarding the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's new principal violist, Victor de Almeida. He was NOT the principal viola in the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Mr. de Almeida was Associate Principal Viola for one season. Michael Strauss has held the Principal Viola position in the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra since 1994.
From Darcy Lewis
Posted on September 21, 2007 at 7:03 PM
Thanks, Cathy. The orchestra's release to ASOL must have been incorrect as that was my source.

Is Mr. Strauss a relation?


From Mike Lambert
Posted on September 22, 2007 at 2:51 AM
WAY TO GO POSNOCK! He is a great violinist and teacher! BMC '06 &'07!

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