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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 3, No. 78

September 30, 2007 at 4:43 PM

10/9/07 - The National Arts Centre, the Ottawa Chamber Music Society and Japan’s Nippon Music Foundation, supported by the Embassy of Japan in Canada, presents Encounter with Stradivari 2007, a musical performance featuring 12 rare violins played by world-renowned musicians.

The Tokyo String Quartet, made up of Canadian violinist Martin Beaver, violinist Kikuei Ikeda, violist Kazuhide Isomura and cellist Clive Greensmith, will perform on the famed set of instruments known as the “Paganini” quartet.

The other performers will be:

Violinist Akiko Suwanai on the 1714 “Dolphin” Strad
Violinist Sayaka Shoji on the 1715 “Joachim” Strad
Violinist Arabella Steinbacher on the 1716 “Booth” Strad
Violinist Viviane Hagner on the 1717 “Sasserno” Strad
Violinist Erik Schumann on the 1722 “Jupiter” Strad
Violinist Tamaki Kawakubo on the 1736 “Muntz”

Additionally, the Tokyo String Quartet’s violinist Kikuei Ikeda will also play the 1696 “Archinto” viola on loan from the Royal Academy of Music in London and cellist Danjulo Ishizaka will play the 1696 “Lord Aylesford” Strad cello.

The Nippon Music Foundation, one of the world’s largest holders of rare Italian violins made by Stradivari and Guarneri, purchases these priceless instruments and provides them to exceptional performers to help advance their artistic development. The concert in Ottawa, inspired by Pinchas Zukerman’s connections with the Nippon Music Foundation, will benefit the National Arts Centre Summer Music Institute.


9/26/07 – Missing Violin Alert: According to the Winnipeg Sun, Brandon, Manitoba, police have arrested a 22-year-old man in connection with a theft of an unusual violin from Brandon University's School of Music. “University student Kao Zhou left his antique violin in a practice room for about 30 minutes on Aug. 14 and returned to find the German-made instrument missing. The $30,000 violin, made in 1901, was not insured.

"It's pretty good news, but my violin is still missing," Zhou said yesterday of the arrest, adding he still holds out hope the instrument will be recovered.

The violin is brown with yellow tinges, and has a distinct marking reading "made in Germany, 1901" inside the body. The antique instrument's case was also stolen.
The suspect, whose name was not released, will appear in court on Oct. 17 to be charged with theft over $5,000.

Musician News

Shmuel Ashkenasi, first violin of the Vermeer Quartet, has joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music. Midori’s frequent recital partner, pianist Robert McDonald, has also joined the Curtis faculty.

Gregory Lee has been appointed concertmaster of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. A native of Sydney and currently assistant professor of violin at the University of Oklahoma, Lee studied at Queensland Conservatorium and subsequently at The Juilliard School and at the University of Michigan. The orchestra has also hired John Arnold as associate concertmaster, Diana Seitz as assistant concertmaster, Jonathan Ruck as principal cello and Royce McLarry as principal viola.

The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra has appointed Amy Oshiro to a one-year position as assistant concertmaster to replace Peter Otto, who is on leave of absence; she had previously held a section position in the first violins. Shawn Weil has accepted a section position in the first violins to fill the vacancy left by Oshiro’s appointment. Replacing Weil in the second violin section is John MacFarlane, who is also concertmaster of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, Owensboro Symphony Orchestra and Breckenridge Music Festival.

9/30/07 – Violinist Samuel Magad, retired concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony, will solo with the Northbrook (IL) Symphony in the Bartok Violin Concerto No. 1. He served with the CSO for 48 years, the last 35 as concertmaster. In addition, he is the founding music director of the Northbrook Symphony.

9/30/07 – Violinist Rachel Barton Pine is wrapping up her first trip to Singapore, where she gave a master class at the NUS Centre for the Arts, performed for the President of the Republic of Singapore, and gave a recital at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music.

9/29/07 – According to the Sofia News Agency, violinist Nigel Kennedy “staged an open rehearsal at the music school in Sofia, six days ahead of his much anticipated concert here.” This is Kennedy’s third time performing in Bulgaria. “The eccentric violinist will stage two concerts in the country, in Varna on October 3 and in Sofia on October 5, performing Beethoven and Mozart compositions.”

9/28/07 – Happy birthday to English violinist Chloe Hanslip, who celebrated her 20th birthday in Minnesota. She then made her Minnesota debut the next day in a recital program sponsored by the Chamber Music Society of St. Cloud.

Orchestra News

9/29/07 - Despite a citywide strike, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra planned to perform its season-opening concert in the Orpheum Theatre. The Orpheum is owned by the city, whose workers are on strike. Sarah Chang was to have played the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.

9/27/07 - The Australian reports that the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is “holding a clearance sale of tickets - with discounts of up to 60 percent - because of poor sales in its centenary year... Unpopular concert programs and a lack of star soloists may have cost the orchestra up to $1 million at the box office, [as] single ticket sales were down by 25 percent."

9/26/07Bloomberg reported that the New York Philharmonic and the union representing its 106 musicians agreed to a new five- year contract that will boost salaries and pension payments. “Players' minimum pay for the current season will rise 4.6 percent to $118,560 from $113,360, the orchestra said today in a statement. By the 2011-12 season, minimum annual salaries will increase to $140,400."

From Neil Cameron
Posted on October 1, 2007 at 11:19 AM
10/9/07 - The National Arts Centre, the Ottawa Chamber Music Society and Japan’s Nippon Music Foundation, supported by the Embassy of Japan in Canada, presents Encounter with Stradivari 2007, a musical performance featuring 12 rare violins played by world-renowned musicians.

Wouldn't it turn your cream into curds - I'll be outta town that night!

/me wanders off to corner out of earshot of the kiddies to swear very very loudly!


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