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Laurie Niles

Violin Community News 2010, Op. 1

January 13, 2010 at 7:14 PM

Today we are resurrecting our weekly news update on, which we plan to post every Wednesday as "Violin Community News." Old-timers may remember that we used to run a "News and Gossip" column by Darcy Lewis, and this is a new incarnation of the same idea.

Why now? Well you can credit LA-area violinist, teacher and member Elise Goodman. I spoke to her at a masterclass Sunday at Metzler Violin Shop (in which her young student was playing a most impressive Bach D minor "Allemande") and she said something to the effect of, "I lived for the News and Gossip Section, where did it go?!" Well, we do have (and will continue to have) a News section of the Discussion Board, but she missed the weekly updates.

So Elise, this is for you, and of course, for everyone!

We are working on a submission form for Violin Community News, but until we launch that, just e-mail me with any news items –- WITH LINKS, this is the Internet –- you would like me to consider for inclusion. I will be looking news items such as: important news stories, violin-related events and conventions happening in the near future, important concert appearances, current competition updates and winners, orchestra news, luthier news, CD releases, personnel changes in orchestras or universities, deaths, births, marriages... You will increase your chances for inclusion in the News by limiting your submission to two to three sentences or less, including a LINK, and checking your facts so your submission is extremely accurate. Also, I will give preference to members. (Not a member? No problem, register here, we now do take all e-mail addresses).

I hope that our Violin Community News updates will help keep everyone up-to-date on what's going on in the violin world, and I welcome your feedback about the kinds of things you would like to see in this weekly bulletin. It is a work-in-progress!

And now, I offer you this week's Violin Community News:

-- The 2010 NAMM convention begins on Thursday and runs through Sunday at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif., with 1,500 exhibits, more than 100 sessions and live performances on the schedule. If you're there, don't miss electric violinist Mark Wood's performance at 5:30 Thursday, with The Mark Wood Rock Orchestra, featuring vocalist Laura Kaye, the Viper Vixens and special guest Jesse Spencer from the FOX-TV show "House." (Wondering what "NAMM" stands for? "National Association of Music Merchants.")

-- Don't miss the Tonight Show on Thursday night, which will feature violinist Hilary Hahn. (If you do miss it and want to see her performance, click on the above link.) And yes, it looks like the show is still scheduled to go on with Conan O'Brien, here's a story about it.

-- The Cleveland Orchestra is under threat of a musicians' strike, with "a strike or other work stoppage becomes a possibility Monday," according an article in Tuesday's Plain Dealer. The orchestra is scheduled for two residencies, one at Indiana University next week and another later in the month in Miami, and both are up in the air as a result of the dispute.

-- The LA Times reported today  that the board of the Long Beach Symphony's board members "have voted to ax" the 2010-2011 season unless the orchestra and the musicians' union can reach an agreement by Jan. 22. Apparently the board wants to change the musicians' current contract.

-- Great Wall International Music Academy (GWIMA) is now accepting applications for its month-long summer institute, held in Beijing, China, for gifted string players age 10 to 25. It was founded by pedagogue and Cincinnati College-Conservatory violin professor Kurt Sassmannshaus, along with the Starling Project Foundation in 2005. Here is a link to the application, due before Feb. 28.

-- Los Angeles luthier Hans Weisshaar is holding a string clinic at 7 p.m. Jan. 18 at his shop, 627 N. Larchmont, LA, CA  90004.  A string expert from the Viennese string manufacturer Thomastik-Infeld will talk about how strings are made, how to find the best ones for your instrument, and what to do about things like whistling Eings. Reservations are required for the event, call Hans Weisshaar at (323) 466-6293. (If you'd like to write a blog for  about this event, please do! I think we'd all be interested.)

-- Violinist Amy Barlowe has a new website, and a new book for intermediate violinists called 12 Etude-Caprices in the Styles of the Great Composers. The ideas is to teach students about style and genre, and in addition to the etudes that Amy composed, there are many pages of illustrations and performance-practice tips.

-- Here is an incredibly moving story that someone sent me this week; it's not about a violinist, but it's  about Patrick Henry Hughes, born with no eyes and severe mobility problems, and the power of music in his life. It's been up on Youtube since last February, but I if you haven't seen it, it's a powerful demonstration of why music is so important and how it can transform a person's life:

From Wiebke Nazareth
Posted on January 13, 2010 at 9:01 PM

 Yay! So glad you decided to resurrect the weekly news update! Thank you, Laurie!

From Valerie Coon
Posted on January 13, 2010 at 10:16 PM

I loved it, too!  Glad it's back!

From Jose Correia
Posted on January 13, 2010 at 10:24 PM
I didn't know you had a section like this in the past, and I can't wait for next wednesday!!!!! Also I would like to suggest that even though you are not a fan of Hilary Hahn' you shoul watch her this thursday, Maybe we could raise even more the shows audience, and that way the producers of the show might consider bringing classical musicians more often Ps.- could someone record it and post it somewhere, I can't watch that show on my country and Hilary is my favorite violinist :)
From Anne Horvath
Posted on January 14, 2010 at 12:07 AM

Darcy did such a great job, and The Weekly News has been missed.  Thanks, Laurie!

From Bart Meijer
Posted on January 14, 2010 at 2:22 PM

You could call it "Für Elise"..

From E. Smith
Posted on January 14, 2010 at 3:28 PM

 Glad it's back. I missed this feature!

From Elise Goodman
Posted on January 15, 2010 at 7:03 AM

Well, all I can say is that once again, I will have something to live for!  Gossip just doesn't get any juicier than whistling eings and a new etude book!  Although, I actually am totally interested in said etude book...

But, kidding aside, I think it's great for us all to be aware of what's going on in the "news" of the industry.  Things like orchestras going on strike wouldn't necessarily come up on my students' radar at this point.  I think it's fantastic to come into contact with the "business" side of music and the actual news of the industry for a hint of what comes after college.

And for me?  I like to know when my friends get jobs so I can congratulate them on facebook and to know what's going on so I can watch good things on TV like I'm about to in 15 minutes (Hilary Hahn on Conan!).

Thanks, Laurie!

Elise Goodman


From Laurie Niles
Posted on January 15, 2010 at 5:38 PM

You are welcome!

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