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Laurie Niles

Violin Community News 2010, Op. 16

April 29, 2010 at 7:40 PM

Dallas Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Emanuel Borok announced he will retire in August. Borok, who has been concertmaster of the orchestra since 1985, told the Dallas Morning News that "I have more students than I can actually admit because of my symphony schedule. This is what I would end up doing anyway, so why not start building up a class now rather than at a later point?"

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Dayna Anderson , 22, was recently named concertmaster of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra in Wilmington – she's the youngest concertmaster they've ever had, says the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Illinois, where she grew up.  Anderson is a former student of Desiree Ruhstrat, and she will graduate this spring from the Curtis Institute.

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Here's a neat article from the Reading Eagle about Noah Reider, 12, who is apprenticing with his father, Jeff Reiding, to become a luthier. His first project involved 150-year-old French violin, which he bought with his allowance and spent 40 hours restoring.  His father is third-generation luthier who owns Scrolls and Strings Violin House in West Reading, Pa.

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Volcanic ash over Europe from Eyjafjallajokull messed with the schedules with a lot of touring musicians last week. A few examples include violinist Sergey Khachatryan, who had to cancel his April 21 recital in Alice Tully Hall, and violinist Nicola Benedetti, who had to cancel two concerts and part of a residency in Calgary, as she waited in London for a flight.

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A 1741 Guarnerius del Gesu played by violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, 33,  was seized by Swiss border guards when they say she failed to declare it upon flying into Zurich airport on Saturday, according to AFP . The article said she may face a fine up to 700,000 Swiss francs. The violin is on loan to her from the Austrian central bank.

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The Aspen Music Festival appears to be under some turmoil: today a group including faculty, directors and other supporters of the festival were scheduled to hold a special meeting today at Harris Hall for a "no-confidence vote" on president and CEO Alan Fletcher, according to the Aspen Times.  Earlier this month, longtime music director David Zinman asked to be released from his contract. Last week the Denver Post ran an article about possible replacements for Zinman, including James Conlon and others.

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More on investment violins: "At Christie's Fine Musical Instruments sale on Wednesday, collectors expect the smallest instrument in the string family—the violin—to outsell its larger cousins, the viola and the cello," said a Wall Street Journal article yesterday, which also analyzed the auction house's string sales from last year.

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Earlier this month, The New York Times ran this excellent profile on violinist Augustin Hadelich, who played a recital at Town Hall in New York April 18 and will play a recital at 3 p.m. Sunday in Vancouver, at the Kay Meek Centre. (Here is more information on that.)

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A lot of you wonder what Twitter is about and why anyone would ever do it. I wonder this myself. But this project is hilarious: people are "tweeting" opera plots. Have you ever tried to figure out an opera plot, or explain one to someone? If you "tweet" it, you have to do it in 140 characters or less! For example: "Don't cry for me my Adina. The truth is I never left you all thru your sarge phase. I'm a persister; even enlisted to buy elixir " It goes on and on...

From John Cadd
Posted on April 30, 2010 at 12:14 AM

If we get some more volcanic ash maybe soloists can swop concerts on e bay.Maybe ban all old Italian violins from flying?  Or just play at the airport .

Posted on April 30, 2010 at 8:01 AM

That's weird. I thought as long as your papers are in order and you do not intend to sell your violin, you do not have to declare the instrument.

There is something called a instrument pass. My instrument is from a Dutch foundation, belonging to them, but the pass they use is actually Swiss, stating that the instrument belongs to the foundation.

Does anybody know the rules for travelling with instruments to a foreign country? I am actually moving to Switzerland soon, so I would hate to have to leave the fiddle at the border.

I have never had any problems, except once at the South Korean border, where I got away with a little story. (Can we see the violin? Ofcourse you can. It says Stradivarius, how much is it worth, you will have to pay tax, where are your papers? Ofcourse it says Stradivarius, almost all "made in China violins " say Stradivarius. Do you think a poor student like me could affort that? Ok, well in that case enjoy your stay. - A collegue who did tell the truth about his violin had to stay for another 4 hours, explaining tha situation. Sometimes a little humor can get you a long way at the border. And anyway, it was not a complete Strad, just the bottom part!) 

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on April 30, 2010 at 10:05 AM

Shakespeare's play "Romeo and Juliet," renamed "Such Tweet Sorrow" and revised considerably, has been playing on Twitter.  See

From James Patterson
Posted on April 30, 2010 at 12:25 PM

Below is the link to Denver Post article following up with names of 6 conductors filling in this summer at Aspen.


Bill in Dallas

From Laurie Niles
Posted on May 2, 2010 at 7:44 PM

Thanks, James!

Indeed, Carla, I really wondered about that story. It doesn't seem like she should need to to that for a violin she has on loan? Rather worrisome.

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