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Laurie Niles

Violin Community News 2010, Op. 23

June 16, 2010 at 7:58 PM

 Montreal violinist Alexandre Da Costa, 31, won the $25,000 Virginia Parker Prize for young Canadian classical music performers. Da Costa studied at Conservatoire de Musique du Québec, then studied in Madrid with Zakhar Bron. Between 2003 and 2006, he played the 1689 “Baumgartner” Stradivarius from 2003 to 2006, after winning the Canadian musical instrument bank competition. He currently plays the 1727 Di Barbaro Stradivarius with a Sartory bow, on lona from Canimex, where he is musical development director. He made world premiere recordins of violin concertos by Portuguese composers Luis de Freitas Branco and Armando José Fernandes and will record next with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under Pedro Halffter. Da Costa performs and teaches.

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Violinists helping violinists: How to get on stage, when you've broken your foot? Violinist Chee-Yun broke her foot the day before her season-opener performance last Friday at the Innsbrook Institute Music Festival and Academy, near St. Louis. But this stopped nothing, St. Louis Symphony concertmaster and Innsbrook music director David Halen carried Chee-Yun and her 1708 “Exauss” Strad on stage, where she performed with the help of a stool, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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Violinist Regina Carter was named Violinist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association in its 14th annual JJA Jazz Awards. This year the group gave awards in 41 categories. Other violinists nominated included Mark Feldman, Jenny Scheinman, Billy Bang and Mark O’Connor.

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Conductor Marin Alsop is moving her family from Denver to Baltimore, where she has served as music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for three seasons, according to this article in the Baltimore Sun. Alsop and her partner of two decades, Kristin Jurkscheit, will move to Baltimore with their son, Auden, 6. Jurkscheit will take a leave of absence from the Colorado Symphony, where she has been associate principal horn. Locals are looking at the move as a sign of deepening commitment to the orchestra, where Alsop has found innovative ways to reach out to the community, such as her BSO Academy for amateur musicians. "We're already way down the path toward redefining what a 21st-century orchestra is," Alsop told the Baltimore Sun. "Orchestras will have to be multidimensional, with more ancillary projects, getting engaged with people on different levels. It feels great to work with musicians who are willing to look at the landscape in fresh ways. Some orchestras only use a 19th-century lens."

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The Philadelphia Orchestra has signed Canadian conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, 35, to a seven-year contract as Music Director. He will begin immediately as Music Director Designate, officially taking the title Music Director in the 2012-13 season. Charles Dutoit will remain Chief Conductor through the 2011-12 season. Nézet-Séguin has been Music Director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra since 2008, Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra since 2008, and Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Orchestre Métropolitain (Montreal) since 2000. Nézet-Séguin studied piano, conducting, composition, and chamber music at the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec in Montreal, then continued studying with Italian conductor Carlo Maria Giulini. Here is more about the appointment from the Philadelphia Star.

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Violinist Joshua Bell was in Taipei to perform with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields chamber orchestra Tuesday at the National Concert Hall. On the program was the Mendelssohn Concerto (with his own cadenza) and Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, which Bell was to conduct from the concertmaster's chair.

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Ernest Fleischmann, 85, who ran the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 1969 to 1998, died Sunday in Los Angeles. Fleischmann, trained as a conductor, was known for his prickly persohality as well as his ability to identify talent. He was key in bringing conductors Esa-Pekka Salonen and Carlo Maria Giulini to the LA Phil. Even after his retirement, he traveled to Venezuela as an octogenarian to help in the selection of Gustavo Dudamel, the LA Phil's current conductor. Before coming to Los Angeles, Fleischmann managed the London Symphony Orchestra from 1959 to 1967. A native of Frankfurt, Germany, he emigrated to South Africa in 1936 and then to England in 1959. Here are links some of the obituaries written for Fleischmann:

An appreciation: Ernest Fleischmann by Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times

E. Fleischmann, Impresario of Los Angeles, Dies at 85 by Bruce Weber of the New York Times

Ernest Fleischmann by the UK Telegraph  


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