The Week in Reviews, Op. 140: Nicola Benedetti, Joshua Bell, Ray Chen

July 19, 2016, 12:58 PM · In an effort to promote the coverage of live violin performance, each week presents links to reviews of notable concerts and recitals around the world.

Nicola Benedetti performed the American premiere of Wynton Marsalis' Violin Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Nicola Benedetti
Nicola Benedetti. Photo by Simon Fowler.

Joshua Bell performed Saint-Saens No. 3 with the Aspen Chamber Symphony.

Ray Chen performed the Sibelius with the Buenos Aires Philharmonic.

Alan Choo performed Prokofiev's Second Violin Concerto with the Orchestra of the Music Makers.

Suyeon Kang performed the Beethoven with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

Please support music in your community by attending a concert or recital whenever you can!


July 20, 2016 at 01:17 PM · I can't believe she posed for that picture with rosin caked on the bottom of her fingerboard.

July 20, 2016 at 02:54 PM · Hard to find a flaw in a picture of Nicky -- ! But now that you point it out, I see it, the dreaded rosin on the fingerboard.

I imagine that for Nicola, the session with the photographer gets crammed into yet another packed day, during a year when she plays like 100 concerts all over the globe. Considering the level of playing she brings to every concert, I think I'll give her some leeway with the rosin!

I'll still take the moment for a PSA to offer advice on cleaning one's fingerboard: I use individually-wrapped alcohol swabs, the kind you would find in a first aid kit. You can buy a box of a zillion of them for about $5 at the drug store, and I keep about a half-dozen in my case. They allow you to clean off the fingerboard, chin rest and strings without danger of the alcohol dripping anywhere that it should not. Of course you would never use these to clean the varnished body of the violin; I leave that to the experts.

July 21, 2016 at 01:44 AM · I've actually found that those swabs can drip if you squeeze them hard enough. So if you use them (which I have in the past), hold your violin upside down.

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