Week in Review, Op. 2: Hilary Hahn is Back, and more...

September 22, 2020, 10:51 PM · With the official start of fall, violinists are finding a way to continue to perform and collaborate, working within the limitations posed by COVID 19. Hilary Hahn announced Tuesday that her sabbatical is over and that she'll be back performing and creating very soon - acknowledging that this will likely be different than it was before. People are discovering the engaging play-along videos that jazz violinist Christian Howes has been posting over the past months - playful videos help violinists learn new grooves and also just feel like they are playing with someone during these often-lonely times. Violinist Philippe Quint has started a series called "QuintEssentials" to share practice and performance tips on his new Youtube channel. London-based violinist Roberts Balanas cheers us up with yet another great cover, this time of Stevie Wonder's "Sir Duke." Finally, cellist Yo-Yo Ma pays tribute to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as part of a massive Youtube playlist in her honor called "Eternal Aria."

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Hilary Hahn: "I'm Back!"

It's been a year since Hilary Hahn started her sabbatical from performing - little did she know that the entire world would go on sabbatical with her! During that time, she stepped back from playing to spend time with family and take a break. Now, happily, she is ready to get back to performing, and certainly we are ready to welcome her, in whatever form her artistry takes. On Tuesday she officially announced her return in the video below, noting that "I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be an artist and a human in this incredibly dynamic time. What happens when you express yourself through the arts, and then the arts change shape?" She said she will be back in Europe soon, and that she has a number of projects in the works. Welcome back, Hilary!

Get Creative: Play-Along with Christian Howes

Here is the perfect cure, if you (or your young student) are in a practice rut and need a creativity boost: try a play-along session with jazz violinist Christian Howes, known for his Creative Strings Workshops. He plays, you play back. It starts easy and gets more challenging! During the pandemic he has lots and lots of these play-along video lessons in various styles for players of all levels. They are a nice challenge, and even a little mesmerizing! Click here for the vast play list, which includes blues, bluegrass, pop, R&B, Doo-Wop, fiddle, bossa nova and more.

Most Effective Practice

Violinist Philippe Quint has started a series called "QuintEssentials" on his new Quint Channel on Youtube, which he started in August (click here to subscribe!). In the video below he talk about how to approach a new work, with ideas about how to uncover helpful information about a pieces history, technique and musical aspects, in order to get a handle on it. This video is a follow up to Philippe's first one, How to Practice Most Effectively.

You Can Feel It All Over

Once again, London-based violinist Roberts Balanas comes through with something really cheerful -- his own violin version of Stevie Wonder's "Sir Duke."

Musical Tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Aside from her vast professional accomplishments, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was famously a great classical music fan. Here, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Sara Wolfensohn offer a performance of Rachamaninoff's "Vocalise" in honor of the late justice. It is part of the Eternal Aria, a Youtube channel and playlist) created Monday in memory of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. "May her memory be a blessing."

Week in Review Ideas Welcome

With large-scale concerts and symphony performances almost universally on hiatus, our weekly roundup has switched focus from concert reviews to the many different ways that artists, orchestras and educational institutions are continuing to keep the music going. If you’d like to share links of socially-distanced performances, new performance videos, teaching experiences, or master classes you’ve enjoyed, please do so in the comments or email Laurie for possible inclusion in a later opus.


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