Twenty years ago today, I bought Laurie a most unusual Christmas present - a domain name.
The only Internet domain registrar at the time was running a special, in which it would send you a plain, white T-shirt with your newly registered domain name printed in black block lettering. So I was able to wrap the shirt for Laurie and place it under the tree of our new apartment in Denver.
Laurie beamed as she unwrapped the gift, then her expression went blank.
"What the heck is 'Violinist.com'?"
So I explained the concept of an Internet domain to her, and told her that she could use it for a nifty little email address. But after thinking about it for a while, she decided that it would be nice if we could create something that would allow other violinists to create accounts and post their virtual resumes online. So a sometime a few months after Christmas, the first Violinist.com member directory went live.
The rest, as they say, is history.
So on the 20th anniversary of the birth of Violinist.com, I would like to thank all of you - our readers and our supporters - for having helped make Violinist.com something far, far better than the plain white T-shirt it started as. And I especially would like to thank Laurie for being such a perfect custodian of the domain and leader of this community.
At the time Violinist.com began, Laurie was playing in the Colorado Springs Symphony and Boulder Philharmonic, having just finished several years in the Omaha and Lincoln symphonies, as we'd just moved to Denver from Omaha. In Omaha, Laurie also had worked as a reporter for the local newspaper, giving her a unique combination of professional orchestral and journalism experience.
What would you ever do with that combination of skills? Well, how about running a violin website? Over the years, Laurie has added a discussion board, and then a blog, to the website, eventually expanding her blog to include some of the best interviews of violinists and musical educators that you'll find anywhere. She collected many of her best interviews into a book a couple of years ago, and I don't think I'm spoiling anything by revealing that Laurie is working on Volume 2 of The Violinist.com Interviews, which will be available sometime in 2017.
So today, we wish everyone in the Violinist.com community - our members, readers, friends, and supporters - a very Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and a Happy Holiday season. Thank you for being with us for however many of these 20 years you've been with us, and here's looking forward to many more wonderful years in the future.Tweet
Your X'mas present to your wonderful wife has given many folks out there a great deal over the years. Thanks so much!
Happy 20th guys! You done good! ;)
Nice (team)work, you two.
Here a couple of captures from the Wayback Machine. What happened to Kokopelli? Find out it wasn't Italian? :))
Happy birthday, Laurie and Robert!
Congratulations on your 20th. And thanks so much for this very professional endeavor and an inestimable resource for the community.
I too am thankful for this site. It is an inestimable source of knowledge as the result of the erudition of its members! Thank you Laurie and Robert for your hard work and devotion!
Happy Birthday !!!!
And many, many, many more.
This site has been a great resource -- I've learned so much. Hard to believe 11 years have passed since I joined. Many thanks again.
Thanks everybody! Now go practice! ;)
Oh my gosh, those images from the Wayback Machine! Koko is still here, he's up on the right side of the page! (At the moment, dancing in the "0" of "20"!)
Congratulations! Love the story!
Oh, my - the Christmas gift that keeps giving beyond expectations!
Happy birthday, Violinist.com! You made a huge difference in my life and I can't thank you enough, Robert and Laurie! Look forward to the Volume 2 of The Violinist.com Interviews, and look forward to many more years sharing and learning with all the musicians at V.com. Happy New Year to you two!
Happy New Year to you Yixi, and to all! :)
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.
Violinist.com is made possible by...
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Thomastik-Infeld's Dynamo Strings
Violinist.com Summer Music Programs Directory
ARIA International Summer Academy
Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins
Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine
December 25, 2016 at 06:26 PM · Thank you for the best Christmas present ever, Robert! And thanks to everyone in this community for making it even better, every day!