your playing on youtube? :)

December 11, 2006 at 11:03 PM · so far it is my facetious impression that 2 groups of people play violin on youtube--both have nothing to lose.

we have children with eager parents showing off their so called talent and then we have dead violinists in black and white.

for real violinsts that are living and playing, they probably feel they are either too good for it or not good enough?:) WHAT? MY PLAYING ON YOUTUBE? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! ( i felt the same way about online bill payment, online bidding of a flat in barcelona until i lived it)

tell me i am wrong.

i would love to see a weekly clip of buri giving little violin tips and tricks, emil having a vidoe trailer of his golden age, gennady showing off all his french bow collecton of c1800....

Replies (61)

December 12, 2006 at 12:08 AM · Greetings,

I have enough trouble getting the staff to give me enough crayons, type my messages and post them,



December 12, 2006 at 12:43 AM · Now Buri, you know that if you'd just draw with the crayons and eat the prunes instead of the other way round then we'd give you an endless supply of crayons (and prunes). If you were really good we might even let you use sharp objects again. :)

I know some of our esteemed members such as Kelsey Z. and Caeli Smith have clips posted on youtube. However, the search facility there is relatively useless so I couldn't find them.

EDIT: Found KelseyZ's vids and Caeli's vids as well.


December 12, 2006 at 12:41 AM · Thanks for thinking of me Al.

If you get me a new vid. camera, I'll be happy to record some stuff and put it up on youtube :)

Actually we (the odeonquartet) are starting our recording of Wayne Horvitz piece this thursday. And finishing it in January.

BTW, Finding a person willing to stand with the camera during a performance is the problem, otherwise I'd post long ago.

December 12, 2006 at 01:21 AM · yes, i can imagine for prof level of playing, it is quite important to not to do it unless you are sure the quality of the taping really reflects the level of your playing. camera is one thing, also the setting. you can lose lots of color of the sound if the room is not set up for it well.

on the other hand, youtube i heard gets about 70 mil video hits per day. it can be an interesting venue for some grassroot marketing for the lack of a better phrase.

December 12, 2006 at 02:07 AM · Buri, I expect to see you cheagting on vibrato in your video!. just kidding. al

December 12, 2006 at 02:50 AM · Greetings,

can@t you make it happen by jiggling the screen a bit?



December 12, 2006 at 05:03 AM · BTW Al,

If you'd like, you can hear some of my playing in "FAME" the motion picture. You are welcome to post it on youtube if you wish.

There is Tchaikovsky 2nd mvt and Franck Sonata.

There is also the premier episode of "The Equalizer" where I play Mozart Concerto #3 with orchestra.

December 12, 2006 at 07:28 AM · A suggestion: Perhaps it would be helpful to tag videos uploaded by members with "" in addition to the usual search tags. It would make them easier to find and also promote the site.

December 12, 2006 at 08:58 AM · ok, good idea, added that tag.

December 12, 2006 at 12:50 PM · kevin, that is a great idea since the search function there is really not much of really have to search:(

gennady, i have to check out that movie one day, that one from the 80's by alan parker? cool.

December 12, 2006 at 01:25 PM · Hi,

Gennady - that was you playing in FAME! I remember that film and those excerpts. Nice playing!


December 12, 2006 at 10:07 PM · Thanks Christian.

Yes it was a lot of fun.

Incidentally, I was still in Performing Arts High School when we made that film.

December 12, 2006 at 11:32 PM · Al you need to spend more time on there. There is definitely more than eager parents and Black and White footage. I've seen Chang, Bell, Hahn. There is a wonderful Julliard student named Esther Kim LOVE her! Tons of great clips. I was a late starter looking at You tube, but the night I discovered it I must have spent hours (after the kids went to bed) looking at violinists on there.

December 13, 2006 at 01:57 AM · "Al you need to spend more time on there"...

lol, you don't know me:)

agree that there are gems on that site, too bad all too short. there are couple vengerov masterclasses that are quite fun.

December 13, 2006 at 07:07 AM · Gennady - I'd be more than willing to hold the Video camera for your concerts if it means getting free tickets to all the concerts ;)

December 13, 2006 at 07:13 AM · just let me know if you are in Seattle.

December 13, 2006 at 02:53 PM · Just hold tight for my live 24 caprices recording......

December 13, 2006 at 05:18 PM · I'm on youtube, but in cognito. :)

December 13, 2006 at 08:54 PM · what brandy is that?

December 13, 2006 at 08:54 PM ·

December 13, 2006 at 10:14 PM · No, it's a town in Alaska. Cognito, Alaska. It's a great place to go when you don't want anyone to know who you are.

December 13, 2006 at 10:51 PM · in Alaska no-one can hear you scream....

December 14, 2006 at 09:40 AM · I'd definitely post something on YouTube, but the real problem is getting a camera that is capable of sufficiently high acoustic quality. Basically, for the little bit of vain thrills, it's not worth it to spend several thousand bucks on a professional quality camera. And anything less, from what I gather, is sufficient only for use as a reference recording for one's own use, or as an instruction aid to students ("See, Sally? THAT's why it's a bad idea to hold the violin with your left hand as you shift - it's all out of tune and...oh dear, you seem to have dropped the fiddle.")

But if someone can direct me to a reasonably priced, high quality camera, I'd be up for it. I'm sure Gena wouldn't mind either. Still, if I do cadenzas like the variations on "Oh, Shenandoah" superimposed on themes from the Paganini Concerto No. 1 - as I did in concert in the Shenandoah valley once - it'd be in jest only. NOT in an attempt to do anything untoward in the starchy, stultified, fossilized, boring world of music by dead guys in wigs. Heaven knows they need rock beats added and naked dancing girls on front-and-center stage to "attract new audiences to classical music" and, if at all possible, to obscure the classical music in question. But I'm pretty sure I'm not the guy to do that.

December 14, 2006 at 01:08 PM · way to go emil (and gennady),,at least the door is open.

my understanding is that the sound quality of current generation of videocam vs last (say couple years ago) is very similar (told by a sony rep), but the quality of the pic is much better now because of better software.

here is the catch on limits each file to less than 100mb. that is the why all our prior ones are truncated into pieces to fit the file size, which is a pain, because i can imagine once emil starts, it goes on for days.

so i got a sonycam recently which can record up to 10 hrs right into the built-in chip inside the cam, with no need for tapes. then clips of taping are saved inside and can be retrived by looking at little windows of each clip (like youtube). you can then erase, or leave it there, or transfer it to a computer, from there, upload to youtube. (just read somewhere that youtube will employ some flash tech that will allow people to directly upload via Icam)

with this new cam, i can tape longer by choosing the lowest pic quality, which is what i did most recently. i was able to operate the functions on the touchscreen without even reading the instruction book,,,,pretty fool proof design.

if you need females holding pompoms jumping next to you, i can volunteer a 6 yo and a 70 yo, fully clothed unfortunately, to cast a wider net on the global demographics.

bottom line, imo: sound much more important than pic quality.

December 14, 2006 at 01:47 PM · "here is the catch on limits each file to less than 100mb. that is the why all our prior ones are truncated into pieces to fit the file size, which is a pain, because i can imagine once emil starts, it goes on for days."

Actually, you can apply for a "Directors" account, which is free, and then you are able to upload larger, longer files.

Also, about the sound quality-- it's the mic, not the camera you want to think about. Also also-- remember people are watching these things on computers with tinny screens, so investing in high quality equipment may not be worthwhile.

December 14, 2006 at 01:50 PM · Emil wrote,

"reference recording for one's own use, or as an instruction aid to students ("See, Sally? THAT's why it's a bad idea to hold the violin with your left hand as you shift - it's all out of tune and...oh dear, you seem to have dropped the fiddle."

Actually, from reading through comments on YouTube, I think what a lot of the classical music listeners are doing is looking for study recordings of pieces they are working on. My kids posted a clip of a performance of Shostakovich 8th String Quartet about 8 months ago and it's had over 13,000 hits. Which I find a bit hard to believe-- are there really that many people trolling the internet for recordings of middle- and high-school kids playing string quartets? But the comments they receive are generally fairly serious, from other musicians who are playing the piece.

December 14, 2006 at 02:13 PM · thanks elizabeth, good to know on the director acct. i think i know which clip you were referring to, very impressive, high school kids? my my.

yes, since youtube has a global reach just clicks away, your clips can get eyeballs. some comments are actually very helpful (some are just downright silly:) but if violin is to be performed in front of people, that is the way it goes and short of a recital, this medium is not bad.

December 14, 2006 at 02:22 PM · Emil - By all means, if it betrays your artistic sensibility, you shouldn’t do it. Except as a gimmick and After announcing it such. But please don’t assume everyone else who “mixes” does it to be a populist. Mixing may agree their sense of art, to follow a spontaneous musical instict at a given moment or as their attempt to reflect the modern times we live in. Clearly, we live different lives that also needs an artistic expression. We’ll find it out if it was successful soon enough.

I am sure wigs and knickers were standard attires in dead composers’ times. In our times, however, wigs and knickers represent a fantasy world, castles, dragons, knights. By insisting on wigs and knickers, we unwittingly misreprent dead composers. To me, putting on a birthday suit could be a viable option for a better representation of the music. When it is not at all provocative, I don’t see how anyone can call it a cover of a naked girl. Do you call Cezanne’s Bathers a pornograph? If anyone buys it for the cover, whom do you think the joke is on?

Not so much as pop culture attracts people seeking instant entertainment, but classical music does attract some people seeking status like it or not. I don’t see how one can shake off stuffy image just by yelling.


December 14, 2006 at 03:15 PM · Emil, you haven't by any chance written those cadenzas out, have you? I would love to look at them and hear them some day.

December 14, 2006 at 05:24 PM · i do not think youtube deserves much deep thinking or soul searching. it is simply a new medium to communicate and it is up to the individual users to decide

1. to participate or not

2. what to share

3. how to share

on foot, horseback or car...

face to face, letter or email...

play to a room or play to the world...

for serious classical musicians, however, there may be a dilemma, that is, as much as you can control the content and quality of your presentation, you cannot select your audience nor contain their reaction. there is a risk of losing your original intention. that effect is much more powerful and possibly unpredictable than that of a recital in a hall.

still, many, many violin players and students long to hear yet another great clip. you are contributing a drop to the ocean.

my prediction: major labels of classical music will soon use services like youtube to market new releases.

December 14, 2006 at 06:39 PM · "my prediction: major labels of classical music will soon use services like youtube to market new releases."

I hope not. I will destroy the grassroots, populist atmosphere.

December 14, 2006 at 07:30 PM · unfortunately, those people who run the companies are not classical musicians. the executives will chat with you with a smile while in their heads they run the numbers. if we spend this much on marketing and development, how much can we get in return?

a musician with his craft is a product line to develop. the companies have shareholders to answer to, bottomline to meet. if they spend money on marketing, they want the most bang for the buck, something taught since high school economics and practiced in every corner of a free society. in these day and age, number of hits per day dictates the value and direction of marketing. to them, taste and style or even ethics come into consideration only if they serve to maximize financial return. we may not like to hear that, but capitalism is built on that principle and economists will argue that the business model will be more efficient if emotions are not attached.

cannot see eye to eye with that? the alternative is to have your own label and make no compromise. to be able to establish your own label, however, you may have to play in the mud to get there.

oil companies putting out pr to save the buy that spin? well, after they destroyed the environment, they use money earned to change the perception.

December 14, 2006 at 07:28 PM · "for serious classical musicians, however, there may be a dilemma, that is, as much as you can control the content and quality of your presentation, you cannot select your audience nor contain their reaction. there is a risk of losing your original intention. that effect is much more powerful and possibly unpredictable than that of a recital in a hall."

Al, I've found quite the opposite overall. I've had a few flamed responses to some of my videos but the overall reaction has been exceedingly positive. I've received messages from people who are new to classical music who have just wanted to say how much they enjoyed the videos despite not knowing anything about classical music and that they appreciate my sincerity in my performances. If I get 10 nasty comments and then just one comment like that, sharing my playing has been worth it. The people who want to hate it are always going to hate it, there's no way to change that but for a lot of people they just want to try something new and hear something and maybe learn something they haven't before now.

December 14, 2006 at 07:41 PM · Some people get a truly phenomenal number of hits. Some people who just act goofy have some kind of cult following there.

For fidelity, I think most cameras are good enough. The brain sorts it all out. But if you wanted better sound than average, run your audio recorder too, then strip the audio from the video file and insert new audio. I've seen free software that would do it, or you could take it to a local consumer video editing place.

December 14, 2006 at 07:45 PM · i absolutely agree with that kelsey and if i know who you are there, anticipate some pointed comments coming! :)

the key point is "risk", that is, some musicians may be very sensitive to potential uncontrollable and unwarranted negative opinions.

imo, the more developed the musicians are, the tougher it is to find the right approach to present in the public eye.

jim, you mean you look at things besides classical music there? someone's is being naughty!:)

December 14, 2006 at 07:42 PM · Sometimes Al Ku--but sometimes not. I use the philsophy and actually live it: it's a one way ticket and 'it's' mine as far as I'm concerned.

It's not a me-ism, it's a free-ism. W/I 6 months, I was in an ugly house coat, straw hat, with a terribly damaged hand raising money for adopted hurricane Katrina victim at a street fair. Not only through this effort, but collectively we raised 25 grand.

Ya gotta be bold in this world--take note I did not say bizarre.


December 14, 2006 at 08:05 PM · "oil companies putting out pr to save the buy that spin? well, after they destroyed the environment, they use money earned to change the perception."

Nope. Wrong.

Oil companies saved the environment. The few oil spills, and the pollution, etc are so small and insignificant compared to the increased productivity of crops, of people, of machines, of medicines, of improved sanitation, transportation etc.

Before oil, we had only wood and steam, and then coal and steam. Very dirty, very labor intensive. An improvement over animal power, a revolution, but with oil, you were able to mechanise at a fraction of the cost, which led to a dramatic increase in mechanical innovation, efficiency, improved materials, products, systems...the civilisation you depend on could not function at this high level without oil, or some replacement as efficient or nearly so.

The net result of oil is a modern, clean, efficient economy with vastly reduced infectious disease, tremendous material wealth, and the ability to produce more than enough food to feed even the poorest in civilisation.

It is so easy to trash oil companies when you are sitting on the benefits of their product. The reality is that you would be pretty damn poor without them.

December 14, 2006 at 08:55 PM · Enjoyed your vids Kelsey...

December 15, 2006 at 12:11 AM · bilbo, you have made very good points. as a shareholder of exxon-mobil i appreciate that.

nontheless, the do-good by al 2 is from the heart. big oil companies' motives are calculated. inside the USA, there are much stricter regulations but in developing countries the same companies behave very differently to cut costs. oil companies do not just deal with gasoline alone, but all the petrochemical products down the line.

December 15, 2006 at 02:54 AM · youtube or not, emil has got to consider making a prof level music video of his Le Streghe...

his Golden Age CD came in today, thanks to the power to be.

not much of music anything myself, but deeply moved by his playing. intense but sensitive. to say he plays beautifully is just too trite. and, adore the sound of that violin,,,that E string is simply mesmorizing.

the CD pack is unique in that it is essentially a hard-covered booklet in which he details the making of this CD and his insightful thoughts on the 10 pieces he has chosen to record. enlightening.

last but not least, have to comment on his tasteful choice of 3 scantly clad young ladies on the cover. did emil sell out, you wonder?:) i am not telling...

December 15, 2006 at 01:12 AM · I heard him live with orchestra. He's great. Got to hang out with him for a minute too.

December 15, 2006 at 02:44 AM · jim, is that billy bob thorton with you there?

December 15, 2006 at 08:40 AM · No, I wouldn't dress like that.

Dr. Pratt, the issue was the environment. There's no reason to not agree with anything you've written, but the net result was trashing the environment. Take a drink of the nearest river to understand. The more civilization the worse the environment, apparently. You're talking about the issue of quality of life instead.

December 15, 2006 at 04:08 PM · HI Jim.

Yes I agree, but I also don't. Like, the rivers went bad in the 19th century, before petrochemicals. Cause? Raw sewerage--both human and domesticated animal. Some got worse again post WWII with rapid industrialization without pollution controls but I don't see that as a petroleum problem per se.

Or in other words, it isn't the marketing of pertroleum that leads to sullied environment (oil after all has a market value; spills are expensive) but population. And what I am suggesting is that (discounting for a moment the Malthusian aspects) petroleum *saved* the environment from 19th century style oblivion, because it made energy, on the whole, much cleaner per kilowatt-hour than it had been previously.

I'm not sure what this has to do with violins, except the chainsaws and the perlon cores.

December 15, 2006 at 04:13 PM · Thanks, Albert! :D

Al, I understand your sentiments on the sensativity part of things. As long as people give it any ounce of thought before posting, they will realize that just like they've experienced during their lives growing up, there's going to be some degree of negativity and you just have to learn how to deal with it and not let it get to you. If I listened to all of the negative comments I received at highschool and took to heart that people really hated me otherwise they wouldn't be throwing things at me while studying in the hallway, I would probably be a pretty depressed individual with very little motivation. People are smart though and I believe that the majority of those who contribute to youtube in the classical genre and otherwise understand what putting themselves on a site like that means as far as feedback. If I recall correctly, when you register an account and post a video it even warns that you are suseptable to negative comments and you have the ability to remove those from your own videos.

December 15, 2006 at 05:28 PM · kelsey, agree with that post again, especially the part about being the master of your own universe, especially when you are against the current.

i think this type of video sharing is here to stay, like emails, blogging, etc. it will for some take some time to get used to. to each her or his own:) i remember around 2000, i was approached to invest in a company that provides paid satellite radio in cars. what a stupid idea ..why would anyone pay for radio! well, several million stupid subscribers later, i am left here counting pennies:) btw, still think it is a stupid idea:))

Bilbo, let me clarify my intent of throwing in that oily analogy. i was referring to the marketing of classic music, which, imo, unfortunately, is in the hands of MBAs not musicians. they don't look at the quality or qualification of the CD buyers; they care about the total sale. they will market to the numbers via channels they see fit. yes they support classical music, but not unconditionally. (thank god there are good people in this world that will support classical music unconditionally).

oil companies are in the business of making money through oil. protecting the environment is a side show. the green pr is a necessary expense to stay politically correct, so that they stay in the game of making more money through oil. let me say it this way: IF oil companies take back all their lobbiests, you will see the EPA restrictions tighter and the oil cos' rev drop.

having said that, as you suggested, i do appreciate all the goodies oil can offer. but, hey, i do dream of getting a little nuclear car one day though:)

btw, you probably know this, heifeitz was driving an electric car when he lived in beverly hills... he helped to convert it from gas powered. no wonder his violin playing was also way ahead of others:)

December 15, 2006 at 11:52 PM · The river, even if it wasn't spiked or pooped there would be a problem from grazing livestock. There's a thoroughly captivating novel called "Earth Abides" that's a treatise on how everything in our world is ultimately driven by population density.

January 12, 2007 at 05:39 PM · this kid can play!

many argue since the collapse of the soviet regime, sport training has been on a decline due to funding.

wonder what are the opinions about classical music training....i see a star in the making in her. no theatrics, just goddess like playing. reminds me of what perlman said of heifeitz,,,a tornado.

January 12, 2007 at 09:02 PM · Al, I can't access your link at present as youtube has been down for the past day and a half, but have you picked up any of the vids by a young boy STEPAN GRITSAY, he uploads under the name velioz. About 10/11 years old. He's not always perfect, but gee he's good, and he has a presence and a distinct sound. already.

BTW, even in my non violining/absolutely non music playing family, everyone loves your daughter. Its partly the age/skill thing of course, but its also her confident cheeky pleasure. May she retain it.

January 13, 2007 at 12:10 AM · sharelle, i have been on to youtube in past day or so and did not have any problem, hmm.

couldn't find the kid you are talking about, but i have seen couple kids 10 or so that are quite a thrill to watch.

as far as the monster at home, i recently told her: hey, with the way you practice, your 15 mins will be up very soon.

she said: hey, you cannot talk to your child like that!

you should have heard our conversation during the holidays when we were on a road near Tampa, en route to some golf tournaments where the billboards were 90% for plastic surgery doctors and personal injury lawyers. she kept on asking me what they were was hilarious and i almost had an accident, hehe.

baby fat is a great insulation from anything, lol. abuse it while you can.

January 13, 2007 at 12:17 AM · I've seen some of Stepan Gritsay. Yes, he is very good, but in my opinion the pieces are too advanced for his age.

January 14, 2007 at 11:49 AM · I've had a weekend at home alone, with a digital camera, a memory stick and movie maker downloaded onto my daughter's computer. And so I have now uploaded my first ever video. On youtube. Its really for practise reference, but if people want to make some comment, I think I'm tough enough to take it. Just don't mention the timing or the intonation, good grief I can hear that.

I'm now well and truly over this bloody piece though. So much practise for such slow improvement :( (and still so much to get right). And thus is the way of the violin.

January 14, 2007 at 12:55 PM · Sharelle, I liked your bow arm - nice straight bowing.


January 14, 2007 at 01:28 PM · thanks sharelle, very decent playing for limited years of learning and great spirit, and fancy jazzy hollywood style editing:)

January 14, 2007 at 08:31 PM · Thanks Al and Neil. Yes, straight-ish bow arm, now. For those moments in time at least.

The bow is the 3/4 coda prodigy Al, just so you can see what it looks like, and the 3/4 violin i bought a couple of months back. How I ever played a 4/4 I don't know.

you know, the real benefit comes from turning the volume right down (I mean it!), and coming back to look after a few days. I can see so much technique stuff that I can't hear.


I think that is a good use for youtube, we just need more people to do it.

January 14, 2007 at 08:37 PM · Greetings,

my bow arm bends in the middle ;)


January 15, 2007 at 12:42 AM · See Buri, that's where ya goin' wrong. It's s'posed to bend at the elbow. :)


January 15, 2007 at 12:55 AM · I'm a quick learner. Why, just since reading these posts, I've managed to get my arm to bend in three different places, all at the same time if I want.

Aghh, now I noticed that my bow is bent as well. all the way through. Is it broken or something?

January 15, 2007 at 01:31 AM · Greetings,

beats me. I think i am going to go and put everything in alarge body cast.

Joking aside, yourcomments made me think of an interesting thing. The arm, as taught in Alexander tehcnique, include sthe collar bone and shoulder blades. Not only that, but the actuall origin of the right arm is the point behind the left kidney and vice versa. You cna test this by placing your eright hand on the left lower back and imitate throwing a ball , dart , bowing or whatever. Try and get a rela feeling for the muscular reaction in the lower back. Then paly around with your bowing and see if you cna be more aware of the movement in thta area. It does affect the sound.



August 5, 2007 at 10:39 AM · Here is a video of my brother and I playing the Gideon Klein Duo.

Second movement.

August 5, 2007 at 01:19 PM · Wonderful playing, Enosh! And what a gift to be able to make music with your own brother.

And a good piece, too. :)

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