Dylana Jenson: why is she not a household name?

November 27, 2007 at 06:37 PM · Does anyone understand why Dylana Jenson is not a household name? I have seen many of the greatest players; have even played in the orchestra as they preformed famous concertos in Greece. But I have never been as moved as when I have seen Dylana Jenson play here in the U.S.A? I would see her often but I am not often here, and from what I see she does not play often. What is going on here?

Her Sibelius recording is as good as anyone’s, so it is not just about being great live. And I am not the only one who thinks this, most of my violinist friends who have played with me in Greece and heard her play think she is just as good or better than most of the big-name players we backed up in Greece.

So where can I get her recording of the Goldmark Violin Concerto? Am I the only one on V. com who thinks she is this great? Where can I hear her play? Does anyone know what fiddle she is playing on now?

Replies (88)

November 27, 2007 at 07:30 PM · There is long thread about this subject in the archives. Wonderful violinist.

November 27, 2007 at 07:39 PM · here is an old interview, with even a timely blurb on paganini (wink). the fact that her mother learned to teach her from library books is pretty cool, to say the least:)

http://www.eugeneormandy.com/jenson.htm

November 27, 2007 at 07:54 PM · And she is also a member of Violinist.com, one that participates from time to time in our discussions. Thanks, Dylana!

Plus she's married to David Lockington, who was the conductor of my youth orchestra, back when I was in it, a number of years ago... So I'm very grateful for these two! :)

November 27, 2007 at 08:38 PM · Household name? Are there any violinist that are household names? I mean, these violinists are famous for people who are into that type of music. But if you walk down the street and ask a random person if they know who Itzahk Perlman or Joshua Bell or hilary Hahn, they'll say no.

Otherwise, you walk up to a random person who hates pop and ask them who Micheal Jackson is and they'll say yes. Was there ever a violinist who was household name like Michael Jackson or Britney Spears or Paris Hilton or Jimi Hendrix or Elvis or The Beatles or etc...???

November 27, 2007 at 08:43 PM · I mean, I did not know anything about any of these violinists until i started learning the violin and researching. But I sure did know who Elvis was even though I am not particularly a fan. That is a household name. You know them, even if you do not like their art.

November 28, 2007 at 12:38 AM · Andreas:

I'm so happy to see that you really like Dylana Jenson's playing. If you want a copy of her Goldmark Concerto cd, contact the Grand Rapids Symphony Office. I got a copy of the cd and think she's playing better than ever!

Ms. Jenson was the silver medalist of the 1978 Tchaikovsky Violin Competition in Moscow (no gold medalist awarded that year). For an American woman to win such an achievement back then was considered outstanding! If she was russian, she would probably have gotten the Gold.

I also have a rare dvd of her rehearsing and performing the Sibelius Concerto with Ormandy. She's in a league of her own.

Unfortunately, I think Ms. Jenson was a victim of politics in the music business. Also, she had her del gesu taken away by the owner at the peak of her building her career. Thus, she was left without a consistent instrument and this resulted her having lots of inconsistencies in her performances which ultimately led orchestras not to re-engage her.

I actually tried to engage her when I was the artistic director of Tacoma Philharmonic. I think her manager at the time did not help her career. After attempting many times to engage Ms. Jenson, the manager made it extremely difficult and I decided it wasn't worth the trouble. (So sometimes having a bad manager can destroy an artist's career too -- presenters need to want to work together with the manager). I am so glad that Ms. Jenson is not with her former manager anymore.

From what I hear, she's a wonderful violinist, teacher and person! I really wish the very best for her and hope her career can make a major comeback. She's extremely special and one of the greatest artists that I have experienced.

November 28, 2007 at 12:37 AM · The skills required to become famous are very different from the skills required to play a violin well. I suspect that, if violin playing is like most other fields, shameless self-promotion takes precedence over quality a lot of the time. In the violin dealing world I run in, one often hears about real talented folks who don't become famous for various reasons having nothing to do with their playing abilities. For instance, would YOU want to spend 70% of your life on the road in strange hotels (a different one every night or two) eating in restaurants, away from your friends and family? I sure wouldn't want to.

November 28, 2007 at 04:09 AM · Sung, thanks for the information. I guess the real question is what will it take to get her career on the right track. I know my thoughts about her being in a very elite group of violinists (Perlman, Chang, Repin, Tetzlaff, Zimmerman, Hahn, etc.) are shared among ALL the philharmonic colleagues I am still in contact with. Many believe she is better than most of these icons!

As for the violin: I really do not see how this would stop her from being a force, especially since she has taken care of the problem since then by getting a great modern violin—I think a Zygmontwicz, or a Needham, that she loves. I heard her play on the modern and thought her sound was very much like what I had heard on her del Gesu. I heard clips of the Goldmark, which she did on the modern, and she sounded incredible!

Hard to understand why a player like this is not taking center stage in the violin world!

I know that if it ends like this for her, well, we will have all missed out! Imagine how great it would be to hear her record so much more of the repertoire! And imagine how awful it will be if she does not do it before long!

As for “household” name: I understand your point and meant it in the context of the violin world, or those who are a bit more culturally advanced. Your points were pretty much meaningless Jasmine.

Has anyone else heard her lately? If so, we would love to hear from you!

Oh and I have heard that her teaching skills are unreal, but a palyer like this has a responsibility to record and perform! With unreal talent, given from God, comes responsibility! I hope someone who is in the business picks up on this soon!

November 28, 2007 at 04:59 AM · I've not heard her lately, but I have her Sibelius disk and I think it's one of the great recordings of the piece!

November 28, 2007 at 06:18 AM · At the Tchaikovski, I believe she was the silver medalist behind Elmar Oliviera. I think another Russian violinist was also tied for second. The American violinist Daniel Heifetz was third.

The American violinist who tied for second in a year that no top prize was given was Eugene Fodor.

Dylana Jenson has a web page. I think it's Dylanajenson.com.

Kevin

November 28, 2007 at 09:00 AM · She's a household name in my house. She's on my list of top five famous people I'd like to meet.

November 28, 2007 at 09:57 AM · I believe, in the "violin" world, Ms. Jenson is a household name. I knew of her before even discovering Henryk Szyerng or Christian Ferras...so I definitely do think that she has a certain level of fame and notoriety...maybe not as much as she deserves.

November 28, 2007 at 12:14 PM · One information more: Walter Kolneder, in his book 'The book of the violin', translated to English and edited by Reinhard G. Pauly (1998, Amadeus Press, Portland, Oregon), include Dylana Jenson in his chapter dedicated to great 20th century female violinists.

November 28, 2007 at 01:35 PM · Glad to hear some people recognize her unreal talent like I do! Now, let's get her out there performing and recording!

November 28, 2007 at 05:04 PM · Andreas:

I appreciate your enthusiasm for Dylana Jenson (especially since I have the same respect for her).

It's not impossible to make a major comeback, but it is rather difficult. Ms. Jenson started developing reputation of inconsistency during the time her del gesu was taken away (this was before she acquired the modern violin). She went through a time when she was playing on a different violin almost every night (some were good, some were unacceptably horrible). Because of her need to change to different instruments so periodically, I think she had many more "off nights" than "on nights".

Performing arts presenters and artistic administrators of orchestras are usually very unforgiving of circumstances beyond the control of an artist. I'm sure that I can't speak for all, but many of my colleagues and I were pressured by the board members to focus on the bottom line and have no sympathy whatsoever for the artist. This of course is against my ideals, and thus the reason I decided to leave the arts management industry.

Also, in regards to management, the artist needs a manager who truly understands the individual artist (needs, strengths, weaknessses) and can aggressively push and match the strengths to the needs of the presenter. Although there is recent trend of artists being "self-managed", many prestigious orchestras (i.e. SF Symphony, NY Philharmonic, Berlin Phil, etc) do not even open promotional packages sent directly by artists. I am friendly with a very powerful orchestra president (who will remain anonymous) who used to rip up and throw the press kits of artists who were not with the major artist management companies such as IMG, Opus Artists (formerly ICM), and CAMI.

There are also many other "political" and behind the scenes issues involved with the selection of an artist. Sometimes wealthy patrons of an artist force the orchestra to engage an artist, or he/she/or corporation will not donate any $ to the organization. So orchestras are sometimes forced into such politics.

Finally, with more presenters and orchestras becoming very "sensitive" to ticket sales, it seems like the artists that are being invited are usually because of a popularity contest. So sometimes, the great artists such as Dylana Jenson or Ida Haendel seem to get lost in that mix. I'm not saying popular artists such as Bell, Hahn, Perlman, etc are bad artists. (In fact, I like Bell, Hahn, Perlman, etc too). But I've seen numerous cases of truly deserving great artists get passed over by sometimes mediocre, but very popular artists.

So there is unfortunately a "disconnect" between the business executives and musicians. What music biz executives define as "great artists" usually do not equate to the musician's definition. But it pleases me when once in a while, music biz executives are intelligent enough to realize great artistry and share the same view as muscians (i.e. Julia Fischer's recent contract with Decca).

Regardless, I still do wish Ms. Jenson the very best and if there is an opportunity for me to help her directly I will definitely keep an eye out for her. She is too special!

November 28, 2007 at 07:03 PM · It's not at all unreasonable to expect a "great" artist to take the trouble to have a decent instrument when that's in their means, which is more than it was in this case, being that it was not only in her means but WELL in her means. I might remark about her artistic abilities as well. She is a fine violinist, but that is because of the training she recieved. It is sad for me to see MANY talented people not recieving the kind of priveledged training she has, when they would have been more responsible with their career... and I believe would have given more to the music than she has.

I wish I could say otherwise but I can't. Neither do I like being so harsh.

Song, I completely understand your viewpoint so there's no need to discuss it.

As to whether the management cares for their artists is always the question.

November 28, 2007 at 07:24 PM · whatever the reasons they may be for her not being a "household" name that some wish her to be, unless they come from her directly and are current, they are simply conjectures no matter how well meaning (i may be stretching it) they are. since our speculations are not close to being helpful, i say we STFU. cheers:)

whatever she does with her life/time/career/family/children is none of our business. give people some courtesy particularly when they are not here to offer an opinion or explain/defend themselves.

as most of you know pretty well already, besides playing solo on the big stage, there are indeed other things to do in life:) duh.

November 28, 2007 at 11:20 PM · Roelof.... she was dead broke. How the hell was she "well" within her means to buy a great instrument? Do you have any clue as how much a concert instrument costs? She didn't have a teaching job like she did now, and back then the options for modern instruments were far less in number.

November 29, 2007 at 03:53 AM · I think the fact that moderns have made great strides is correct Pieter, and I wonder if all of this would not have happened if affordable great moderns had been as available for her then.

In any case, my main point is that even with all the great solo violinists that we have today, only a select few can play with her.

November 29, 2007 at 05:22 AM · Very enlightening discussion - I heard Ms. Jensen in 2003 while a member of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. She played Goldmark Concerto - and people in the orchestra had tears in their eyes from the sound of the first note of the second movement. Yes, her playing is definitely "something else", and I look forward to hearing more of her.

November 29, 2007 at 08:42 AM · If I recall correctly, didn't Ms. Jenson say somewhere that she believes her modern instrument is one of the greatest she's ever played?

Of course, switching instruments from night to night is definitely going to hamper one's performance, but I don't think that her lack of recognition on a mainstream level has anything to do with her (currently) not owning a Del Gesu/Strad.

She obviously loves her modern violin and still performs on it today. I think if you wanted some real answers as to why she hasn't been recording / performing as regularly as she could, you would have to ask her, wouldn't you?

November 29, 2007 at 01:04 PM · Great posts! And yes it would be nice to have Mrs. Jenson join this thread. Be that as it may, what I would want her to know is there are many of us, guys who play for or did play for major philharmonics who know she is in a select few out there, a real gift to the musical world.

I am going to contact the university and see what I can do to get the CD of the Goldmark. But that is the thing, I wish I could get her CD of a lot more stuff!

November 29, 2007 at 04:41 PM · Well Patrick that's kind of the point that was made above. Because of her bad luck in her youth, not being able to hold on to a good violin to allow her to deliver consistent performances may well have hindered her career.

When she got pregnant, the patron took away her del Gesu.

December 4, 2007 at 05:42 AM · I am not a pro, but when I listened to her on CD I thought she was not in the class of a Perlman or Hahn. Perhaps this why she has not made it big, she is not as good as these other players. Perhaps her sound is not as good because she is playing on a modern, which is obviously not in the league of a strad or del Gesu!

JKTGAOYRU

December 4, 2007 at 06:20 AM · Would anyone like my stock market tips? I watched CNBC once, so I think I know what I'm talking about...;)

December 4, 2007 at 06:31 AM · Greetings,

> am not a pro, but when I listened to her on CD

Dont stand on the CD. It distorts the sound.

Cheers,

Buri

PS Laurie how are prune stocks going to go? Up or down?

December 4, 2007 at 07:18 AM · I think they're about as valuable as minute long bow excercises.

December 4, 2007 at 09:40 AM · You get the runs from minute long bow exercises, too?

December 4, 2007 at 01:23 PM · Ha! Ya just have to love v.commies! :-)

Prunes and all.

When violin playing is even more valued by our culture, there will be plenty of room for everyone.

I believe if such change in our culture is ever to occur, it must start from within our circles. I think we must value and support all the excellent violinists who are striving for the opportunity to be heard. Trying to publicly put them into our own "pecking order" is ultimately harmful to the well being of our profession. (Its amazing how quickly opinions turn from minor points of subjective difference to "I wouldn't pay a nickel to hear them".) Therein lies the hope or demise of future opportunities for many potentially great artists.

Public perception is a powerful force in culture.

Cryptic remark of the day: " Thumper's mother had it right". ;-)

December 4, 2007 at 01:43 PM · Two points for Laurie!!! Although I have to admit that on first reading her "stock tip" comment flew right by me (not an unusual occurrence, unfortunately).

December 4, 2007 at 01:55 PM · "Cryptic remark of the day: " Thumper's mother had it right". ;-)"

Didn't even have to read the entire quote to place it. Gotta love the books (or movies) of our childhoods!

December 4, 2007 at 02:59 PM · I actually have an LP of hers playing two Brahms Sonatas with Sammy Sanders. She was a powerful player. I heard her play the Sinding Suite once and the only bad thing was that, it was the only thing she played. I wished for more after such powerful, bravura playing. I wish her luck!

December 4, 2007 at 04:45 PM · Mr. Russell...

Bravo! That was a great post!

December 5, 2007 at 03:01 AM · John, I understand that anyone can decide what they like and what they do not like, so it would not bother me if you told me you did not like her playing as much as that of Perlman, etc.

But it is a bit much for a non-player to be able to say that a world-class player like this is not as good as others.

Hey I like Perlman too, in fact, my favorite violinist! But after 45 years of playing I can honestly say that to my Professional ears she is as good as anyone, but unfortunately has not gotten due recognition, which is what I do not understand.

As for the violin: I have heard her on the del Gesu and now I know that the other times I heard her she was on the modern fiddle. She sounded just as great on the modern.

I am not one of those who thinks the best moderns are as good as the VERY BEST del Gesus and Strads, but I have heard enough great moderns to think that the best moderns are probably better than most del Gesus and Strads. I guess it depends on which Strad or del Gesu and which modern.

Anyway, her sound on the modern is unreal! She just is, flat out, one of the greatest players to ever play, and if you had the kind of chops to be able to know, you would think so too!

December 5, 2007 at 05:58 AM · Everyone can listen to music and have an educated opinion, after all, the music is meant to touch the hearts and ears of PEOPLE. I am not a great violinist, but I do play a few hours a day somewhat religiously and I do spend a lot of time listening to violin music, in fact, it is all I listen to. To my ears she is not in the league of the greats, and obviously a lot of people think I am right because she has no contract, is not well known, even in this industry, etc.

She has not recorded much of the rep, and is not in demand! And I am wrong! LOL

Look, can you imagine Perlman or Chang not having a record contract, etc. Of course not! But why not? Answer, they are too good not to get a lot of attention!

As for stocks, not quite the same thing, is it?

JKTGAOYRU

December 5, 2007 at 06:16 AM · Greetings,

actually I don`t think you have much sens eof how whimsical the recording business is. Go back through the news over the last ten years and you will see great artists being dropped left right and center as companie sare restructured or look for something with a differnt kind of appeal.

Cheers,

Buri

December 5, 2007 at 06:44 AM · John, you should listen to her Sibelius concerto, and then compare it with anybody. Most people would call it at least on par with the rest of the greats, no matter how they listen. Also, I think every town has a couple players as good as anybody ever was. They aren't going to get recording contracts either. That's not a good measure of anything.

December 5, 2007 at 07:31 AM · John,

Your understanding of the record and concert circuit is so laughably meager and riddled with spectacular ignorance that I cannot even think of where to begin.

Do you seriously think that an artist's desireability has anything to do with their viability in the market? Yes of course, Andre Rieu is just the pinnacle of music. Do you have any clue how many brilliant violinists have toiled as hard as any successful one, played as beautifully and sometimes even more technically perfect, or if failing that, at least as consistently, yet have not achieved a substantial, sustainable career? And then, how do you explain the numerous highly marketable artists who continued (and continue) to play in public with appalling quality, having long outlived their powers as violinists? This summer I was at a packed concert for a very well known violinist. Every violinist, teacher, and whoever else knew anything about the instrument or music in general, was absolutely disgusted. It was the worst performance I've ever seen in my entire life. Yet, the crowd loved it. They loved the idea of X person up there, sawing away inexcusably out of tune, with not even one redeamable quality left in their playing.

Kindly do some research about what Isaac Stern did to violinists like Elmar Oliveira, Shlomo Mintz, and Aaron Rosand. Then go read a bit about Ida Haendal. History is full of disgustingly talented, incredible artists who got shut out of the BUSINESS of violin. The soul of a great artist can never be silenced, but the business can certainly keep them from being heard and getting paid. So for you to suggest that Jensen's lack of career is because of a lack of ability and artistic voice, is to have a complete lack of understanding for how the way business works, not to mention a fairly useless working knowledge of violin playing. To say that you are monumentally ignorant is an understatement.

December 5, 2007 at 09:10 AM · "Everyone can listen to music and have an educated opinion, after all, the music is meant to touch the hearts and ears of PEOPLE. I am not a great violinist, but I do play a few hours a day somewhat religiously and I do spend a lot of time listening to violin music, in fact, it is all I listen to. To my ears she is not in the league of the greats, and obviously a lot of people think I am right because she has no contract, is not well known, even in this industry, etc.

She has not recorded much of the rep, and is not in demand! And I am wrong! LOL

Look, can you imagine Perlman or Chang not having a record contract, etc. Of course not! But why not? Answer, they are too good not to get a lot of attention!

As for stocks, not quite the same thing, is it?

JKTGAOYRU"

Are you being serious?

How about this, do you know who Leonidas Kavakos is? How about Glenn Dicterow or Alexander Kerr? How about Chee-Yun or Salvatore Accardo? Vadim Gluzman or Jennifer Koh?

Seriously, I could mention a million great violinists who are not signed to a major record label, but who are still world-class talents, and you still wouldn't even recognize their names.

Just because a artist has a record contract under their belt, doesn't mean that they are the best of the best (or in your worlds, in the league of the greatest violinists).

There are many parts to obtaining "world-class" fame and status. Most of it has to do with luck and the right timing. Perlman, putting aside his incredible talent, has an appealing quality (which was first displayed on the Ed Sullivan show when he was a teenager) and a charismatic persona. His image was appealing and his career was mapped out with careful guidance from a great support/management team. Same with Chang. Ever since her famous debut with the NY Phil and the PO, she has had a record contract since 9 years old. She has a lasting relationship with the record company that dates almost 20 years. And also, just like with Perlman, she has a certain marketing appeal as well (personality-wise) that just radiates past the music. And again, she has had an amazing management team that carefully orchestrated her career since day one...something that most soloists just don't have.

Of course, they both have amazing chops, but just because you can play at the very best level, does not mean you are guarenteed world-class fame...especially fame on the level where beginning violinists know who you are.

I'm not trying to be rude, but from what you have posted, it sounds like you are writing Ms. Jenson off as second-rate and someone who does not deserve the fame...and that's unjustified/unfounded.

December 5, 2007 at 11:14 AM · Hmmm...

Apparently my words are not the only thing to fall on "deaf ears"...

I'll go off into the sunset, shaking my head sadly now. Um...No I won't --(feeling feisty)!

We will never have the respect of 100% of our audience. There will always be the unkind, self-satisfied amateur know-it alls who gain pleasure from disparaging our efforts and claim to have the education to do so. They will always be happy to come backstage and tell you how to play a particular passage with "oh so much taste" and refinement--(while getting your autograph)-- only to be heard telling their concert companion:"Yeah, but she's no Isaac Stern".

Opinions are fine. The problem is---these people generally can't even hold a violin , much less, have any clue as to what it takes to play one so well. Their knowledge extends the length of the row of CDs on their shelf-and that is NOT far enough to reach the heart of the matter.

NEWSFLASH: There is a bit more to pursuing this career than the average "Joe" will ever know. Its a HUMAN endeavor--one of the best we can manage. We are all entitled to hold our opinions dear, but all opinions are not created equal.There might be other, (more experienced, more educated, more respectful?)opinions we can learn from. Who knows?--it might even be enlightening.

December 5, 2007 at 12:32 PM · Thanks, David (or should I say Mr. Russell?). Well-put, as always.

December 5, 2007 at 03:10 PM · John,

I think your appreciation about recording and music business is wrong. I could mention you plenty of sensational violinists who had bad luck to get contracts with record labels. One example was Berl Senofsky, prizewinner at Queen Elizabeth Competition in 1955. He never was a household name, so his recordings in life put up for sale are scarce, but for me he was a virtuoso violinist at the same category that other legendary and more known performers like Heifetz and Milstein, for example.

Greetings,

Manuel.

December 5, 2007 at 04:25 PM · If I may redirect the discussion, can a layman hold a respectable opinion on other people's playing? Or if Emil was around, can you judge a dish whitout knowing how to cook? If so, how do we formulate them when a knowing nod can be more telling?

I am not pushing any opinion on Dylana Jenson. She has all my respect. I have met her when she gave my daughter private lessons at a camp. Most unassuming person, straightforward. I enjoyed the brief meeting I had with her.

Ihnsouk

December 5, 2007 at 04:51 PM · I had the opportunity to work with Dylana Jenson recently. She gave a masterclass to some of my students at the Omaha Conservatory of Music- www.omahacm.org (shameless plug!)...

She was terrific! A world class violinist. Very insightful. Very humble. Excellent ideas. And a wonderful person.

Mr. Russell-

What you say is true! Your first post was right on the money.

I do think, however, that it is often fellow violinists who treat each other miserably. Backstabbing, slander, jealousy, the whole bit. From my experience, the crowd (minus the 1 or 2 snobs) just want to hear a great music. It's the other violinists who say things like, "that was out of tune, not musical, I didn't think their sound was that special" etc.

It would be of great benefit to the violinist community to support and encourage one another. I don't see enough of that. :)

December 5, 2007 at 05:44 PM · I believe that almost everyone who has heard Dylana Jenson recognizes her superior talent and musical gifts. Unfortunately when she was younger, she was sometimes careless in her relationships with those who wanted to support her. I can attest to this from personal experience. There were also incidents with certain conductors that effected the views of the music establishment at the time. Unfortunately this group of people had the potential to effectively quash a career. I am no longer close to that circle but am sure that it still exists and has influence. I am relieved and gratified to hear of her present work and am hopeful that this wonderful violinist can have the career that her musicianship and prowess should provide.

December 5, 2007 at 10:27 PM · Why is there the presumption that "something happened" to her career?

Maybe she chose the life she now lives, and is quite happy with it.

December 5, 2007 at 10:56 PM · Greetings,

>If I may redirect the discussion, can a layman hold a respectable opinion on other people's playing?

I think we are going to have to call this the Emil syndrome in his honor.

The answer is of course `yes` put within the context of what any true artist is trying to do, which is presumably to touch something deeply personal inside each individual. When one player fails to this, be he/she Heifetz or Ms. Jensen and anotehr does then there is absolutely nthing wrong with expresisng the opinion tat such a player is superior in this or that area. However, there are two other situations I cna think of at this ungodly hout. One, the untrainbed person then starts offering destrcutive criticism when they knownothing. This should be treated with the contemnpt it deserves. Second, the person may offer specific criticism at their current level of expertize. Nothing wrong with this at all eithe rif offered in the right spirit. the spirit includes I suppose beingopen to corretcion by someone with a greate rlevel of expertize. It is this second kind of critiquing which is a stimulatiung learning proces sand is also beneficial to more knowledgeable experts too becaus eit often forces them to consider carefully exactly why they know someboy is wrong and in going throuhg this process learnign also take splace.

Cheers,

Buri

December 5, 2007 at 11:30 PM · Buri,

You have a good grasp of the "in between" in things.

I would like to add to my earlier post that not all amateurs are contemptable.On the contrary, I respect many of them. Especially the enthusiastic lovers of music and the violin. They are passionate about our art. We need them! However, it is different when they are destructive in their ignorance.

Look, I love to fly flight simulators. I've flown in actual 747 cockpit simulators. It is fun for me. I like to learn about it. It is intriguing. I make little simulated flights every day on my computer for relaxation and entertainment.

But will you ever hear me tell Ray Randall I think Chuck Yeager was a better pilot? I mean,really! I don't think so. It would be ridiculous!(Hell, if a pilot lands the plane, I think he's tops.;-))Do I think I know as much as they do because I sit home on my PC "flying" places? Of course not!

So, would I ever offer my critique of a landing to the pilot of my flight? haha... not even possible. (I can imagine the look I'd get!)I admire and respect what they do. The bottom line?

I don't confuse my interest with their ability.

December 6, 2007 at 12:43 AM · Mr. Russell, If I may respectfully disagree. I may not be able to fly an airplane but I may know when an airplane lands gracefully. I may even turn around and whisper whoever is flying the airplane is a great pilot meaning I liked the way it landed, not really judging the pilot's ability. Would you consider that wrong?

Ihnsouk

December 6, 2007 at 12:59 AM · It seems to me there is no straightforward answer to the issues raised. On the one hand there is no question that not clinching a “big” career is no necessarily reflection on the quality of an artist, while in recent times there are some who I feel have enjoyed stellar recognition beyond their merits. Incidentally it seems to me that this was much less the case until 20 or so years ago. I don’t think any player of major repute born, give or take a little, in the first half of the 20th century had an artistic stature that was unfounded - even if in some cases they declined earlier than they might have done and even if there was also a staggering number of other outstanding figures who likewise deserved shining careers. But there are also performers of undoubted excellence who in comparison to the “cream of the cream” just lack a certain something and whose careers have reflected that fairly, in my opinion. In other words, the judgement of posterity is sometimes fair, sometimes not. I’m not referring to Ms. Jenson, by the way – I have only heard her Sibelius and Intro&Rondo Capriccioso, which are wonderful.

It may be that John is being naïve, but I think one should tread cautiously in assuming that the opinion of an amateur or even non-player is intrinsically inferior to that of an “expert”. I have encountered great performers whose insights were indeed extraordinary, others whose opinions struck me as disappointingly shallow; similarly I have come across plenty of over-opinionated amateurs but also the occasional one whose sensitivity and acuity put a lot of accomplished professionals in the shade.

Best, Nathaniel

December 6, 2007 at 01:09 AM · "I may not be able to fly an airplane but I may know when an airplane lands gracefully"

Yet you'd most likely be unaware of what the pilot has to work with, the weather conditions, the nature of the airport and people working in the control tower, and a few million other things.

Like Nathaniel said, amateur opinions can sometimes be far more illuminating than "expert" ones. However, when it comes to technique and even performance, I don't really get anything out of what they're saying except maybe increased blood pressure. (Not always)

December 6, 2007 at 01:39 AM · Nathaniel, I agree.

Ihnsouk

December 6, 2007 at 01:50 AM · Inshouk... amateurs can say whatever they want, but if what they're saying is wrong out of their own ignorance, then I just pretend I didn't read/hear it. If someone definitively says; this car is bad, and I see no logical rhyme or reason to it, then I'd rather not listen to that person. Even with qualitative things, people will often say something fairly outrageous, and when you actually hear what they DO think is good, you can see that their actual logic is flawed, and their lack of knowledge and experience makes their opinion of little value and usefulness to me. My opinions could easily be useless to others, I don't know. I'm just talking about myself. There's a difference between an amateur saying something I don't like just because that's their opinion, but a lot of the time it's because they plainly just don't know what they're talking about.

I don't mind someone saying; "O gee, I don't like the way this car handles". That's different from "This car is horrible. Compared to X car, it is terrible." In such a case, I'd much rather defer to the opinion of the mechanic. Finally, on issues of technique, I seldom if ever read the posts of certain people (however some blog entries are pretty entertaining and I'm sure to never miss them).

December 6, 2007 at 01:47 AM · I think its time for those seat backs and tray tables to be secured into their upright and locked positions for the remainder of this thread. ;-)

Thanks for the lively discussion.

December 6, 2007 at 02:40 AM · In the late '80s I worked for H&H Music in Houston,Texas. I have always loved being with musicians, and I met the most diverse musicians of a myriad genres. From Metal, C&W, Rap; playing clubs in town and out of town. Members of the Houston symphony. Techno, Goth, blue grass, folk, world. All levels of schooling and teaching. The days when I spoke less than now (ought to go back to that) because anytime I ventured anything I was a mumbling idiot. They bought me a beer anyway..good people.I still concider myself an amature. And to this day re: so, so many of them I ask, "Why?" I saw/heard Tallent and also Gimmik that impressed me to no end. And the "experts" liked them too. So many times the question asked was, "Is this marketable?" The majority of listeners out there are "Not" musicians, even those that listen to classical music. What all have said so far sounds realy good. Perhaps you are all correct. Why was Mozart not popular in his time? And there are others. Sometimes it's as simple as a particular musician was at the right place at the right time. And those who shoot themselves in the foot, ego, chemical abuse...

Aside from some historical figures rise and fall. will we/can we realy know?

December 6, 2007 at 03:15 AM · Hi all! Did anyone notice the letters I wrote after each post: JKTGAOYRU?

J=Just K=kidding T=to G=get A=all

O=off Y=you R=riled U=up

LOL! Why did I do it? I absolutely love this player and I could not agree more with the player, who started the thread, but the tread was dying out and I wanted more of you to tell us what you thought of her as a player. It worked!

And Laurie, I could not agree more with what you wrote! LOL

And I actually think a guy like me really has nothing to say about how great she is other than whether I like her playing and what her playing did to me (moved me, did not move me, etc.).

In Jenson’s case, well, other than Chang and Perlman no one has moved me more. I could not agree more with what everyone has written about her! I am not a professional, but I do believe she is one of the most artistic violinists I have every heard, and I love her sound as well. Bottom line, I too cannot understand why she has not gotten more recognition!

And yes I know that a recording contract has little to do with greatness! LOL

Man, this was too much fun! Dylana, to my limited ears your are truly one of the best!

SUTT

S=straight U=up T=this T=time

December 6, 2007 at 03:30 AM · Be careful, violinists are a very unnecessarily serious bunch :-p

December 6, 2007 at 03:46 AM · Greetings,

nah. What you failed to realize is that our responses were entirely tongue in cheek.

Cheers,

Buri

NSTWOT

December 6, 2007 at 03:57 AM · Violinist.com brand Colon Cleanse...what do you think?

PS

Burini, I sent you a link to Lambert Massart's Kreutzer book...did you receive it? Or do you have this book already?

December 6, 2007 at 04:17 AM · Greetings,

Johnathon that`s very kind of you. Unfortunately my email is stuffed right now. No I don`t have the book.I@d love to see it.

Cheers,

Buri

December 6, 2007 at 04:49 AM · Hi Buri, I'm happy to send it later, please just send me a quick email when you are ready for it. It is about 3.5mb in size.

December 6, 2007 at 06:15 AM · SOUDUTLAE

(some of us don't understand those long, abbreviated endnotes.)

December 6, 2007 at 06:03 AM · Buri I think prune stock will go up, especially in the States, where we hopefully will find 2008 the Year of the Big Purgative.

I obviously support everyone's right to have and air an opinion, as I've put this space up for everyone to do so. That said, some opinions are orders of magnitude more informed than others.

And I absolutely agree with the idea that a violinist's popularity is not a measure of his or her artistry. I don't blame anyone for opting for the reasonably balanced life over a full-on performing or recording career, which hangs on the whims of the public and the strange balance books of the recording industry.

December 6, 2007 at 08:17 AM · I would want to train my students to be so sure of what they were doing and have such conviction that criticism would simply roll off them, at least criticism from something like an audience.

December 6, 2007 at 08:20 AM · i listened to the goldmark concerto 2nd movement on her website. its very good playing indeed...

but is it me, or is she trying to emulate heifetz with her sound/vibrato/slides (no one can do this)?

December 6, 2007 at 08:30 AM · I don't even know who Dylana Jenson is, so Laurie, you are correct; but,

Jim,

"I would want to train my students to be so sure of what they were doing and have such conviction that criticism would simply roll off them, at least criticism from something like an audience."

You are correct without even realizing how much so I think:

Music, is food. It is not hyperbole, drama though it is sometimes dramatic; and, is one of the most basic things in life second to sex, drugs and rock'n'roll.

Well, rock'n'roll is music, isn't it. And dramatic too! But the point for me is, that your remark reminds me of where I'm at when "Air" is flowing on my instrument on a good night--from my head, to my knees. Being a little awkward, I just don't think, about my feet and my balance in life.

But I wanted to alter the context of your remark a little. And I wanted to do so in the spirit of not some weird mystical nature of music, but I did want to do so in a pragmatic spirit of the real mysterious nature, of music. That, in a paranoid kind of way, is why musicians in history, have had such a colorful experience of life. Those, who know the power of music, wish to manipulate it.

This is true of every meaningful and lucrative venue of life, but beyond these ideas. Anyway, back to the point. Music reverberates in the very centers of our most basic appetites and condolences. It is a basic element in our joy and warfare, our lusts and frustrations.

Music, in my mind, is as basic as food. It isn't a lustful thing, though lust can be involved. It is an integrative thing, that is a part of musician's and appreciative patron's lives as well. The idea of patrons holds much meaning.

But the point is, that when beautiful, excellent music flows from good places, in meaningful genuine ways, from a real musician's heart, God, and Aerosmith, are jealous. It's a Promethean, thang.

December 6, 2007 at 11:05 AM · so john, when i asked were you serious...you weren't!

:)

i just knew that someone who has been playing the violin for years like you have wouldn't be so ignorant/closeminded.

December 6, 2007 at 02:06 PM · Mr. Russell, I got my seat back and tray table secured into their upright and locked positions. Where can we go now?

Ihnsouk

December 6, 2007 at 03:37 PM · thanks to andreas' thread and v.com, finally, ms jenson is a household name! yeah!!!!!!

December 6, 2007 at 03:37 PM · I liked what Laurie and Albert posted.

I remember my choir director telling us, "If you want to avoid other peoples critisizims, 'Say nothing, do nothing, be nothing'".

December 26, 2007 at 02:22 AM · Hello Everyone,

Thank you all for your very kind words. I am truly touched.

There are quite a few assumptions made here that I believe are incorrect, but unimportant now.

I wish I was able to play more. I would be so happy to. I certainly never turn down an opportunity! I wish I was being asked to.

I do perform about twice a year..

Best wishes to all for a wonderful Holiday Season and New Year!

Dylana

December 26, 2007 at 02:46 AM · I have to agree she is amazing, i live in the same city and hope to be taking lessons with her eventually when i get a job :). At least i think i remember reading she does lessons.

January 2, 2008 at 05:52 PM · Thank you Andreas!

You can order the Goldmark from the Grand Rapids Symphony Wesite:

http://www.grsymphony.org/pages/discography/

And I am presently playing on a Samuel Zygmuntowicz.

January 2, 2008 at 06:08 PM · Nice Goldmark clips Ms. Jenson. I hear a lot of Mr. Milstein in your playing :)

January 2, 2008 at 10:53 PM · This recording of the Goldmark Concerto has been my absolute favorite and I got it when it first came out! There was another new recording of the Goldmark with a well-known artist around the time and upon hearing Ms. Jenson's recording, I ended up throwing away the other recording.

January 2, 2008 at 10:58 PM · I just wanted to thank all of you for this thread and the links. I heard Ms. Jenson many, many years ago at Aspen and while there were many great violinists I heard there I adored her playing as much as any of them. I wish her only the best.

January 3, 2008 at 02:41 AM · I know which recording you threw out.

I don't blame you.

I think it's a shame that that recording received so much attention, and the other concerto on it got so much touring mileage thereafter. Ms. Jensen's is a really great recording, live too I believe. I always love the playing on live recordings the most. One of my other big favourites is a live recording of Frank Peter Zimmerman playing Brahms concerto, it's just way better with that raw quality.

January 3, 2008 at 03:23 AM · Pieter -- you're funny and quite keen if you figured out whose recording I threw out. Although, it was a pity because I LOVED the orchestra and conductor. :)

January 3, 2008 at 03:17 AM · If you are lucky to find it, there might be a few rare copies of Dylana Jenson playing the Brahms Violin Sonatas with Samuel Sanders. I think her interpretation of the 2nd Sonata of Brahms would be so heavenly. :)

January 4, 2008 at 03:51 AM · Greetings,

I didn`t gthrow it out, but I think I only manage d to listen to half the Goldmark you refer to before relegating it to the back of the fridge.

Cheers,

Buri

January 4, 2008 at 04:20 AM · Sung,

The artist we're speaking about always gets the best conductors and orchestras.

January 16, 2008 at 12:24 AM · I was browsing in a 2nd hand record store in Paris and came across, among other rare goodies...Brahms D minor with Ms.Jenson and Samuel Sanders. I have recordings of this piece by just about every leading violinist who's recorded it, hardly any live up to this. Absolutely fantastic interpretation. Wonderful playing and extraordinary artistry that finds new depths in such a well-known work.

These lists one gets in magazines or annual guides of the best recordings of X work are so often hollow, when there are performances such as this that have been criminally allowed to languish unknown...

January 17, 2008 at 04:19 AM · If Maestro Jensen is still reading this thread, would you consider putting a few more other mp3 fragments on your website? I've noticed a few top-notch violinists out there who are not in the heavily promoted soloist circuit but have put up a considerable number of sample clips on the web. I think these clips make a tremendous difference to discerning music lovers in helping them unearth true gems.

January 20, 2008 at 03:44 AM · Yes, I will try to make time to put some more clips on my website!

Just wanted to let you know I've just returned from London where I recorded the Shostakovich Op. 99 and the Barber Concertos with the London Symphony in Abbey Road studio.

I hope to have it out in the Spring.

Thanks for the nice support!

January 20, 2008 at 04:29 AM · Tell Abbey Road to look on this thread for publicity quotes. haha

January 20, 2008 at 04:45 AM · Ms. Jensen-

I have finally found a copy of your Sibelius/Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso recording and, well...wow. Stunning.

January 20, 2008 at 05:07 AM · I can't wait for the Shostakovich.

Ms. Jensen, are you teaching at Aria again?

March 26, 2017 at 11:23 AM · Great article. Shame on Roelof Bijkerk for his post - I know it was 10 years ago, but he was really out of line.

I hope Dylana is having a wonderful time these days.

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