Where is Buri?

April 2, 2013 at 02:54 PM · hello,

does anyone know if Buri (Stephen Brivati), one of the most generous and wise v.commer, is ok? He hasn't been showing up recently. Buri are you still here? I bet there are many missing your posts.

Replies (37)

April 2, 2013 at 03:49 PM · I hope he didn't overdose on prunes!

April 2, 2013 at 03:55 PM · I bet he got bored with endless discussions about those damn s!@#$%^r rests.

April 2, 2013 at 05:01 PM · I do not know where he is, but he is missed. When vcom was at it's peak, it hosted a series of writing from Buri. You can find it at http://www.violinist.com/columns/buri/

April 2, 2013 at 06:29 PM · I hope he's fine. I, too, have wondered why I haven't "heard" his voice here of late.

April 2, 2013 at 07:56 PM · Buri's profile is still up. Indeed, it would be good to hear from him. You might want to click SEND A MESSAGE on his profile page and drop him a line.

April 2, 2013 at 08:53 PM · When he went awol before I did just that - and was rewarded with a long email. Buri has many interests in addition to the violin and may be learning sanscrit or something. Or, more likely, has retreated to his meditation cave on the top of a mountain in Japan somehere....

April 2, 2013 at 10:12 PM · He's ok, just not participating at the moment.

April 2, 2013 at 11:09 PM · Greetings,

from Japan. I was very touched by this thread so I had to respond of course.

I remember when I first started writing on v.commie I was in a boring job at a high school and spent many hours a day on this site. I would respond to all and everything irrespective of whether or not I knew anything about the topic at all. I still treasure the moment when Laurie kindly suggested I should adopt a more focused approach. The site, deservedly so, has grown exponentially over the years. In the past some of you might recall the amazing number of elite soloists who dropped in or monitored what was going on. I had loads of fun winding up Ilya Gringolts, Chussodovsky et al. and it was mind blowing getting e-mail from Vengerov. Now there are more great teachers I think, which reflects the needs of so many people throughout the world who want to play the violin -properly- from the beginning. This is as it should be.

When I was a lad in Britain teachers were just not available and I had to carry the burden of my horrendous errors into music college. Alas, even there I could not get the kind of help I needed with the result that I have escaped having to be a professional violinist my whole life. That is also as it should be.

Just after I joined v.commie a quiet but profound revolution began to take place in the violin world. A perhaps not yet universally recognized pedagogue, Simon Fischer, published a book I ordered with few expectations except something to read in my long coffee breaks. However, after studying the book down to the last comma, I realized that something big was happening. It wasn`t just the recognition that for every single aspect of violin playing there was a prescription. That has been generally understood although up until this point there had never been such a significant collection made so readily available. Rather, it was the deeper understanding that violin playing is not actually rocket science. It can be understood in terms of a system of proportions that can be freely experimented with until a solution is found, either by the teacher or the student initially, and then just by the student. There should no longer be any excuses for the ridiculous quasi teacher qualifications I got at college, or the young kids with talent being weighed down by the incompetence of local hacks like I was in my day. A kind of revolution in thinking began and a lot of it took place here which makes v.commie an extraordinary part of the music world.

I was and still am so happy to have been part of that.

Personally I have been somewhat unwell for a few years and now find it rather difficult to play the violin although I still teach a few students. That too is as it should be. I study and practice healing, continue the unrelenting struggle against the Igo board which, like my cat, continues to defy reason in every aspect of its existence. Everyday is simply one joyful experience after another for which I feel profound gratitude. It can`t get any better than this.

I will probably write agin some time soon on this site, but anyone who wants to mail me at any time is more than welcome.

Love to everybody,


April 3, 2013 at 02:12 AM · It's good to hear from you, Buri. Be well!

April 3, 2013 at 02:21 AM · Hi there Buri - you've been an inspiration to me. I know everyone here wishes you all the health possible...


April 3, 2013 at 02:48 AM · Wow, Buri! You spelling is .... wow!

I've missed you and hope that your practice gets good results.

April 3, 2013 at 03:27 AM · Mendy beat me to it - I was going to ask if this were a Buri-imposter because the spelling was too good.

But the speech and personality is all Buri, so that settles it.

So good to hear from you, Buri!

April 3, 2013 at 03:56 AM · Good to hear from you, and you are welcome any time. :) Wishing you health, too.

How are things in Japan? Your blogs about the conditions were so eye-opening. Have you continued to volunteer?

April 3, 2013 at 12:06 PM · Be well, kind sir.

April 3, 2013 at 12:36 PM · All Violinst.commers loves Buri :)

April 3, 2013 at 01:04 PM · Miss you Buri! In prunes we trust.

April 3, 2013 at 01:26 PM · Buri

Just a note to thank you for so many thoughtful and helpful posts.

Good luck with the Igo - mastering the violin is a trivial undertaking compared to mastering the stones :-)

April 3, 2013 at 01:34 PM · Hi Buri,

A joy to see you write! I wish you health and love!


April 3, 2013 at 02:13 PM · I too, find it lovely to read an update from you. You've offered me some good advice in the past! I thank you for that!

I hope you manage to 'feel better' soon as well!

All the best...

April 3, 2013 at 02:19 PM · in the meantime we'll have to make do with John Cadd, Peter Charles, and friends ("wink" ;-)

April 3, 2013 at 02:35 PM · "in the meantime we'll have to make do with John Cadd, Peter Charles, and friends ("wink" ;-)

Oh dear, then things are pretty bad, as I'm not much good, and I have no friends, and John's posts are too complicated for me to understand.

But good luck, Buri, we need you.

As a footnote, I always assumed you were a player in a Japanese orchestra. Just shows how wrong one can be!

Get better soon.

April 3, 2013 at 03:17 PM · Buri, your advice over the years has helped me tremendously. We miss you. Please, take care.

April 3, 2013 at 03:38 PM · Buri, I too have missed you. Here's hoping your health improves and perhaps you will grace us with some mor missspeligs.

April 3, 2013 at 04:18 PM · Great to hear from you, Buri. Be well.

April 3, 2013 at 08:06 PM · Buri - I have nothing to add to the good wishes of the previous posts. You have been an important presence on this site, and everyone has profited by your continued emphasis on prunes. Be well.

April 3, 2013 at 11:03 PM · Buri!!! So good to hear from you again! Miss you very much!

April 4, 2013 at 04:16 AM · I thought that it smelled old man... ;)

April 4, 2013 at 07:13 AM · Nah,

you just over cooked your meatballs again.



April 4, 2013 at 02:16 PM · Very happy to see you back on this thread Buri! Missed you and your posts too...

V.com can be a bit addictive so maybe to step out sometimes is good to develop other things :)

Nevertheless, it's one of the coolest and friendliest website out there.

Wishing you health and also for your cat!


April 4, 2013 at 09:40 PM · Here's another one who has missed the puckish humor and existential musings about man vs. cat, interspersed with excellent musical advice. Don't be a stranger, Buri.

April 5, 2013 at 02:59 AM · I think it's great that Buri dropped back and not only gave a personal update, but also contributed something to the violin playing community.

As a latecomer, I hadn't been aware that there was "a kind of revolution in thinking", and am now impressed that Simon Fischer's writing will be beneficial to look into more deeply and systematically. I now see many reflections of his teaching in my former teacher's lessons; the greater context should help me appreciate it better and to fill in gaps left by time limitation.


April 5, 2013 at 02:55 PM · If Buri were to return...we might have fewer threads on shoulder rests and more interesting ones on prunes, prisms, and other facets of playing and music.

April 5, 2013 at 05:42 PM · Speaking of Buri and shoulder rests, here's a quote from him in an ancient shoulder rest discussion from 2007 that I somehow stumbled upon. This is my all-time favorite v.com post regarding shoulder rests :)

Buri wrote: "In general I am not keen on rests but a friend of mine from Singapore sent me a photo of his head and neck which wa sso long I had no hesitation in recommending a Wolfe Forte Primo two Mac Burgers and a dead ferret as support. The ferret may have died as a result of nibbling the hamburgers."

April 5, 2013 at 08:30 PM · @ M L Scott--that quotation is far more to the point (esp. the ferret's probable cause of death) than most of the arguments about the sr topic. Thanks for digging it out. That was before my v-commie days.

April 5, 2013 at 09:41 PM · Buri was priceless!

It would be great to have him back on a regular basis.

April 6, 2013 at 02:53 AM · Marjory - that was before my time also - I think I ran across that old thread when doing a search on chinrests, which were also discussed (though not so colorfully).

The burger and ferret combo really stuck in my memory:)

April 6, 2013 at 12:31 PM · I, too, miss Buri's wisdom and point of view. I learned a lot from him.

Noy any Japanese, though...

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