Calling all serious violinists! : )

December 8, 2005 at 07:36 AM · I think that we should get a violinist on a mainstream TV show such as Oprah (or you could pick your own show). Here is the webaddress:

E-mail Oprah

The way this would most likely happen is if we try to get someone fairly young on the show. This would include Hilary Hahn, Sarah Chang, whoever. I have been pushing to get Joshua Bell on the Oprah Show because he has done some collaboration with Josh Groban (a favorite of hers). He is also young and has recorded for movies and won a Grammy.

Please comment if you do decided to do this or if you don't, why?

Replies (90)

December 7, 2005 at 10:41 PM · I e-mail Oprah every day!

December 8, 2005 at 08:30 AM · And I get e-mail from her everyday.

December 8, 2005 at 02:40 PM · It's Evil Sydney the Ophranite!

Darn, can't post images in comments here just like blog comments. Stem the Tide!!

December 8, 2005 at 04:20 PM · So, how do we make the violin "cool"?

Do we as violinists need to play more popular music? I think that in the classical violin community there exists prejudice against other forms of music like jazz, folk and rock. When one thinks of a rock band, one doesn't include a violin -- but why not? C'mon, I bet there are some awesome violinists that would love to play alternative styles of music.

Or are we trying to make classical music "cool"? I think that rock band/symphony collaborations are a good step, like Metallica and I think it was the San Francisco orchestra. Suddenly metalheads everywhere learned that there's more to music than synthesized waveforms.

Just exposing kids at a young age to interesting classical music and orchestral instruments is a good place to start. My community orchestra concerts are all free, and we specifically do a youth concert in the spring with young soloists or pieces suitable for young children. Get 'em young, before they start worrying about peer acceptance.

December 8, 2005 at 04:30 PM · It's great to see someone so involved in wanting to get attention to the music world but I think that you might find that many people have very different opinions of people they'd want to see play or be interviewed on Oprah. Perlman would be someone I'd like to see because of his hugely long career and his extensive years of teaching and educating.

Just a thought!

Good luck though Sydney, You are very determined!

December 8, 2005 at 04:45 PM · Good ideas, guys.

Kelsey, I'll email her about a variety of violinists today. Perlman will be one of them.

December 8, 2005 at 05:42 PM · Patty Said, "So, how do we make the violin "cool"?"

Nothing is my answer. I am a traditionalist when it comes to classical music. I believe in wearing white tie and tails for a concert still because that is who we are much like the Yankees wouldn't be themselves without their pinstripes. The fact is classical music is on a higher level than any other music form. This is not being elitist, it is just telling it the way it is, much like why you don't see an Aston Martin or Bentley commercial on TV.

Patty said, "Do we as violinists need to play more popular music?" My answer again is no although there's nothing wrong with doing that. We as a community do not need to change our traditional makeup and conform to this MTV society.

"I think that in the classical violin community there exists prejudice against other forms of music like jazz, folk and rock. When one thinks of a rock band, one doesn't include a violin -- but why not?"

I cannot agree with that either, I've done gigs with bands as I'm sure some others on here have. A lot of it is actually very good music. I actually prefer listening to a good band like the Beatles over say some modern composition with no harmonic direction or framework. I have a prejudice against all bad music, whether it's some illogical 12 tone composition by Lutoslawski or a "Gangsta" rap "song". I put those two aforementioned in the same category; noise pollution.

December 8, 2005 at 07:24 PM · "How to make the violin cool"...

I agree with those who wish that there were more people in the mainstream who appreciate good classical music. Whatever happened to the days when people like Perlman or ___ (insert famous violinist's name here) were on the Ed Sullivan show?

That said, in a way I agree with Solomon in that I think the violin is ALREADY cool, and the question is how to get more people to realize that. In my opinion, the answer is in education, not in changing the way the violin is played.

Good luck, Sydney!

December 8, 2005 at 08:27 PM · The violin is cool but not the attitude towards it. Just like rap isn't cool but the attitude towards it is hehe. Seriously though, I think what needs to be changed is the style, but not the actual playing. In my opinion the mistake people make in trying to be hip is by trying to play so differently it loses taste. The needed change is in the style and approach to the CULTURE.

December 8, 2005 at 08:36 PM · That's exactly right! The violin is cool, it just needs to get recognized! I think once people saw it on show (I just made a gingerbread house and came back to finish this comment) they would see violin in a different light. If Oprah gets hundreds of e-mails on this...she'll have to do something.

December 8, 2005 at 09:19 PM · Mmm... gingerbread..

December 8, 2005 at 10:11 PM · Did you put lots of gum drops on your ginger bread house?

December 8, 2005 at 10:21 PM · they should get all 3 on, Sarah chang, josh bell, and hilary hahn

December 8, 2005 at 10:37 PM · I definately agree with Sydney. People are just stuck in stereotypes about violinists, and i think getting one on a show like Oprah would help. America really needs more culture, I think we all can agree on that one!

So email oprah! Syd's posted the link a bajillion times! It doesnt take long, but if everyone here emailed her about it, then wow, she would HAVE to do something!! There is definately power in numbers!

December 8, 2005 at 11:03 PM · what you're all speaking of is a publicity campaign. there are ways to do it but you're going about it wrong.

in order to get a violinist on her show you have to have a human element to your pitch.

for instance, to say 'hilary hahn (vengerov, joshua bell, etc) is a young violinist and i think you should put them on your show' wouldn't work because the violin in and of itself lacks ratings appeal.

something that would work a little better would be to present the violinist as a story in the making.

example: canadian born violinist adrian anatawan is looking to build a career performing the concert violin. he's recently been accepted into curtis even though he has a disability: he has no right hand. this might seem to be an obstacle but the most popular violinist of today also has a disability: itzhak perlman can't walk. perhaps you can bring these two players together to share their experiences and have the elder legend give the younger player some advice on a career in the face of a physical handicap.' this adds a human element to your proposal.

keep in mind that oprah's program director always has an eye out for stories that will bring in ratings and i think adrian's story is interesting enough to be put on the air.

December 8, 2005 at 11:01 PM · Why just stop at the violin? WHy not try and lift the attention of classical music in general. Encourage funding for the arts, get schools that haven't got music programs to start them. Let people know about how important music is to society.

To Me, it's not the violin that needs attention, it's classical music in general.

December 8, 2005 at 11:09 PM · that's another story in itself. pinchas zukerman would be a good guest to speak about the issue of classical music funding and support for the arts in america.

December 8, 2005 at 11:08 PM · Greetingd,

perhap@s following Ben`s line of thought a bit I wonder if the angle is the best one. To get more people involved in playing the violin as opposed to mugging old ladies and spacing out on junk food in front of the goggle box , I think one needs to show that it can be done within difficult contexts. IE successful programs in underprivileged areas, dedicated teachers who burn themselves out trying to get any music at all into the lives of kids.

Another middle class white dude from a privilged background wouldn@t necessarily be more than a nic e interlude. (You can@t get more middle class than Nige the punk for example...)



PS Mattias the emails are from me. I am Oprah`s stunt double when she gets tired from reading all the recent e-mail...

December 8, 2005 at 11:23 PM · liona boyd, ofra harnoy, maureen forrester, and oscar peterson are patrons of the dixon hall music school in toronto, a subsidized music academy for inner city youth in regent park. regent park is the largest slum area in canada and 75% of the children living there subsist on an income below the poverty line. thomson egbo-egbo is a jazz pianist who started studying at dixon hall when he was 5. he went on to graduate from dixon hall and perform for quincy jones. he could have very easily ended up dead or in jail so dixon hall is making a difference in the face of ontario's drastic cuts in arts funding 10 years ago.

i know that there are similar programs to dixon hall in many american cities which focus on the violin but they're not heralded on national television. a television program based on such success stories would underline just how dire the financial condition of the fine arts is in america.

December 9, 2005 at 03:14 AM · Wow, great ideas everyone! YOU e-mail them to Oprah and I will too. Now that we have that settled....

December 9, 2005 at 04:39 AM · "example: canadian born violinist adrian anatawan (sic) is looking to build a career performing the concert violin. he's recently been accepted into curtis even though he has a disability: he has no right hand..."

After one gets to know Adrian, one can hardly call his lack of a right forearm a "disability". I don't ever remember him talking about it like it was a disability...more like it was a barrier (I think that was the word) that took a different attitude and way of thinking to overcome.


P.S. The guy works so diligently that one would think everyone else has a disability called "lazy".

December 9, 2005 at 03:55 AM · There's nothing wrong with putting already famous violinists on, but what about some who aren't so famous and need a little boost?

There are plenty of fabulous violinist out there who deserve it, just as much as the more well-known ones.

Adrian's a good choice, I think.

December 9, 2005 at 02:40 AM · About lifting the attention of classical music in general, not just the violin: This past August, during a radio interview with (I believe) the music critic of The New York Times, the subject of a Philadelphia Orchestra concert came up. The discussion turned to the fact that the players and their audience were in such formal attire — and that all this formality seemed incongruous, considering the impassioned performance the orchestra was giving of an impassioned score — Richard Strauss’s symphonic poem Don Juan.

I’m out of school now and no longer under any pressure or obligation to perform in concerts or recitals. But if I were still part of that scene, I’d be active in the movement to ditch the formal wear for something more casual. Those who are trying to bring about such a change have my moral support.

My main concern isn’t how to break down barriers between performers and audiences — although I feel quite sure that what I’m advocating would help in this direction. The big issue, to me, is practicality. Symphonic playing is tough, hot, gritty work — just as much so in its own way as rock performing is. What I really detested in concerts was the jacket. In trying to play the violin, I always found the jacket to be what Saul’s armor was to David — an encumbrance (see 1. Sam. 17:39).

Don’t change the way the music itself is performed. It can speak for itself and needs no apology. But I definitely favor scrapping the formal concert attire for something more casual and practical — and encouraging audiences to do the same.

Here’s a suggestion for recitalists: Hand the violin and bow to the accompanist for a moment, then park the jacket on a chair — or some other convenient place in the immediate area — before playing.

I suspect the audience would probably be a bit amused. If so, just tell them, taking a hint from one of Victor Borge’s routines: “Pardon me for shedding the jacket while I play. Well, I know you came to hear the music, not gawk at the jacket — right?”

December 9, 2005 at 04:49 AM · There's nothing dispassionate about putting on real clothes. If they said that it was because they ran out of things to say.

December 9, 2005 at 07:09 AM · It's unlikely that the violin or classical music will get on Oprah's show for its own sake. As someone said earlier, more likely is that they will be an incidental part of a much bigger story, which ultimately will be dissatisfying for most of the people on this board, because we want the violin and classical music to be the focus of attention.

Better something than nothing though. Vengerov's work with impoverished children all over the world as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador would be a good candidate. But why single him out. On a show like this they would probably bring out a whole bunch of celebrity goodwill ambassadors. No one would know who Vengerov was. Midori's work with school kids in Harlem would be good. Adrian Anatawan was also a good suggestion. Maybe an educational/scientific topic on the 'Mozart Effect'. What about Roberta Guaspari Demetras, the woman Meryl Streep starred as in 'Music of the Heart'? Has she ever been on? It would be suprising if she has'nt, since that is a major example of someone overcoming adversity, not only in trying to fund a music program in New York, but also in her own personal relationships. All the things that Oprah loves.

The number of emails she got would probably have an impact. There is also the issue of whichever prospective guest, agreeing to go on the show. Some have been reluctant.

Would be interesting to see it happen though. Goodluck.


December 9, 2005 at 03:29 PM · Oh, this thread is for serious violinists only! Sorry....

December 9, 2005 at 03:36 PM · Putting together something like Barrage would definately pique interest - but the only thing is - there is already a Barrage.

Don't worry - the answer will come. Let me know if you come up with anything before I do - I would llike to help as best I can!

December 9, 2005 at 03:42 PM · Yeah I was thinking the same thing, you need to tie violin/Joshua Bell in with some Oprah type of cause. Like the plight of unfortunate violinists born with 5 thumbs on the right hand or something else with sufficient tear-jerking power. I remember a couple years ago Oprah published some articles on how the 9/11 hijackers were really just unfortunate people who deserved some understanding from the rest of us. Maybe one was a violinist?

December 9, 2005 at 02:13 PM · Jim W. — you said: “There’s nothing dispassionate about putting on real clothes.”

But who’s to say what “real clothes” are? I’m all for looking nice in performance — clean, well groomed, clothes well fitted and in good condition, no grubbiness or grunginess. I can’t speak for the next guy, but I find the white tie and tails routine archaic, stuffy, and cumbersome.

You also observed, “If they [the participants in the radio interview] said that [the comments about how formally dressed the Philadelphia Orchestra musicians and audience were] it was because they ran out of things to say.”

I heard the whole segment for myself, and I didn’t get that impression at all. In fact, if I remember correctly, these comments came rather early in the segment. I would have been happy to e-mail some listener feedback, saying, “Thanks — I agree with your observations,” etc., sharing my views on the subject of performance attire from the standpoint of a former music major and aspiring professional. Unfortunately, other matters intervened; so I couldn’t write in.

Oh, man — well, all of this is just one more reason I’m grateful I decided to switch from aspiring professional to serious amateur.

December 9, 2005 at 05:05 PM · Yes, this all sounds great, but to me it sounds like we are looking for excuses to put the violin on. If we work hard enough and write persuasively enough, then I'm sure we could get the violin on just for being the violin. It's super cool, you know, and if we make it sound like we are all trying to reintroduce America to the arts, who knows what will happen!

December 9, 2005 at 06:54 PM · Jim H., sorry I ran you out of the music business:) actually a lot of people here made the same decision you did, I'm sure, as did I.

I just don't think you're going to get a bigger audience by dressing down the orchestra at their regular concerts. I can imagine the commentator talking about how people are dressed to make a more colorful radio broadcast but not getting stuck on it. I would like to know how the audience was dressed though. I never go beyond a blazer and an open collar, but it can be fun to go someplace dressed up if it's expected.

December 9, 2005 at 10:28 PM · WOW! There's a subject in and of itself! I hate putting on the tux! I've always had problems. One was a little too tight (well, let's say I grew into it a little too quickly) especially in the neck. So I got fitted with another and the fitting 'somehow' turned out to be wrong and it was too big and my shirt sleeves shot out enough to interfere with my fingering! Then (not in any special order) my cuff-links came undone during a concert (that was embarassing), my bow-tie came up off the collar, my cuff-links (a different, heavier, set) kept banging on my violin, needles have poked into me (from putting extra pins in the bowtie so it wouldn't ride up my neck). I even did a show with my zipper down the whole first half and once I forgot my shoes for an orchestral concert and the conductor asked me to play in my socks...and the list goes on.

Why on earth do we have to look like penguins (and get called penquins)? I think more relaxed clothing rules would yield better music.

Oops...what a tangent! Sorry! If some good biographies of living violinists were interesting enough to make it on the Oprah book list, that would do a lot too.

December 9, 2005 at 11:30 PM · Syndney should suggest having the author of Stradivarius' Genius on the show with her man Joshua Bell making an appearance as well to play a piece. You could probably get half an episode of material out of that and Bell's work on Red Violin is relevant to the Strads Genius book. A lot of people with no interest in classical music saw and liked Red Violin.

December 10, 2005 at 12:16 AM · You guys, all these ideas are great, but I don't know exactly what to say, so YOU e-mail them to her!

December 10, 2005 at 01:36 AM · As far as dressing up or down, these days many artists prefer simple. In most chamber music concerts we play and others like me, people dress casually (no tux and no penguins).

Hip is absolutely in.

Unfortunately the symphony orchestras have not caught up with the times yet.

Check out the other group I play with (other than odeonquartet):


Thanks Sydney M. for such an interesting idea.

The people you mentioned are perfect candidates.

What will also help is if individuals like these get active in projects that will benefit communities at large, and it is such acts of selflessness that will make them more than just stellar musicians or violinists, but role models in society.

Society needs positive role models for sure.

Oh & BTW in discussing concert venues, great concerts happen not only in big concert halls but in clubs and other venues.

Last year we broke the mold in Seattle by being the first classical quartet (odeonquartet) to appear at Seattle's Triple Door (a very hip Jazz Club).

December 10, 2005 at 01:37 AM · Ok. I don't mean to be swimming upstream. Trust me, in real life, I'm a go-with-the-flow sort of person.

Patty said, "So, how do we make the violin "cool"?" Solomon's reply was, "'Nothing' is my answer. I am a traditionalist when it comes to classical music. I believe in wearing white, tie and tails for a concert still because that is who we are much like the Yankees wouldn't be themselves without their pinstripes. The fact is classical music is on a higher level than any other music form. This is not being elitist, it is just telling it the way it is..." I agree completely. (Except, I would be wearing a skirt and blouse. :)

Patty said, "Do we as violinists need to play more popular music?" Solomons' reply was, "My answer again is no...We as a community do not need to change our traditional makeup and conform to this MTV society." Agreed again.

Patty said, "I think that in the classical violin community there exists prejudice against other forms of music like jazz, folk and rock. When one thinks of a rock band, one doesn't include a violin -- but why not?"

I am glad that there is a perceived prejudice against other forms of music like you mentioned. For myself, I would prefer not to be associated with these kind of musicians.

Again, I don't mean to stir up this group...I just wanted to state my opinions.

(Take them with a grain of salt. I'm 16, okay? :)

December 10, 2005 at 02:33 AM · Carly,

I am glad to see that you are into classical music. Do remember that many artists, of yester-year (dead artists like Ysaye, Heifetz,Menuhin, Milstein) were very modern people. Many of those guys premiered very new works like the Ravel sonata, Debussy sonata, Ysaye sonatas, Korngold concerto, Goldmark concerto, Tchaikovsky concerto and all of the 20th century repertoire was premiered by many of our favorite violinists.

(and did I mention all of the great symphonic repertoire of the 20th century?).

Yet some of you forget that these pieces were premiered as new works at the time. It was the music of their time. Just like Monet captured the essence of his time. He broke the mold and divorced himself from traditional styles. And in doing so, started his own mvt. And that is why we relish his works and others like him. And we celebrate the differences between say Rembrant, Renoir, DaVinci etc. Variety is wonderful and so is the voice of the times.

The important difference is that music of our time does not necessarily mean Hip Hop or Rap.

Classical music also does not have to mean that it is the music of 18 century.

Classical music represents music with complex forms, harmonies, variety of rhythmic structures and so much more. This is why good (and ofcourse GREAT) classical music withstands the test of time unlike Pop music which fades into memories rather quickly.

I am sure very few remember who MC Hammer was? and he was "IN" only 15 years ago.

He was the man who truly brought rap music to a mass pop audience.

December 10, 2005 at 03:16 AM · It's good to see that no thread is safe from being hijacked into a discussion about the validity of popular forms of music.

December 10, 2005 at 03:19 AM · if anyone would like to get familiar with some excellent music of our times, check out Osvaldo Golijov.

"Lincoln Center Announces Golijov Festival

From Lincoln Center/Great Performers

'The Passion of Osvaldo Golijov'

In its tradition of celebrating such contemporary composers as John Adams and Louis Andriessen, Great Performers turns its focus in the 2005-06 season to the innovative and evocative Argentine-American composer Osvaldo Golijov (b. 1960) in a festival taking place in January and February, 2006. Featuring many of his closest collaborators, "The Passion of Osvaldo Golijov" begins with three performances (January 22, 24, and 26, 2006) of the Lincoln Center commission Ainadamar ( "Fountain of Tears" ). This one-act opera in Spanish with libretto by Tony Award-winner David Henry Hwang explores the female characters in Federico Garcia Lorca's work and life. It is directed by Peter Sellars, with soprano soloist Dawn Upshaw and mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Connor, who makes her New York debut, and will be conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya.

The program on February 4 features the Kronos Quartet, which has recorded 30 of Golijov's works, performing short pieces written or arranged by the composer, followed by Dawn Upshaw performing the composer's Ayre, an arrangement of 11 songs especially written for her, ranging from Sephardic folk tunes to Semitic electronica to Arabic poetry. The Andalucian Dogs, an ensemble created especially for Ayre, will be part of the performance."

December 10, 2005 at 03:52 AM · I sent 2 emails to Oprah today. Hopefully most of you helped out with my original cause, although, the pop music discussion is interesting.

December 10, 2005 at 07:28 AM · Wow, MC Hammer... has it really been 15 years?!


December 10, 2005 at 07:28 AM · Maybe Oprah should reveal to the world the sweeping, global, internet phenomenon...!!!

December 10, 2005 at 07:45 AM · I could think up some violin rap that would kick Osvaldo Golijov's ass.

December 10, 2005 at 10:05 AM · Three out of four commoners prefer a violinist who can "break it down" over one who can't.

December 10, 2005 at 05:41 PM · 9 out of 10 non-violinists prefer music without violins.

December 10, 2005 at 06:26 PM · Jim,

First of all, statistics depend on location of the survey. If you are doing it in your area (which I think is Kalamazoo ), perhaps you could be close. But not if your doing the survey in cities where people are exposed to a world of music.


oh BTW, Osvaldo Golijov has been named Composer-in-Residence by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.


one more thing, recently when the rap artist "50cents" appeared on Saturday Night Live, he appeared with a string orchestra (all young women)in fact most of them were violinists, a few violists and few cellists.

This is the trend that we are seeing in the recording industry. More and more pop/hip hop artists are using us (string players) on their recordings.

December 10, 2005 at 06:37 PM · His friends call him Ozzie Golijov which I like. But to me he's just another beggar on the street corner till he does something to impress me. And he has to come to me. I ain't going to him.

P.S. it isn't "50 cents." I think the idiom is "Fittie Cent." At any rate, you do have to leave the s off the end. I'm not tellin why.

December 10, 2005 at 06:44 PM · You really must be challenged (mentally) to say such things.

If you like music, check out what is happenning in NYC, Chicago, Boston, Seattle etc. It is at the click of your mouse.



YO YO YO: Fitty does as Fitty sees, but I call his ass 50cents cause that's all whatta I sees!

December 10, 2005 at 06:46 PM · I'm going to get you ragging on 50 cent till the crips in Seattle pop a cap on yo ass.

December 10, 2005 at 06:51 PM · Dude this is it AIN'T

Act respectfully and make some sense in your entries.

December 10, 2005 at 07:11 PM · Jim try these in your next post:

div style="humor"

div style="sarcasm"

If those don't work, maybe

div style="clue"

December 10, 2005 at 07:05 PM · Ahh you mean "Clueless" like you?

BTW insolence is not a virtue.........this is Act respectfully and make some sense in your entries.

December 10, 2005 at 07:14 PM · It's 2:00 pm. Time for breakfast. I'll be back. Remember, you need lessons from 50 Cent.

December 10, 2005 at 07:16 PM · Word.

December 10, 2005 at 07:17 PM · Osvaldo Golijov's opera "Ainadamar" was recently recorded with Deutche Grammaphon and my dad (Adam del Monte) did the Flamenco guitar part! It was recently performed in Seattle and will be performed in Lincoln Center in January. Apparently it's really good.

December 10, 2005 at 07:25 PM · Is Laila your mom?

December 10, 2005 at 08:02 PM · Yes... wow...

December 10, 2005 at 08:18 PM · Anybody care to decipher the conversations? I got lost a looooooooong time ago.

December 10, 2005 at 08:25 PM · Enosh,

That's so cool to know.

Perhaps next time your dad is in Seattle, we may play something together.



WORD YO mama.........

BTW Jim,

I suggest you take some lessons in cognitive thinking so you can graduate from Suzuki book 1 and stop being an embarassment to stupid people :)

If we want to humor ourselves and spread good cheer, there are other ways of writing.

The statements you made about "9 out of 10 non violinists...........and Osvaldo G." were not humorous.


Thanks Sydney for the reminder, it was desparately needed.

December 10, 2005 at 11:55 PM · To Jim W., Rick, and Gennady — thanks for your input.

Jim, actually I owe a word of thanks to everyone — including you — who may have driven me to abandon the music business at age 21 — before I got both feet into it. I am, oh, so much more contented now as a serious amateur than I was as a would-be professional.

I agree that we probably wouldn’t get a bigger audience by having orchestra members less formally attired at their regular concerts. What I’m thinking of, mainly, is the issue of functionality and practicality in players’ outfits.

If I were an orchestra player, I’d be content if the guys could park their jackets on the backs of their chairs — or leave them backstage. I find playing so much easier in shirtsleeves. The rest of the outfit would be fine with me, as long as the tie (if any) was a kind that didn’t get in the way or interfere with the shoulder rest.

I wish the symphony promoters would add some kind of announcement like CASUAL ATTIRE WELCOME — to encourage the audience to be less formal. Maybe some promoters do — I don’t know — I haven’t checked to see. I actually feel that might help.

Rick, your experiences sound quite trying. I never had problems with the bow tie; in fact, as I remember, it was less apt to get in the way than a regular tie. I never had to bother with cufflinks.

Gennady, I went to your site — many thanks — very informative. I plan to go back again later. It seems that chamber players and soloists have more leeway than orchestra players when it comes to functionality in dress. It’s true, as you pointed out, that symphony orchestras have not caught up with the times.

Sorry, fellows — I would have responded to the three of you sooner. But it was nearing bedtime yesterday when I finished my one-man fiddling party for the day — a.k.a. the final evening practice/play session — all suited up in regulation performance wear for winter: blue denims, sweatshirt, and Converse/Chuck Taylor High Tops for extra floor grip.

December 11, 2005 at 12:00 AM · Gennady,

Yah, I saw that SNL episode with the all female orchestra (a couple of my friends were in it)...but my only question is...what on EARTH was that conductor DOING!?!


December 11, 2005 at 12:11 AM · Gennady,

50 Cent is not happy with you.


December 11, 2005 at 12:40 AM · Oh my, Robert Niles needs to put some restriction on the use of HTML!

December 11, 2005 at 12:51 AM · Jim,

You could put your knowledge of HTML to better use rather than promoting "CRAP ARTISTS"

To tell you the truth, even my good friend Lawrence Fishburne (the actor), is offended by "GanstaCRap" and feels that what they're doing is anti social and they are offensive to Afro Americans. There are plenty of great Afro Americans who have spoken out on this subject, including Oprah, Louis Gosset Jr. with whom we just played a concert at Benaroya Hall, Wynton Marsalis etc.

There are other great (afro american) talents like Alicia Keys, who I would prefer to listen to.


If you wish to show off your wit (which at the moment is -45), perhaps you could start by reading Cyrano de Bergarac.

Otherwise your IQ resembles the temperature of your location (Kalamazoo : Cloudy 25%F but feels like 13% F :)

December 11, 2005 at 01:17 AM · Don't engage me in a battle of wits, Kruschev. You have no ammo.

December 11, 2005 at 01:30 AM · name calling disqualifies your entry in the battle of wits :) - 50 dimerits

December 11, 2005 at 01:26 AM · You have already threatened me, engaged me........and frankly.....time's up - you have already LOST!!


I will reiterate what I have stated earlier (which you seem to want to forget).........this is Act respectfully and make some sense in your entries.

December 11, 2005 at 01:26 AM · "Hi Gennady (and the rest of, we have a piece for solo violin that I'd like to get your opinion(s) on."

That's right Gennady I'm following you! Did you ever check out this link?

Rhapsody for Violin Alone

Sorry but I don't know how to insert a picture of the composer Jim :-)~

December 11, 2005 at 01:27 AM · Jonathan,

It is an excellent piece and very well written.

If I have a chance in the near future to program it, I will most certainly do (and let you know about it of course).

Let me know about his String Quartets if he has any. Email me when you have info. :)

December 11, 2005 at 02:29 AM · True.

The poster below me will be equally as irrelevant.

December 11, 2005 at 02:49 AM · Umm... I think you're in the wrong thread.

December 11, 2005 at 06:34 AM · Maestro Flimonov declares it excellent and well-written.

December 11, 2005 at 09:06 AM · ok enough bickering about rap artists. i can go to for that type of discussion. back to the topic at hand. please.

david made a really good suggestion. a show featuring vengerov and midori's musical ambassador efforts would be great television.

i like eric's idea about stradivarius' genius and joshua bell. that could work. i'm sure oprah's viewers wouldn't mind seeing an interview by a beautiful young writer and then being serenaded by her hunky young violinist boyfriend who plays a stradivarius like a dream.

i also like the barrage idea. that would be an exciting episode to say the least. barrage put on a great show.

December 11, 2005 at 04:46 PM · From the Posts We Never Finished Reading Dept.:

From Gennady Filimonov


To tell you the truth, even my good friend Lawrence Fishburne (the actor), is offended by "GanstaCRap"---

December 11, 2005 at 10:39 PM · This is a lost cause. The American media culture no longer celebrates achievement for the its own sake. The posters above are right that there would have to be a sappy emotional story/social cause/politically correct nonsense angle that would overshadow any focus on the violin/player. Look at the Olympics. 90% of air time is given to backstories of divorce, poverty, racism, cancer, aids, death of parent, sibling, or pet, ad infinitum. What about the actual Olympic events? Gee, a table with medal totals per country - ooooh, boy!

December 11, 2005 at 10:54 PM · Kyle, according to your bio you live in Circle Pines, Mn. You're neighbors with James Olson.

December 15, 2005 at 10:03 AM · hey i dont know if people are still checking out this discussion. But i definately agree....only i wish i would see more international artists on there. Like where i'm from, australia, i think it would be the most inspirational event to see an australian violinist on a show like opera. but i guess that wont happen till an american does. Oh well, i can still dream and hope cant i?

December 15, 2005 at 05:45 PM · If there is an Australian Heifetz lurking about that we have not heard about, let us know. I think we would have heard about him or her by now. Until then, what can you say????Good-ai and Fair dinkum :)

BTW it is Oprah Winfrey not Opera W.

December 15, 2005 at 05:35 PM · Good-ai Gennady...thanks for the translation, Gluck indeed!

December 15, 2005 at 05:37 PM · Cheers mate!! (pron. mae-ite)

December 15, 2005 at 09:17 PM · Actually, I would have to say that some Oprah shows come very close to Opera. (Soap Opera, that is.)

Everything on TV, even the "news", has to be sensationalized, emotionalized, to "connect with the viewership".

I'd totally watch a hunky guy play a Strad, tho. ;)

December 15, 2005 at 10:59 PM · Greetings,

I take it your preference is for the `Long Pattern` model?



December 16, 2005 at 11:15 AM · well yeah sorry for the spelling mistake of oprah. sometimes i forget to check what i write. And hmm i dont know bout you guys, but fair dinkum is something only maybe Steve Irwin says, i havent said it unless im joking around. And in terms of Heifitz- there will never be another Heifitz, in any country so i think its unfair for you to say that. If you dont go to a country and see the talent there how can you judge so easily? I think America is fullof talent and so is europe and the entire world.....sorry to sound catty, i dont mean to if i do. But yeah, check out the Australian youth Orchestra calibre and the Queensland Youth Symphony over the last few might be pleasantly suprised at the quality of performers.

December 16, 2005 at 04:44 PM · Natalie,

With all do respect, most talented people go study abroad. Europe & or US.

One of my best friends since school days at MSM is an Australian (now we ended up in the Seattle Symphony together).

By the time they graduate, if they are fabulous, they will most likely compete in the world arena and garner top prizes in major competitions.

If they happen to be the 1st prize winner of several major competitions, rest assured that that person would be playing at Carnegie and Wigmore Hall in no time.

ps: so it's not like there is a great talent that is being overlooked by the US market.

Music world is made up of an international community :)

December 17, 2005 at 08:27 AM · seems as if this thread has been wrung dry by now...

December 17, 2005 at 09:50 AM · You can't be serious.

December 20, 2005 at 01:11 AM · yes i can! so there. nyaaahnyaaah boogaboogabooga blahblahblah.

December 20, 2005 at 04:46 AM · This thread is for serious violinists. Glad to see you're up to par.

December 20, 2005 at 04:49 AM · Gennady... I wasn't saying that australians don't go overseas to further their career. But yeah, that's cool that there is an australian in that orchestra. And I guess, its a shame that Australia doesn't really have the greatest opportunities for violinists, besides Brandenburg Orchestra and ACO (Australian Chamber Orchestra). i think its a great idea that they have any violinist on any american show, because we seem to get most of the shows that run over there anyways. Have a good christmas anyways.

December 21, 2005 at 01:23 AM · Natalie,

BTW, Australia also has the Melbourne Symphony, Sydney Symphony, and if you are so concerned about more opportunities for Australian violinists in Australia, check out Music Council of Australia.



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