Ever heard of a black female classical violinist?

Edited: October 8, 2018, 1:39 PM · Have you ever seen or known a black female classical violinist? Or any classical string player for that matter either as a soloist or player in a professional orchestra? Even a performance major in college or instructor at a university?

At some point it occurred to me I'd never heard of nor can I find any mention of a black female classical trumpeter or violinist. They seem to be non-existent. I find some black female jazz players and street performers but don't find any classical players.


Seeing the amount of static that's ensued, thanks to those who have actually given informational answers my question.

Replies (112)

October 8, 2018, 3:31 AM · Yes I have. A few in fact.
Edited: October 8, 2018, 3:52 AM · Why the weird question?
I neither know or have ever heard of a natural ginger haired black spanish male violinist.
Should we riot?
Should we impose to music schools and conservatoires a minimum number of alumni that are black females, ginger black males, albinos and all the different combinations you can ever think of?
Wait, what about the countries?
Let's add to that also minimum mexicans, colombian, europeans, africans...
How about sexuality?
Yeah, add that as well. You know, even better, let's make all the world a better place: let politicians take over any tribunal and powerful position to include in every company, music school and college degree a balanced amount of equal non-racist, feminist, sexual spectrum, gender spectrum alumni.
Well wait, there are already laws that make a company hire people based on sex, not work or skills. These are the anti-sexist lobby, how halarious is that.

I can only imagine bringing up this question to talk about racism and patriarchy. Two hot topics combined, have fun.

October 8, 2018, 4:24 AM · Really? Can't think of a single black female string player? Because on viola alone (I'm more familiar with violists than violinists), Nokuthula Ngwenyama is a top-tier soloist and I know of at least two black women who are principal violists in professional orchestras.
October 8, 2018, 4:58 AM · I like Regina Carter.
October 8, 2018, 5:21 AM · Tim's obviously a Trump supporter!!!
Edited: October 8, 2018, 12:41 PM · [A thread I'd prefer not to have got involved in.]
Edited: October 8, 2018, 6:22 AM · Seriously, why the invective?

I came here to post a teaching question and thought it was interesting enough to check out the replies. Among other things it made me realise the classical links on my website all link to asian or white players and I thought this thread might give me some quick suggestions for being more inclusive. (Thanks Andrew hsieh!)

I'm who's aussie but I teach kids of all races/genders/sexualities who'd benefit from positive role models.

And the fact is, if you are a kid growing up in a minority group (of any sort), seeing someone else who made it can make the difference beyween keeping on and giving up if the odds (opportunity, finance, bullying of classical music geeks etc) are against you.

If you don't know what i mean, just think of all the difference misty copeland has made in the (still incredibly racist) ballet world.

October 8, 2018, 7:11 AM · Nokuthula Ngwenyama and Melissa White are the first two that come to mind for me.
October 8, 2018, 7:16 AM · See? On this site you can still ask a simple question and get a simple answer. Of course there will always be some who will try to turn the thread into nuclear war with some kind of political rant, but you can just ignore them.
October 8, 2018, 7:27 AM · Sorry to disappoint you, Taylor, but I don't support Trump.
I'm just a rational human being that wants to kill himself each time I read or hear
"Where are the lesbians/gays/black/chinese/bi/asex/asian/muslims/pan/x... represented in this group?"

I don't know either any black luthier, nor I've heard of any in my local area/county/community. According to today's standards, there must be some pretty heavy camouflaged racisim between luthiers and musicians. We gotta stop it, so let's put near Lyndon's store 3 or 4 luthier shops of black luthiers to balance the stats. Or, wait, let's make a law that obligates Lyndon to hire 2 black apprentices in his shop, so get ready to divide each bill by 3.

Edited: October 8, 2018, 7:53 AM · Our local Folk Music Centre had a black luthier, I still think you voted for Trump, its typical of the kind of nonsense his supporters spew!!
Edited: October 8, 2018, 7:59 AM · On that Tim, yes I think priviledge should be given to historically oppressed/enslaved/persecuted people not given to others, in order to help heal and repair damage inflected on them -historically and presently- by others as long as this does not in turn lead to the dispossesion and oppression of others. So yes, scholarships, opportunities, quotas..etc

Trump supporting or not , this is in tune with people who criticize or mock Black Lives Matter telling them...well, so do white lives.

Edited: October 8, 2018, 8:23 AM · Tim Ripond "...Why the weird question?..."

The weirdness is in the preconceived notions of the beholder. As demonstrated in your additional comment

"...Should we riot?..."

My intent was neither to be "weird" nor as a call to anything political or otherwise, it was curiosity - looking for information. I didn't state definitively that there wasn't any such person, only that I had never heard of anyone nor could I find an example looking online. Searching the term "Black female classical violinist" (or trumpeter as I also mentioned) brings up a few previously mentioned jazzers and street buskers but no professional classical soloists, no mentions of members of professional orchestras.

It seemed reasonable to suppose a group of violin players/enthusiasts would have an awareness of the population of classical players.

October 8, 2018, 8:03 AM · Do you love Trump or something? Can you live without saying his name?
I'm starting to think you can't.

Put Trump aside and focus on the topic, the supposed patriarchal racisim that lives among all us musicians, I mean why else would you ask such nonsense question?

OK, you know one black luthier, I bet my hand you know dozens white luthiers per black one. Then you and luthiers must be racists, and also us musicians. We clearly leave a shop when we see a black luthier, so they all go bankruptcy. This must be fixed by our great politicians: Lyndon hire 2 black apprentices, please. Otherwise you're racist just like us. I'm not even talking about women luthiers, omg, black female luthiers, now that's a problem.

October 8, 2018, 8:12 AM · I think there are professionals or at least good violinists of every sort. It's a cultural divide, and genetics have nothing to do with it. I believe there should be more, but the numbers of "classical minorities" (invented term, for lack of better words) are not that big to begin with. Let's hope and work towards a broader representation of human talent accross all ethnicities-the poor are also a bit misrepresented, though there are good success stories out there.

The good violinists should not be judged by their ancestry (for better or worse), but I must say anyone with great training, commitment, and a bit of "luck's help" can achieve a lot, so let's encourage young musicians to keep studying classical violin, regardless their backcgrounds and circumstances.

It does seem that these minorities do have to work harder than those privileged with the right environment for growth, but it can be done.

Edited: October 8, 2018, 8:15 AM · Scott, I'm not represented by anyone except me, whatever Trump says, or any of his supporters, are not my thoughts and ideas, I can think for myself, thank you. I don't know what Trump says about female black violinists, or his supporters, neither I care.

By the way, you grand, grand, grand parents treated my grand, grand, grand parents very roughly and bad. In order to heal my family oppression, I command you give me each month $400. Then our families will be in peace.

October 8, 2018, 8:18 AM · Tim you're the one coming across as sounding like a racist, and I'm not hiring, anybody!!
October 8, 2018, 8:20 AM · Jeff Jetson "... I like Regina Carter..."

According to what I find online while she has classical training in her background she's a jazzer by profession. I'm asking about any known primarily as classical players.

October 8, 2018, 8:31 AM · Tim Ripond "...Scott, I'm not represented by anyone except me, whatever Trump says, or ..."

Since I'm the only Scott who's participated in this thread I assume you're addressing me, even though nothing you've stated has any relation to anything I've said. I didn't say a word about Trump or any of the rest of the static you've been carrying on about from your first response.

All you've done is clog up this thread with noise, it would be great if you'd limit your responses to the actual question that was asked and if you don't have any information on that topic to exit the discussion.

October 8, 2018, 8:37 AM · If blacks were interested in classical music and luthiery, they would pursue classical music and luthiery. But they generally aren't, because it doesn't run in their history and isn't relevant to them today.
In today's political climate, to think that there's some sort of bias keeping them from entering these fields is just ridiculous. and preferentially offering them scholarships and employment is on another level of mental gymnastics entirely.

Now burn me at the stake for entering into this ****show.

October 8, 2018, 8:53 AM · Cotton Mather "...Now burn me at the stake for entering into this ****show..."

Only if you float when we dunk you in the water tank.

October 8, 2018, 9:09 AM · "If blacks were interested..." this is why you get burned.

I am not Hispanic-I am myself. I refuse to be categorized "en masse."

That sort of negative bias keeps ignorantly being pushed by the many against the few. "They can't/won't so why waste resources/efforts in such lost causes, indirectly "curtailing" the rights of the many who can and will"? That is how it sounds, and probably what was (sadly) meant.

October 8, 2018, 9:16 AM · To really answer the thread, there is a number of classically trained good female (and male) violinists out there-not sure if in the big orchestras or soloists, but they exist for sure. Why not that many? The aforementioned cultural divide and such few numbers among the entire classical violinist population. That is what I suggest we improve, by giving those interested in classical music the required tools to thrive.

This is not about politics, and if someone gets offended, so be it. Fairness doesn't place the privileged "at risk" of extinction or being "displaced." Helping others achieve their Dreams doesn't hurt anyone.

October 8, 2018, 9:29 AM · Actually something like this thread brings up a related topic (sorry for hijacking) but since I do a lot of research into classical violin for my work projects, it becomes more and more clear that the serious pursuit of classical music is for people who are wealthy. The cost of high level lessons, good instruments, music camps, accompanists , etc. All this is beyond the reach of people with limited means regardless of race.

Here where I live in Montreal, if you want to take lessons with the best teachers , we’re talking 60-120$ a lesson. By comparison , 50$ by Montreal’s economic standards is already considered expensive. The average run of the mill teacher charges 30-45$ . To put it in perspective, a teacher who teaches in the small neighborhood music school gets paid 17-20$ a lesson. Despite being Canada’s second biggest city, people don’t earn as much as their Toronto counterpart, and we get heavily taxed, so in the end, the serious pursuit of classical music can only be for people with resources.

October 8, 2018, 9:39 AM · Another question: How many Asian pro football players do you know of.
October 8, 2018, 9:41 AM · I just came across this article written gor the Strad from 2014 and it makes very good sense.

"To avoid putting minority candidates in a position where they might be accused of receiving special favours, both Johnson and White advocate maintaining the anonymity that some say is a crucial part of orchestral auditions, but extending efforts to make sure that minority candidates can get behind the screens in the first place. Considering that musicians start studying their instruments when still at their mother’s knee, these efforts need to begin early on.
Racial and socio-economic issues are often inseparable – issues of class can have an impact on success as much in the classical music field as in any other highly competitive industry. Children from privileged backgrounds (often white) have better access to the private teachers, competitions and expensive summer camps that are vital to building a network and fostering success. The issue has become even more prevalent since music education was slashed from so many public school systems nationwide."


Also note the way black people (or "blacks" in the parlance of Cotton Mather) are historically and culturally reduced to fixed mental constructs that only exist in Mather's brains, intellectually segregating them from their larger context, stating on their behalf what is appropriate or not appropriate for them, their past or future. A more subtle way of putting up a banner saying "no blacks allowed".

October 8, 2018, 10:08 AM · http://www.sphinxmusic.org/sphinx-competition/
Edited: October 10, 2018, 8:20 AM · Sorry Scott, the Trump stuff was related to Lyndon, the only one that brought in Trump and kept talking about it, that's why I said I don't care what Trump or any of his supporters have to say about any topic, now specifically about black female violinists.

For you, I sent an answer about your utter ridiculous philosophy that those that have suffered in the past "oppression", now should be privileged. Let me remind you we're talking about privileging the SON's or GRANDSON's of the oppressed, not even the oppressed. What a mindless philosophy, I must say.
I told you my grand, grand, grand parents were oppressed by yours, as an example, so I command you to pay me $400 monthly because I come from an oppressed family and you're to blame. Give me and my family some dignity and pay for what your grand, grand, grand parents did to mines. Yeah, exactly, absurd.

If a person is being enslaved or oppressed by any other person, the oppression should be stopped, the oppressor judged and punished, and that's it, unless you want vengeance, then I would understand why you want privilege. I understood you defend that now black people, because their grand parents suffered discrimination, now we white devils, born way after the discrimination ended, must pay them via "scholarships"? Are you tripping?
So if your grand father commits murder, you're to blame? You must support or pay rent for the grand son of the murdered person?

Given based on race?
Hell no, what in heavens!
Given based on what minority group was being oppressed 50 years ago?
Hell no to the no, no!
Given based on necessity and hard-working?

Sorry but this topic can be only brought up by a total innocent minded musician that happens to have curious about a specific sex and skin color (which seems weird), or by a musician that is trying to say there's racisim and patriarchy today in classical music. It's funny how you all ask the exact same question: females and black people, the only 2 topics that politicians care about. Must be frustrating not to think by yourself.

Bruce was fantastic, why there are near ZERO chinese/japanese football/soccer super stars playing in the major leagues of USA and Europe?
Omg must be racism!

Why in my STEM degree there are less than 25% of females?
OMG must be patriarchy! Because engineering and science universities give you +2 points for being a male, ah!

October 8, 2018, 10:48 AM · Two violinists, a violist and a cellist right here:


October 8, 2018, 11:05 AM · Mr. Ripond,

Whether you support the President or not, I would kindly suggest to end your political rant, so we can all get back to enjoy the purity of the subject of our beloved instrument and its repertoire. Many of us will never agree with you, and it serves no purpose trying to convince each other of the "error" of our ways without this becoming a flame war.

There are outliers in many sports, people that do not fit the athletic norm, thus I disagree with Mr. Berg in this issue (no personal disrespect is meant, however.) Furthermore, violin playing is theoretically more accessible to most than athletic sports, as size and athleticism don't matter as much anymore. There are bright and dedicated people of every ethnicity-all that is needed for violin playing (and gender matters zero regarding violin, whereas there usually are specialized leagues for athletic women.)

October 8, 2018, 11:28 AM · I'm not talking about politics, I did not want to talk about any party or specific person, yet Lyndon believes he has the liberty of accusing me of racist and knows what party I support. What exactly did I say that according to you none will agree?

Let me ask you this question, if your grand father kills mine because yours was a bad person, should you give me a compensation for the damage caused by your grand father to mine?

Pay my rent, or help me paying it, for example. Would you?

October 8, 2018, 12:26 PM · unfortunately history has shown when people with attitudes like your's get in charge, racism just gets worse and worse, the current climate is a good example of that.
October 8, 2018, 12:41 PM · Personally, I find those who insist everybody must be racially categorized, and that such categories are definitive aspects of personal identity, and that such categories should be considered for scholarships and other special opportunities, and for branding who is "oppressed" and who is "privileged" --to me THOSE are the racist people, dedicated to crystalizing people into permanent difference and separate categories based on counterproductive group identities that serve no positive social function.
Edited: October 8, 2018, 12:48 PM · Can you stop calling racist to people you don't know and tell me exactly what is it that I said is racist?

I'm about to drop it, you don't seem to think by yourself.

May be I explained it wrong, all I'm saying is:
1. If a father commits a crime, the son takes no responsibility for it.
2. If the chances of getting to a certain place are equal for everyone, which they are (going to college, being a soloist or becoming a successful entrepreneur), please don't blame anybody if it happens that there's a minority of X. By the way, there's always going to be a minority of X, just change X and call "phobia against X".

October 8, 2018, 12:52 PM · Tim, I was once a liberal but got very tired of all their identity politics and calling "racist" anyone who didn't agree with their racializing virtually all politics and culture. If you resist their supposed "social justice" agenda, then you are a racist because, ironically, you don't believe their arbitrary and unscientific racial categories should be applied to virtually every social or political or economic or cultural question.
Edited: October 8, 2018, 1:06 PM · Its not just about a grand father that killed yours.

It is rather about a system employed by a self identifying group of people, across generations and continents, that reduced a whole other category of people into subhuman tools to enrich their masters, enslaved them and their lineage, depriving them of all means of independant and dignified subsistance, killing and torturing as they see fit...all the while cashing in on the material production made possible by black people in the US and elsewhere (and by theft of indigeneous lands of course). US material wealth at the present is a direct inheritance of the great profits made by the ancestors of black people in the US (for instance cotton industry. If you are curious

Similarly, the poverty of black people in the US is the inheritance of their deprivation and dispossesion across ages. Had there been a conscientious spirit of reconciliation, black Americans and indigeneous peoples should have been economically and culturally compensated for a history of stolen labour and stolen property that the largely white part of what is the US population still lives on. Exactly as Germans owed dispossessed European Jews compensation for what happened during the Nazi period.

October 8, 2018, 12:58 PM · Mr. Wilkin,

I am not racist just because of expressing there are indeed privileged portions of society. Despite being born in relative poverty, I consider myself privileged because of the education I was lucky to receive. And there is "true privilege" in our US society, if we believe the statistics (unless you believe some ethnicities are smarter than others? Doubt you do). Dislike being coined racist when it's one of the things I oppose the most in life, and I welcome you to locate where my supposed racism lies.

(Note that I am not saying you are racist.)

Also, I don't believe there's any practical differences among humans, and don't even use the term "race" myself, within reason. We are all human, for better or worse.

Edited: October 8, 2018, 1:10 PM · Tim, your first point, not holding a child responsible for the crimes of the father, is not a useful way of explaining away or rectifying a society’s historical and current differences in treatment and opportunity for certain groups; your second point assumes a level playing field, which I find ludicrous.

Will, refusing to acknowledge such categories (and the unequal opportunities and treatment that result from them) is an exclusive and self-serving luxury of those in the privileged category.

Edited: October 8, 2018, 1:31 PM · Thank you Nate. I'm a bit frustrated with some posters that call me racist for no reason, I'm saying pretty basic ideas.

Many 40's-50's have hard time realizing new generations have not lived a civil war, don't tag US citizens in goods and bads, have not lived racism neither have an idea of what it even is in real life. We don't know such thing as racism. You can insult based on the skin color just like a white guy can insult another based on another feature: freckles, hair color, height, glasses...

1. Am I supposed to pay the injustices of the past?
Now that's halarious.
You want to ride that train?

OK, let's go back in time... FIRST, let's fine Italy for $7000 Billion for all the conquers they did, occupying territories of Europe and killing your ancestors, or was it mines?. I want my part. Then the spanish imperium, let's fine Spain $9000 billion for all the battles and injustice they caused over decades and decades. Then Morocco, then France...
Who started USA civil war?
Surely half USA must pay the other half, we can't just forget the battles, deads and injustices. And so on.

2. I have several colleagues that are no white, many friends that aren't either. I am with them many hours each day, please explain to me exactly what differences you seem to see between them and me.

Edited: October 8, 2018, 1:28 PM · Yeah you're stating pretty basic right wing reactionary ideas that are tearing this country apart.

Its been my experience that the most racist people claim not only to not be racist, but claim that racism doesn't exist, yeah right!!

October 8, 2018, 1:34 PM · Tim was English your first language?
Edited: October 8, 2018, 1:39 PM · Lyndon, just forget it, hahaha, you're a lost case. Yes I'm racist and I eat black people all nights. Hahaha, I mean, hahaha, if you're racist, it's because you are, if you're not, that's what racist people claim, so you're racist as well. You're so halarious actually.

"Tim was English your first language?"
Uh... Why does it matter?
I hope you're not judging one's ideas and thought based on their first country or mother language, you'd be in such a big trouble if your friends know about that. The word is xenophobic I believe, be aware.

October 8, 2018, 1:43 PM · Nate -- I made and make no such assumptions. Period. Moreover, my statement does not depend on such assumptions. In fact, I was not specifically limiting my statement to poverty or the experience of African Americans.

As for your first statement, the academic achievements of first-generation Asian immigrants -- or your previous statement about the success of an individual member of an historically disadvantaged group -- they do not prove a level playing field.

Tim, regarding your latest comment about new generations not living racism or even knowing what it is in real life or knowing "such a thing as racism," what country are you living in? Because it's not the U.S.

October 8, 2018, 1:59 PM · Can you tell me in which college, high school, music school or conservatoire of the USA you can't apply if you are black, or female, or in which one the points/admission system adds points if you're a white male?

Thank you

October 8, 2018, 2:03 PM · Why is it always white males that claim the system is not biased??
Edited: October 8, 2018, 2:11 PM · Tim - "Tim was English your first language?"
Uh... Why does it matter?"

Clarity of communication is one great reason. Your fumbliness with English construction makes it unclear who you're talking to.

"...Sorry Scott, the Trump stuff was related to Lyndon, the only one that...

For you, I sent an answer about your utter ridiculous philosophy..."

"For you" - who? I'm the only one you directly addressed and I haven't said anything about any philosophy. In the same breath after correcting your screwup of explicitly misaddressing me, if you weren't addressing me here it isn't made clear.

Your shortcomings with English composition aside, you started out making unsubstantiated assumptions about my motives for asking the question.

I have to laugh at this:

"...Can you stop calling racist to people you don't know..."

Really? After your wildly presumptuous first post in this thread? You've contributed nothing but noise, flailing away to defend opinions I didn't ask about to begin with, contributing -0- information and unfortunately others have joined the fray. Feel free to locate and make use of the exit.

Thanks to those who have actually answered my question.

Edited: October 8, 2018, 2:19 PM · Are you assuming I'm a white male?
Wow you're in such a big trouble man, that profiling skill you're using is quite dangerous, xenophobic and racist, your team mates could ban you from the land. Don't talk that freely or you could end up being one of the enemies. I'll give you a suggestion: stick with the ideas of the next politic discourse and you'll be fine.

I apologise for my english mistakes, you're correct, I wasn't all that clear.

I said in the first post either the OP is unbelievably innocent and asked himself a really weird question wanting to categorize violinists under color skin or sex, or clearly he wants to say classical music is racist and patriarchal. Knowing politicians and lobby's bombard every single second how racist and patriarchal is the USA and the world, pardon me if I assumed that the 2 hot topics of the decade are the only 2 categories taken intro account.

Edited: October 8, 2018, 2:10 PM · I normally would not reply to things like this , but I find it unfortunate that people cannot get along. We haver resorted to making assumptions and throwing wild accusations out of the blue. This goes for either side of the political spectrum.

Things would work much better if we didn’t do that and learned to discuss with respect and civility rather than name calling or making accusations out of nowhere.

I have a homestay music program, where people from all over the world come to my home to live with me and study with me. I ‘ve been doing this for 3 years now, and it’s been non-stop , one student after another. I have had people from all walks of life. One week, I had two kids from Denmark, the next week I had a guy Trump supporter from Missouri . Two completely different sets of political mentalities in my home, yet we all got along because the main rule in my home is RESPECT and CIVILITY. I’ve had Mexicans here, Chinese, Japanese, people from all over the USA, Europe, Brazil, etc... I just make it clear what the one rule is.

Edited: October 8, 2018, 2:37 PM · Denis, I get along with anyone that is not mind controlled by lobby's and politics. I've been called racist, Trump supporter and that if I ever had any power, my God, I'm gonna destroy the world. It's simply these people I can't stand because they always react violently and insulting when they sense someone is not following today's politic standards.

Referring to my first post, I repeat, or the OP asked this question, for a purspose is unknown to me, because he wanted to categorize violinists by sex and race (black and female, come on... how original... smells like politics), or the OP is one of those people that divide everything in categories and want 50/50 of everything, everywhere, because somehow that means it's better, for an unkown very dangerous reason.

October 8, 2018, 2:27 PM · Very entertaining thread.
Edited: October 8, 2018, 2:39 PM · Denis, I do not see where the respect and civility is when someone's first reaction to someone else's question about black violinists to encourage youngsters is : why ask the weird question?

And solely on the Trump thing (Tim is irrlevant to this), i do not see the civility or respect coming from a side that supports grabbing women's private parts, mocking them over their being violated by sexual predators, forcing children away from their parents and into desert camps...etc.

It's like telling fascists and ,well, non fascists, let's just get along and respect each other. It is a difficult thing to do when there clearly is a lack of civility and respect exclusively from one side. :)

On the other hand, I've been able to get along with people who dont like immigrants much (i am one ).But I don't know if that is really a good thing or one should be more confrontational these days.

October 8, 2018, 2:51 PM · See?
It's people like Tammuz I can't get along, they are dividing people in "the good ones" and "the bad ones". They live in a constant civil war, either you are with them or against them. I guess I'm a fascist.

I have explained my reaction several times. Categorize violinists by sex and race, ok, let me guess, black and women?

Oh, how surprising! Very original, I gues it has nooothing to do with today's media infestation, that's exactly what a regular student would ask himself/herself.

Yes, I assumed he/she wanted to bring the patriarchy and racism to classical music, thing I totally find insulting, so I replied very consistently, and by not insulting anyone.

Would anyone find it weird if someone wants to know why there are no ginger muslims top tier violinists?
Just me?
Why you want to find that out?
Why muslims, why female, why black, why jew?
What that has to do with playing the violin?

Of course nothing, so either the student is asking a random weird question or, the explained reason up there.

Edited: October 8, 2018, 2:55 PM · Heaven forbid we could find ways to encourage more black aspiring musicians!!!

But that will never happen because we have more very deserving rich white and Asian kids to promote!!!

Edited: October 8, 2018, 3:01 PM · It's unfortunate that we have to resort to assumptions of each other. Words like fascist / nazi get thrown around to easily.

I myself am a "minority" in North America. My parents fled real oppressive government regimes, and if they had not , my father would have been assassinated. My aunt who was a journalist was jailed for opposing the government

I don't want to take anyone's side here, but just to quickly label someone as being fascist , racist is just not my way of doing things. I'll point out racism if someone outright says that "X" race is inferior and should be exterminated or "Y" race power. I don't see any such thing here

Like I said, I don't see things getting any better here in this thread, and people will continue to attack each other. It's rather unfortunate.

This goes for both sides...

I've had people come into my home with political opinions that I very much disagree with. And things they said were said out of ignorance (in my opinion), but I wouldn't label them fascists or racists. I really dislike identity politics.

But that's it from me.

October 8, 2018, 3:03 PM · Tim, I didn't say you were a fascist. If you note carefully, I strictly excluded you from the phrase (saying you were irrelevant to it) concerning Trump and his ilk. It was in response to Denis' post. Now if you believe it's OK to do what Trumps advocates and likes, then that is something else. You would be implicitly included.
Edited: October 8, 2018, 3:09 PM · Denis, I'm not throwing around the word fascist willy nilly. The link between right wing nationalist movements and idealogues and Trump can hardly be denied.
Edited: October 8, 2018, 3:15 PM · Yes I can agree that there's definitely a link, but I can also say that this mentality was there long before trump, and while it was somewhat hidden, it was stil very strong.

My friend was playing a gig in Toronto while Obama was president and there was an American business man in the audience, after the gig, they started talking , and out of te blue he businessman casually said "things would be better here, if it weren't for that gorilla president".... Now that's racism.

Anyway, this is starting to deviate, and would be happy to discuss things further with you in private if we were to meet, but I don't think this is the right place for this discussion.

what i say still stands. I hope people can get along here

Edited: October 8, 2018, 3:21 PM · Why are you few talking about Trump constantly?
OMG, it's insane, unbelievable.

No, Lyndon, no, why black?
Why? Just why? Why you people keep dividing, tagging and categorizing violinists into black/white, female/male, muslim/christian?
Is the audition 50/50 male/female?
Is it religion balanced?
Are there black players in the orchestra?
Are there jews in the wind section?
Is the director buddhist?
Are there lesbians in the viola section?
What's been the sex of the last 10 conductors? Is it balanced?

I defend the encouragement of new talents that have difficulties ONLY getting a violin and taking lessons, mostly for economic reason, because we would lose a great musician, not by race, sex or religion. I couldn't give a flying pig about the color of the skin of these new talents. What's wrong with people today?

When I go to a concert I couldn't care less about the sex of the players, or their color skin, or nationality or religion. I care about the sound and the quality of the orchestra.

October 8, 2018, 3:31 PM · Thank God, the forum drama is alive and kicking. Sometimes it's dormant for a while and I get concerned.
Edited: October 8, 2018, 3:33 PM · We're talking about Trump because people like you voted for him, Tim, and now he's the President, and he encourages racism in America, defends white supremacists, and has a long history of sexual assaults and supporting abusers, that really ticks me off, its not business as usual, its the start of a move towards a more fascist America. It has to be fought tooth and nail IMHO
October 8, 2018, 3:46 PM · I'm pretty sure this forum is not the proper one to share your political views (not because you can't, but because it's not the place), neither to share your black magic tricks results to know which party I vote.
October 8, 2018, 3:57 PM · Well lets just say I've never heard a Democrat express views like yours!!
Edited: October 8, 2018, 4:02 PM ·
There are three groups: racist, reverse-racist, and "people who judge others based [on skill] and the content of their character."- Martin Luther King.

I wish more would follow King's advice. I also don't see any difference between the tolerance levels of racist and reverse-racist; it seems one creates the other.

For me, it's more about community support. If a certain activity is supported in your community, then you will hear about more success stories because it's a numbers game.
There does seem to be a connection to single parents, lack of community and low success rates. With Black American birthrates at 72% for single parents, we are just not going to see a lot of success stories in all fields unless there is a dramatic change by the government and these communities.

FYI, Asian Americans have a less than 5% single parent birth rate.

Edited: October 8, 2018, 4:10 PM · Yes, has nothing to do with centuries of enslavement, segregation, forced poverty and mass imprisonment. Any reason, or lack of reason except for that. It's about single parent birth. Charles found the key ingredient. It's sex.
Edited: October 8, 2018, 5:04 PM · Oh brother, Charles!! So I guess that blacks are just inferior and the ways our society has treated them has absolutely nothing to do with it???
Edited: October 8, 2018, 5:30 PM · Our society? OUR?
May be you treat black people badly, but when you talk about society, that includes me, please don't assume I treat people badly, that's quite insulting.

I take no responsibility, neither any of you, for what american society did 50 years ago (unless you are 70?), 100 or 300, for good or bad. I find it very funny how many people of a given party or lobby attribute themselves the victories or conquers that party or lobby has done in the past.

It's amusing how you guys just want justice for a very specific skin color, going back in time just the years you find convenient for some weird reason. As I said, if you want to play with "history", let's start fining all the great imperiums of the past because of their brutal power over other villages.

Once resolved all the historical injustices, we will start with less general fixes.

Did your grand^9 father betrayed mine and that sentenced the wealth of my family over decades?
Well, here I come, I request justice for all your family tree alive today, compensate me please.

By the way, you're tripping if you think slavery has only happened in America and only to african-americans, and I say this because you only seem to care about that. Slavery has been present in pretty much all civilization from the very early stages of humanity. I'm really hoping you are not forgetting about the millions and millions more slaves that struggled during human history. Many war captives or simply because you wasn't born in a rich family. Let's justice that as well.

October 8, 2018, 5:17 PM · Why aren't there more cats playing the clarinet?

October 8, 2018, 5:28 PM · October 8, 2018, 5:35 PM · notice its the white cat playing the clarinet!!
October 8, 2018, 5:37 PM · you f'd up the page David, try fixing your html
October 8, 2018, 5:39 PM ·

TK and LT you guys are way too intolerant and bombastic to have a rational discussion on this topic.

October 8, 2018, 5:53 PM · So being totally against racism makes us impossible to get along with, figured as much.
Edited: October 8, 2018, 7:02 PM · "notice its the white cat playing the clarinet!!"

Aha, you dastardly ne'er-do-well! You are obviously implying that the black cat couldn't do it, and that black cats are inferior!

October 8, 2018, 6:27 PM · Oh, damn, David!, hahahahaha.
Edited: October 8, 2018, 9:26 PM · "So being totally against racism makes us impossible to get along with"

Hitler was a racist leader, but if that was all he was his name would be allowed on license plates. Hitler was completely intolerant, and Intolerants Trumps Racism. Lyndon you are not fighting racism, you are just being intolerant.

When at Peace the Son buries the Father. When at War the Father buries the Son. But long before the War has even Started, the Father’s been conditioned to be too Afraid to Speak up.

Edited: October 9, 2018, 12:35 AM · Tim it's because of people like you that this question needs to be asked.

To actually answer the question here: I've only heard of one and it was by chance on a Spotify search for an obscure piece nobody else had recorded.

Edited: October 9, 2018, 10:42 AM · It's because of people like Tim doing what? Expressing a position in favor of racial or gender equality/neutrality?
October 9, 2018, 1:03 PM · On the luthier end of things, I know of only one African-American female who has applied for a job or learning position, and she was accepted.

Should there be more emphasis on solicitation of those who don't have high initial interest? Perhaps, but in general, what I have found was that the best lutheirs have come from a pool of those who were already highly motivated to go into the trade, without being solicited or "crow-barred" into pursuing something in which they did not have high initial interest.

October 9, 2018, 1:16 PM · My best friend was one, until she had to give up her pro career after the financial crisis. She wasn't a household name, but she had a good quartet, which she travelled internationally with, and held down jobs in several decent orchestras.
Edited: October 10, 2018, 1:06 AM · A specific person in this thread is making me laugh a lot.

I personally have only ever seen a few black violinists in my life, but I know of plenty of black conductors.

Let me note that the original question, and the subsequent party wars that resulted from it, can only happen in the US with American people. On the other side of the Atlantic, we don’t have such problems.

October 10, 2018, 4:35 AM · Yeah, you have neo nazi parties represented in Parliament, and the same racism and hysteria about immigrants. At least in America we have David Burgess making world acclaimed violins but supporting right wing presumably racist posters??
Edited: October 10, 2018, 4:50 AM · I have an intense headache, may be I didn't eat my daily ration of black people. I must be low on vitamin B, damn. I'm dropping this thread, it's like discussing with walls. Oh, black walls, well white, no, just forget about the walls color. Got it, rainbow colored!
Edited: October 10, 2018, 7:02 AM ·
Why is this thread not removed??? Are we left on our own without supervision?

Roman, it's because the news here has become very sensationalized.

Today is the best time in human history to be alive, for most. Wars are at their lowest point, famine is much lower(Ethiopia is one of the top richest countries in Africa) and life expectancy is very high. But, Today's news is very sensationalized and dome and glume. My advice to you Lyndon is to start watching daytime soups instead of CNN and Fox, and you will be just fine because right now you and others like you have become obsessed and intolerant with what's going on and you are not thinking rationally.

Roman the AFL party in Germany has been making the news this month.

October 10, 2018, 7:16 AM · The worlds just getting better and better???? LOL
Edited: October 10, 2018, 7:35 AM · Lyndon, what value do you find in trying to pigeon-hole people into one of only two categories? Is it because that's intellectually less challenging than assessing each argument, and each person individually according to their merits?

In fact, I am not a member of either political party, and have not consistently voted for one or the other. And it so happens that I did not vote for either Clinton or Trump. Does that start to give you an idea of how far your emotions and assumptions have led you astray?

When I read what Tim had actually and literally written (as opposed to using "imaginative license" to twist it into whatever might suit some agenda), I DID have the impression that some posters had over-reacted. ;-)

Edited: October 10, 2018, 8:14 AM · Maybe you're Libertarian, I don't know. But Tim espoused identical views I over and over hear from far right Trump supporters, its not an anti racist position in any way I can see. Black people in America have on the average been dealt a very bad hand, and don't have the opportunities presented to them that most white and Asian Americans do. This is largely a function of hundreds of years of institutional racism. To say that being colourblind and treating blacks equally is the solution would only work if everyone were doing it and they're not. Its kind of like golf games where even people like Trump are given a handicap, it doesn't hurt one bit to give a black student entry to college with a slightly lower GPA than a white student. Why because it has been shown that that black student does just as well in college when given the opportunity, as the white student with the higher high school GPA. Why? Because they are motivated, and their slightly lower GPA is not the result of lower ability but a result of higher environmental difficulties they faced that that privileged white student never had to face. The massive inequality between blacks and whites is not going to be solved by treating everyone equally, that's been tried and the blacks get the short end of that stick. Maybe an income based affirmative action would be more just, that's debatable, but someone has to address just how much harder it is to grow up in a ghetto and make a success of you life

Basically Tim's position is the status quo, continue having huge inequalities, stop anyone from trying to give advantages to the less fortunate among us, and falsely claim that racism is a thing of the past, this IMHO is a fundamentally racist position

Edited: October 10, 2018, 12:59 PM · OK, you've kind of fallen into the "pigeon-holing" thing again.

But if we're going to make some loose generalizations in that direction:
Among all the various "good" and "bad" kids I've been acquainted with over the years, there seemed to be a much stronger relationship between the outcome, and the "values" and priorities of the parents, than to the economic status of the family.

Some kids were born to wealthy parents. I was not. Wahh. And both my parents were born to rather poor families, so double-wahh. Both worked their way through college and grad school, without parental or governmental financial assistance. Both "pulled themselves up by their bootstraps", so to speak, and I learned some really valuable lessons from that. So that may have been my major form of "privilege". It certainly was not wealth!

My mother faced some gender-bias early on in her career. Did she pizz and moan about it? No. Instead, she worked harder and became more accomplished than most of her male competitors. Demonstrably superior performance (regardless of race or gender) is pretty hard for employers to ignore, if they care about the well-being and competitiveness of their company or institution.

If you disagree with Tim's views, which approach do you think would be more effective at influencing him in the direction of your perspective? Derision and name-calling, or serving as an inspirational example of a path that he finds attractive enough pursue?

Sure, I've sometimes gotten a little short on patience with "whiners", versus the "doers". One has a much higher success rate than than the other.

Edited: October 10, 2018, 1:16 PM · David that is another topic though, be it pertinent and relevant. No one is denying that hard work gets one places, but hard work alone is not the sole factor here. And I don't see anyone here whining...why are you applying that sort of talk here? Either one accepts or rejects the influence of factors being brought up by Lyndon or myself or others, that's fine, but sidestepping into another topic is misleading.

There are plenty of people of colour who go through taxing situations you or your parents don't or didnt go through, nor (I'm assuming) do they have the burden of a very recent painful history of being persecuted, enslaved, mass imprisoned, economically and geographically separated by virtue of historical race discrimination. That does not mean that your parents situation was an easy one but it does not mean you have a reason in extrapolating an overarching truth that doesn't factor other elements.

Quite simply, the result of discrimination is so flagrantly obvious in the US (and elsewhere), that the very fact that you suggest that the reason of being underpriviledged is in the lack of hard work is as cruel and dismissive of the past and present conditions black people live/d through as Charles thesis of single parenthood as being the reason. And so was Tim mockery of providing black women violinists as role models for kids.

The Germans didn't just put their hands up after the Nazi period and say "ok were all equal now again" after the theft of Jewish lives, labour and possessions. To this day, they're still in a period of reconciliation.
By contrast, to date in the US black peoples are still living under the threat of mass imprisonment, police brutality, economic depression, etc.

October 10, 2018, 1:02 PM · I feel kind of bad that Mr. Roberts' question kind of got sidelined...
October 10, 2018, 1:34 PM · I think a big mistake is to just assume how hard someone’s life is or is not because of their race.
Edited: October 10, 2018, 9:01 PM · Tammuz, I'm not quite gettin' your drift. I never claimed that poverty stems from a lack of hard work, only that hard work in today's US society (along with being able to accept some good guidance) has the potential to overcome it. But I also wouldn't accept economic enrichment as the only definition of "success". Far from it! If you could present your perspective without needing to put words in my mouth, I would very much appreciate that.

Slavery has existed for about as long as humans have existed. Did you know that slavery was first legally sanctioned in the British American colonies upon the petition of a black American (who wanted to own African slaves) in the British court system? Do your homework!

When the US declared independence from Britain, one state (New York, I think, from memory) had abolished slavery within the first year. Other states followed, and after a bloody war, it was abolished in the entire US within about 75 years of having become a nation, at the cost of considerable carnage and lives lost.

That's just a little history, and isn't even remotely intended in any way to be an advocacy of slavery, racial prejudice, or humans trying to control other humans, whether by deception or force.

African slaves in what is now the US were just a minor drop in the bucket. Vastly more went to sugar cane plantations in South America and the Caribbean. And these slaves were mostly purchased from black Africans, who captured and sold their brethren. Plenty of blame to go around.

I guess I'm lucky, in that none of my ancestors happened to be involved in any way in the African slave trade, so I don't suffer much from the "white guilt" thing.
Should I? Maybe, if someone can make a compelling case why I should.

October 10, 2018, 2:02 PM · Jocelyn Marrow - "... I feel kind of bad that Mr. Roberts' question kind of got sidelined..."

I'm feelin' yer pain. :)

Edited: October 10, 2018, 10:20 PM · I could not brace myself to read all comments here.... just recently have been reading about protestantism my attempt to understand the context Bach lived and worked in. One of the chapters was about slavery and how protestants supported it and then fought against it.... have to admit that Baroque music still sounds the same, but have some sour notes with the awareness that it was written for privileged few while slaves worked to accumulate the wealth.
Perhaps more relevant to this discussion.... the story of Kyung Wha Chung, one of my favourite violinists, the 1st Asian and the 1st woman to break unspoken white men's monopoly on concert stage. Before her, at the beginning of 20th Jewish dominance, which led to some people thinking and asking if there is some sort of tribal factor to violin playing. After her, many Asian violinists of great quality. I tend to agree that violin study does have a lot to do with socio-economic status; it is not only a matter of early exposure, but also access to instruments, scholarship and the lineage of teachers.
Watch "The strings of Soweto" and read about "El sistema". Get curious about free music education during socialism in Europe. It does take a village to raise a child and the whole society to produce a great violinist.
Edited: October 10, 2018, 10:08 PM · David,

In the context of the topic of institutional racism, a history of forced dispossession applied to particular groups on people and whether special consideration and opportunities should be give, you yourself raised the issue of hard work, not me. How do you expect that to be read if not as a remedy?

Otherwise, in my opinion, it is rather condescending to mention it, we all know that hard work helps people get places, many of us here are hard workers and had hard workers for parents...we're not waiting for you to tell us the obvious. Neither do less fortunate people who, despite their hard work, find themselves forced into a socioeconomic prison, owing to a traceable readable history.

So please, quit the condescension. You are fine to disagree or agree, but don't presume to tell others to do their homework. To add to what you said, there were tribes in Africa as well as non westerners, non white, who hunted members of others groups to source slaves. This does in no way diminish the responsibility that the US responsibility towards its own atrocious usage of slaves. Neither does your citation. For me, it is in the classic vein of people trying to insidiously dissolve the blame for the ethnocide of the indigenous people (ie, well tribes massacred each other as well, so its not just white settlers' fault).

I totally agree that this is not limited to the US...but this does not diminish the responsibility that the US should bear towards the descendants of slavery and of the genocide of the indigeneous people. What sort of irresponsible logic is this where when points out that one entity should be responsible for its history of dispossession, you aim to dismiss it by pointing to how another entity committed the same? This is what I noted in your previous post; you are inclined to dig sidewise in order to mislead and misdirect.

As for you and your family, no one above insinuated that you or any individual American is personally responsible for such acts unless they participated in them. Why do you bring it up; you are being rather hyperbolic here. That would just be nonsensical to do so. I think the idea is that institutionally, the US should be offering opportunities and compensation targeted towards getting these communities on par with others. And, this does not contradict the idea that deprived white people should also be offered opportunities. This is why I brought up Germany, it is, as far as I know, one of the more levelheaded approached to compensation(although I detest their politics elsewhere).

Here in Canada, Montreal,there are far too many homeless people (one homeless person is one too many) , they are indigeneous, black, white....it is very sad, irrespective of colour. Empathy for people oppressed because of their ethnicity or colour in no way overrides empathy for people who are economically deprived. But one should not use one topic in order to negate another; there is a history that is far larger than your hard work ethos, than the single parenthood thesis of Charles or the knowing colourblindness of Tim.

Aside, the question of black people agency has been suggest here, and I agree. Speaking about the past and its effects on the present in no way means that one is attempting to determine how uniform they should be (exactly as I refuse the same on people of Arab extraction, or Asian, etc), what they should be like, what interests they should or should not have.

I will lastly add that I am not always able to respond, because I work quite hard (!) and even writing this as a response late evening was taxing.
(post edited)

October 10, 2018, 10:02 PM · Rocky, I was thinking very much about El Sistema as I was writing. But I thought I wasn't going to make my post any longer...then I did. :)
Edited: October 10, 2018, 10:21 PM · The concept of racial disadvantage is really not that difficult to understand, which leads me to believe some people are being wilfully ignorant.

This is not about forcing white people to feel guilt, it's about (at the very least) acknowledging that we simply don't have to worry about some of the things black people deal with on a daily basis, and that whatever challenges we face in life will probably hit them harder.

Any adult should be able to acknowledge this without feeling personally attacked.

Edited: October 11, 2018, 12:34 AM · Tammuz wrote:
"What sort of irresponsible logic is this where when points out that one entity should be responsible for its history of dispossession, you aim to dismiss it by pointing to how another entity committed the same?"

LOL, it was by no means my aim to dismiss it. How many more times will you try to speak for me? I'm moderately capable of doing that myself, and most likely with a higher degree of accuracy, when it comes to expressing my own thoughts. Should that change, and I require your assistance, I'll let you know, OK? ;-)

I'll leave your other seven paragraphs in that particular post alone, for the sake of brevity. :-)

Edited: October 11, 2018, 2:33 AM · Mary Corbett, Florida Orchestra.



I knew her when we were both in the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra, many years ago.

October 14, 2018, 4:42 AM · I had a stand partner who is a black female violinist. She's a fantastic player. Never met anyone in my life more passionate about Shostakovich.
October 14, 2018, 7:27 PM · David Burgess wrote: 'Do your homework!'

David, here is some homework for you:
The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein

This book explains why no amount of 'hard work' could have lifted the majority of blacks out of poverty, because they were prevented from enjoying the benefits of homeownership, which is the primary means by which white Americans were able to accrue and leverage wealth.

Edited: October 15, 2018, 5:31 AM · Guglielmus, is this book about the past, or the present? If it's about the present, how does the book explain the 45% of African Americans who are “middle class”, and the forty-three percent who own homes (according to an annual report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University)?
How does it explain the African Americans who are wealthy?

Is it your belief that poverty is inescapable?

Couldn't an attempt to stereotype African Americans as "poor" be considered a bit racist?

Edited: October 15, 2018, 8:27 AM · David Burgess--'Couldn't an attempt to stereotype African Americans as "poor" be considered a bit racist?'

The Racial Wealth Gap: Why A Typical White Household Has 16 Times The Wealth Of A Black One[forbes.com]

Damn those racist facts!

Edited: October 15, 2018, 8:38 AM · Mr. Burgess,

No, because poverty levels don't determine anything. There are poor "everything". Poverty, however, is inescapable to many who are happy working very hard at the "wrong" jobs they love.

Some people take these views to the extreme, implying that the reason some ethnicities are not "successful" is due to genetic disposition-not only false, but ignorant of the true privilege that many have had in life. I am not rich or aryan-white (I am all that the extremists hate), but I do consider myself quite privileged and lucky to be born under the circumstances I was. Also knowing many poor hard workers personally, I find the "hard work gets you rich" mantra utterly improbable, so people should really do what they love, whether they get rich or not (not implying you believe these extremes, Mr. Burgess.)

In any case, this discussion only continues the curse of the current (US) national divide (bet we won't convince each other), and however well-meaning it was to begin with, it's not currently befitting of this forum.

In summary, there are great violinists of all types and makes, despite many of them not being represented by the majority. Anyone can play well, and anyone can "succeed", but some may have to work harder to achieve similar things-a fact stated in interviews by at least one said minority violinist (old article, forgot who he was, but I don't enjoy fabricating facts.)

No offense intended to Mr. Burgess or anyone who will inevitably disagree with me. Have an inspiring day doing what you love.

Edited: October 15, 2018, 3:07 PM · Adalberto, I have no reason to disagree with you. The only reason I originally got involved in this thread, was to take issue with the accusation that an earlier poster was "racist", because he was of the opinion that all races should be treated equally. Then, unfortunately, I let myself get sucked into defending myself, when it was asserted that I believe things which in fact I do not.

I do understand that this can be a rather passionate topic, and therefor can understand some tendency to read either text or speech with one's emotions, rather than going by what was actually said.

Some believe that all people should be treated equally, and others believe that some groups should receive compensation for historical wrongdoing. Personally, I don't see a good reason to engage in pejorative name-calling, or false accusations, toward either group.

What I believe is that the US is a land of opportunity. Does that mean that everyone starts out from the same place? No. As I mentioned earlier, some kids were born to wealthy parents. I was not. I've been self-supporting since the age of 18. Week nights, after work, I took college classes or worked on violins. Weekends, when the work was available, I worked on a commercial painting crew to help make ends meet. One of the major perks of that job was that the boss would buy us hotdogs for lunch. Yeah, I was that hard-up, once surviving on a Christmas-gift fruitcake for more than a week. LOL

It was hard, but no regrets, resentment, blame, or finger-pointing. Just gratitude for all the different things I have been able to experience (including some hardship), gratitude for what I have, and gratitude for having eventually ended up in a position which enabled me to contribute to the training of some who turned out to be really high-level people in the trade.

I'm still far from wealthy! But as Adalberto already explained, financial compensation is not everyone's measure of success.

October 15, 2018, 7:15 PM · David: "The only reason I originally got involved in this thread, was to take issue with the accusation that an earlier poster was "racist", because he was of the opinion that all races should be treated equally."

He also mocked the OP's question, went on a rant about how sexism, racism etc and how their anti's are politicized, mentioned an anti-sexist lobby, and signed his post off: "I can only imagine bringing up this question to talk about racism and patriarchy. Two hot topics combined, have fun. "

So. no, Tim's post was not merely that he was of the opinion that all races should be treated equally. He brought in quite a bit more of that in his post. IS he genuinely racist, or at least a little bit racist (there are degrees), I have no idea really. Is he genuinely colourblind or is he using colour blindness as a mask, I also dont know. But from his post, clearly criticism and talk of race and patriarchy upset him enough to go on a rant.

David: "I let myself get sucked into defending myself, when it was asserted that I believe things which in fact I do not."

It is a question of what you choose to bring in to the discussion. I still do no understand why you mention hard work in the context of this topic; hard work is besides the point here. Or, if you want, hard work is not the context here and its potential statistically will differ greatly from one group to the other. It is clear to many that the disparity -whatever the amount of work exerted- between black people economic situation and that of the white people- is very concrete. The fact that you leave that out of your computation is telling.

You also went on to state this:"you know that slavery was first legally sanctioned in the British American colonies upon the petition of a black
American (who wanted to own African slaves) in the British court system? "

Why in the world would you even mention that, what place does it have in this topic? You do understand that this pushes a reader to pick up on a suggestion that you are attempting to somewhat the dilute the blame that falls squarely on the historical almost exclusively white US establishment/s? Otherwise, why even bother bring it up? If we were discussing Germans in the Nazi period and their responsibility towards jews , would one try to criticize that notion by stating: Oh, but there were Jewish Ghettos Police who worked with the Nazis.

So really, it is not about me asserting what you believe in or what you do not believe in but rather a response to reading the content of your own writing.

David: "Some believe that all people should be treated equally, and others believe that some groups should receive compensation for historical wrongdoing. Personally, I don't see a good reason to engage in pejorative name-calling, or false accusations, toward either group."

I agree, but again, you seem to overlook that Tim's post, reacting to a question about seeking names of black women violinists to offer as role models , was the initiator of mocking acerbity. Now, why would Tim get a drama attack over the OP,s question?

Edited: October 15, 2018, 9:36 PM · Tammuz, you might be going a bit overboard with your emotional interpretations of what has actually been said, yet again.

Just one quick and simple example: Where did the OP say, or even suggest that he was seeking names of black women violinists "to offer as role models"? Or was that simply one more product of your capacious interpretive license?

Are you capable of letting things other people have said stand as they were stated (including mine), or do you have an inexorable compulsion to color on other people's pictures with your crayons, to modify them to your taste?

Edited: October 15, 2018, 10:04 PM · David, really, it's a total waste of time, these people are always insulting (racist, misogynistic, whatever-phobic, large etc), when not insulting they read you through their hugely distorted vision of reality and interpret your words in a very false way, then they will put words in your mouth you never said, they are always tagging, always dividing people into groups (bad ones and good ones), always wanting to confront a free will, etc... they are pretty much dominated by politicians and newspapers, agendas, they are easily influenced, they only talk about topics politicians want them to talk about, they really can't think by themselves, you're not with them then you are the enemy and fall into the "bad" group with defined views and ways of thinking. It's always the same, and it's quite sad. Paradoxically, I really think people would be much more free if politicians and newspapers didn't exist, that would make them think by themselves. There would be fear, fear of not fitting, fear of being alone defending one point of view, fear caused by freedom, fear to be unique and face alone a presumably "famous shared" point of view. But we don't want to feel that fear, do we?
No, we don't, it's better to feel comfortable and safe knowing all people around you think the same way, talk about the same topics, know what's the right opinion and what's the evil opinion.

Just let them be. Time is the cure. I said I wouldn't reply anymore, but I felt bad for you. You're fighting against air, you're always going to lose.

October 15, 2018, 10:00 PM · More evidence of why this all started!!!
Edited: October 15, 2018, 10:20 PM · David, I actually, I had Anish Carmen's post in mind, so not OP's. You are right there, but not in that it was an interpretation (lapse of memory rather). But even if the purpose of the OP was not stated, that doesn't negate the other points I said. You have not responded to any of the other points. Also this is not emotional for me, must you always include condescension?I think I have enough reason to think it bizzare that, when speaking of how racism and discrimination has ended up setting one group far behind from the other, that hard work should be brought up.

Or that you cite one black partisan of slavery...who knows for what purpose if not to dilute blame.

Tim, we live on quite different planes. I probably am not fond of the politicians and the newspapers you have in mind :)

October 15, 2018, 10:25 PM · Mr. Ripond,

Those you strongly oppose on this thread could lay a similar accusation against yourself. Thus it all boils down to "I am right, you are wrong"-and endless debate not worthy of our violin forum.

I don't love politicians either, BTW, but I do think by myself. You make it sound as if someone disagrees with you, they must be not thinking by themselves or are being merely puppets of an "evil" media empire (which does not exist, whatever conspiracy theory is out there). I have more respect for honest media coverage than politicians, quite frankly, and can easily tell when journalism is biased or not (for indeed there is bad, agenda-driven media coverage out there as well.)

Even a relatively trivial debate about shoulder rests is more edifying than this current "discussion".

For instance, there's no possible reconciliation between affirmative action and its opposite camp, so it's pointless to discuss such a thing on a violin forum, no matter what side you are on. It will further divide and distract us from the main subject of this forum.

Best wishes-not worth being incensed for thinking differently from others, especially on a violin, non-political forum (and yes, I am aware this wasn't one-sided.) The thread was valid at first, but not sure it's worth it to continue antagonizing each other just because we may have strong, opinions not related to the violin.

Take care of yourselves, and follow your muses.

Edited: October 17, 2018, 1:38 AM · I don't think Tim was being racist, but he invited trouble by adding his own judgement into his answer, to a question that ostensibly only seeks for facts.

Personally, I observe that there are not too many black people in orchestras and competitions, and none play as international touring soloists as far as I know.

I find no problem acknowledging that, certain races, due to hundreds of thousands of years evolving and adapting to their original environments, have advantages in certain physical activities. Examples are swimming and running events in the Olympics.

Playing the violin is a very physical activity, besides the mental aspects of learning pitch, music and motion control.

October 18, 2018, 5:08 AM · Again, Nokuthula Ngwenyama has been an international touring viola soloist. (She has been less active as a performer in recent years, most likely because of the other hats now she wears as an arts administrator.)

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