Injury Prevention for Violinists, with Pamela Frank and Howard Nelson border=0 align=

Injury Prevention for Violinists, with Pamela Frank and Howard Nelson

June 23, 2021, 10:46 PM · It's been nearly 10 years since concert violinist and Curtis-based pedagogue Pamela Frank found her violin-playing completely shut down by an injury that was causing severe pain in her neck and numbness in her hand.

Doctors said she needed neck fusion surgery; instead, she went to New York-based physical therapist Howard Nelson. He delved into the biomechanical and neuromuscular causes of her problems and helped her modify and retrain her movements. Two years later, she was completely back to playing. And to give it a storybook ending, Frank and Nelson got married!

By now, a lot of people have heard their story -- in fact I wrote about it in 2018, after Pamela and Howard gave a lecture at the University of Southern California. But after the excellent talk they gave on Wednesday at the Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies, I'm happy to describe it again, especially considering the prevalence of injuries among violinists and Pamela and Howard's important mission to address that.

Since Pamela's recovery, the pair has combined forces to create a program called Fit as a Fiddle, and through their many lectures, residencies at universities as well as personal consultations, they have helped hundreds of musicians prevent, address and heal from the many performance injuries that are so endemic to violin-playing. Keep reading...

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Hilary Hahn to be First-Ever Chicago Symphony Orchestra Artist-in-Residence

June 23, 2021, 6:09 PM · On Tuesday the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association announced the appointment violinist Hilary Hahn as its inaugural CSO Artist-in-Residence.

Appointed by CSO Music Director Riccardo Muti, she will begin her two-year tenure on September 1 and will continue through June 30, 2023.

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Violin Master Class with Giora Schmidt - Starling-DeLay 2021

June 23, 2021, 12:43 AM · "If you can convey your ideas through this Coca-Cola can of a medium called Zoom, you'll be so good live!"

That felt like the quote of the day, from violinist Giora Schmidt in his master class that kicked off Juilliard's Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies on Monday. Like many things, the biennial event is being held virtually this year, with about 150 people tuning in from all over the United States as well as 14 countries around the world.

Of course what Schmidt said about Zoom applies to the his own master class as well - obviously, watching a master class over Zoom is not quite the same thing as traveling to New York and seeing it live at The Juilliard School, with the spirits of famous musicians haunting the halls and the buzz of Lincoln Hall and Manhattan right outside the front door. Personally, I've been attending the Symposium every two years since 2007, and I was a little skeptical Zoom would deliver same kind of motivation - as a teacher, I'm pretty Zoomed out!

But I have good news, I'm feeling very inspired, especially after watching Schmidt's master class. Schmidt is a soloist as well as an artist faculty member at NYU Steinhardt, having studied himself at Juilliard with Itzhak Perlman, Geoffrey Michaels, Patinka Kopec, and Dorothy DeLay, with additional guidance from Pinchas Zukerman. Even through the Coca-Cola can of Zoom, Schmidt delivered an inspiring array of thoughtful ideas, in a manner both wise and amusing, with vivid images and metaphors. Keep reading...

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The 2021 Virtual Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies begins Tuesday

June 21, 2021, 1:12 PM · On Tuesday, Juilliard's Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies begins, and though it will not be "live from New York!" I will be writing about the virtual sessions and posting here on

Masterclass teachers will include violinists Pinchas Zukerman, James Ehnes and Giora Schmidt; with pedagogy classes by Brian Lewis and Noa Kageyama. Pamela Frank and Howard Nelson will lead a Injury Prevention Workshop, and there will be several "Key Conversations" about topics pertaining to the life of a violinist, including "Behind the Orchestral Curtain" with concertmaster David Kim; "Order in the Chamber" with violinist and educator Nicole Cherry; and "Life on the Road" with violin soloist Chee-Yun.

The event concludes on Friday, though our stories on will likely continue after that, so I welcome you to tune in! You can find complete coverage of past and present Starling DeLay Symposiums on this page. Keep reading...

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