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All the way down to the C and G now!

Hey folks, making progress and still a little bit mad about my viola.

Mainly working through Essential Elements book 1 still, and I like All for Strings. I have Suzuki 1 and Abracadabra for Viola too, but like the first two for the technical approach whereas I think the melody approach in Suzuki and Abracadabra is great, it just isn't for me personally, although I do dip into them to expand my repertoire of things to play.

So yes, moving down to the C and G strings is… Continue

Added by Neil Nelson on August 31, 2015 at 8:58am — No Comments

The Auryn Quartet's Mondsee Musiktage Chamber Music Festival Launches 2015 Season With Haydn, Boccherini and Schlee

Dateline: Mondsee, Austria, Basilika Mondsee, 7:30 p.m., August 28, 2014

The 25th edition of the Mondsee Musiktage Festival, 15 miles east of Salzburg, and this year dedicated to the pan-European influence of Joseph Haydn, launched Friday night with the kind of concert that has long marked it as one of Europe's leading chamber music festivals.

Led by the Auryn Quartet (violinists Matthias Lingenfelder and Jens Oppermann, violist…


Added by Laurence Vittes on August 29, 2015 at 3:32am — No Comments

Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Performs for 70th Anniversary of United Nations and WWII

The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (SSO) is touring to mark the anniversaries of the end of World War II and the founding of the United Nations—the orchestra will perform at the UN General Assembly on August 28. 

The concert will include players from all…


Added by Stephanie Powell on August 26, 2015 at 10:30am — No Comments

Christian Tetzlaff Lights Up Beethoven's Violin Concerto at the Grafenegg Festival's Wolkenturm Amphitheater

Dateline: Grafenegg, Austria, 7:30 p.m., August 21, 2015

On a beautiful late summer evening, with shafts of light coming through a dramatic clerestory in the amphitheater called Wolkenturm, Christian Tetzlaff threw down his own shafts of light on Beethoven's Violin Concerto before a packed house at the Grafenegg Festival in lower Austria, unintuitively situated east of Upper Austria, deriving its name from its downriver location on the Danube River. Backed by the Festival's large and…


Added by Laurence Vittes on August 22, 2015 at 1:51am — No Comments

The best ingredient in movies and operas

L.A. OPERA music director James Conlo

When we watch a movie or a opera, there’s a tendency that we can be emotional sometimes or go…


Added by Gail Hooks on August 19, 2015 at 1:48am — No Comments

Titanic Violin to Be Displayed at Two U.S. Museums

A violin that is reported to have belonged to Wallace Hartley, the bandmaster of the RMS Titanic, will go on display at two US museums in 2016.

The display will mark the first time the violin will be available for the public to view since it set…


Added by Stephanie Powell on August 18, 2015 at 12:04pm — No Comments

Kaposvár Returns to Glory on Day Three of its Sixth International Chamber Music Festival

Dateline: Szivárvány Kultúrpalota, Kaposvar, Hungary, 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., August 15, 2015

In a day of perfectly-selected music played mostly perfectly by extraordinary musicians, Day Three of the Sixth International Chamber Music of Festival called Kaposfest returned to the glory of previous years. Whether it was Miklos Perényi in Stravinsky, Máté Szűcs in Leo Weiner, or István Várdai and Apollon…


Added by Laurence Vittes on August 16, 2015 at 7:00am — No Comments

Kaposvár's New Chamber Orchestra Festival Launches With Dazzling Playing by New Artistic Directors Kristóf Baráti and István Várdai

Dateline: Szivárvány Kultúrpalota, Kaposvár, Hungary, 7 p.m., August 13, 2015

In dazzling displays of virtuosity, the new artistic directors of the International Chamber Music Festival of Kaposvár called Kapofest, introduced a concept so radically different that it now could be rightly renamed the International Chamber Orchestra Festival of Kaposvár–and only marginally international at…


Added by Laurence Vittes on August 14, 2015 at 1:46am — No Comments

Roman Totenberg’s Stolen 'Ames' Strad Recovered After 35 Years

The 1734 “Ames” Strad, which was owned and played by violinist Roman Totenberg and was named for violinist George Ames who played it in the late 1800s, was recovered after it was stolen 35 years ago from his…


Added by Stephanie Powell on August 11, 2015 at 11:07am — No Comments

Cello Bridge imprinted with the letter 'A'


I recently acquired an old cello bridge which is imprinted with the capital letter 'A' in the normal place where Bridge  Maker's add their Marks i.e.Aubert etc

I would be grateful if someone might identify the Maker from this…


Added by Derek Thorpe on August 10, 2015 at 11:52am — No Comments

Orchestra E-Portfolios

With a Google account you can create a Google Site for anything you want. I created one as an electronic portfolio for my orchestra program. In addition, I have my students each setup individual ones for themselves. Since I record all of my students’ playing tests I upload one or two that were performed exceptionally well to the main orchestra one and students can comment on it like a forum. For certain playing tests I will require the students to upload their performance to their individual… Continue

Added by Cecilia Dixon on August 9, 2015 at 9:51am — No Comments

Beethoven's Night Out at the Festival Pablo Casals Prades 2015

Dateline: Prades, France, Saint Michel de Cuxa Abbey, 9 p.m., August 5, 2015

The theme of this year's Festival Pablo Casals Prades is "Notes croisées," perhaps best translated as intersecting scores; it made special sense for Wednesday night's all Beethoven concert when the music transversed the composer's life journey from light to serious, covering a period during…


Added by Laurence Vittes on August 8, 2015 at 8:51am — No Comments

An Extraordinary Night of Quintets in the South of France is Just Another Magical Night at the Festival Pablo Casals Prades 2015

Dateline: Prades, France, Saint Michel de Cuxa Abbey, 9 p.m., August 4, 2015

Devising programs for summer music festivals is like playing fantasy sports: As long as you have the right roster of willing and able musicians to choose from, you can assemble once-in-a-lifetime teams for concerts of repertoire that would rarely if ever take place outside of music camps or conservatories. 

For the Tuesday night concert at the …


Added by Laurence Vittes on August 5, 2015 at 8:00am — No Comments

French Impressions of Spain at the Festival Pablo Casals Prades 2015

Dateline: Prades, France, Saint Michel de Cuxa Abbey, 9 p.m., August 3, 2015 - all photos by Hugues Argence

For its August 3 program, called Impressions from Spain, in the iconic 10th century church which has become inseparably identified with Pablo Casals, the Festival Pablo Casals Prades 2015 assembled a program of Spanish-influenced music by a galaxy of composers and musicians who…


Added by Laurence Vittes on August 4, 2015 at 7:30am — No Comments


I’m really a big fan of percussion instruments especially when it talks about bamboo instruments. Bamboos are very useful and can be used in a variety of purposes just like in music. Many instruments have been made out of this tall grass and most of them are really pleasing to hear. Angklung is one of the best bamboo instruments that is percussive and creates sound uniquely. It’s made up of a frame and two little bamboo cuts hanged inside and carved alike that when shaken it produces an…


Added by Cynthia Kluge on August 4, 2015 at 1:03am — No Comments

Sumptuous Brahms and an Assortment of Schubert Highlight Sunday Night at the Festival Pablo Casals Prades 2015

Dateline: Prades, France, Église Saint Pierre, 9 p.m., August 2, 2015

Led with consummate, discrete elegance by violinist Hagai Shaham, an all-star band of soloists played Brahms' Sextet in G major, Op. 36 with a spontaneous blend of passion, teamwork and virtuosity that paid tribute to the 2015 edition of the Festival Pablo Casals Prades, celebrating its 65th birthday. It was as…


Added by Laurence Vittes on August 3, 2015 at 12:00am — No Comments

The Extra Music Binder - Every Orchestra Director's Best Friend

I cannot stand it when my students come to me and say they do not have their music. It is my ultimate pet peeve. So, I started making a few extra copies and organized them with dividers by title in a giant three ring binder. When the students enter class they unpack and put their music in the order that we will be rehearsing them in (I write the day’s agenda on the board). If they do not have their music they can get a copy from the “Extra Music Binder” while we are tuning or during… Continue

Added by Cecilia Dixon on July 30, 2015 at 1:42pm — No Comments

Remembering Chicago Sinfonietta Founder Paul Freeman (1936-2015)

Maestro Paul Freeman, founder of the Chicago Sinfonietta, died on July 21 after years of struggling with various physical ailments, a sinfonietta press release states. He was 79.

Freeman, who founded the orchestra in 1987 and remained at its helm as the music director for 24 years…


Added by Stephanie Powell on July 30, 2015 at 10:31am — No Comments

Making Beethoven a Reality at the Incontri in Terra di Siena Festival 2015

Dateline: Pienza, Italy, Pieve di Corsignano, 8:30 p.m., July 29, 2015

Reading the music off a quartet of Mac laptops, the Borromeo String Quartet (violinists Nicholas Kitchen and Kristopher Tong, violist Mai Motobuchi and cellist Yeesun Kim), continued their 25th birthday celebrations with an aperitif in the form of Bach's C sharp minor fugue from the Well-Tempered Clavier before plunging into Beethoven's two most popular late quartets, Op. 131 and…


Added by Laurence Vittes on July 30, 2015 at 4:30am — No Comments

Poem: Frost

Ever since I got my wisdom teeth removed three days ago, I was forced to come across unbearable pain. With that, I did not resume violin practice for three entire days. I was able to sleep soundly the first night, nonetheless I found myself restless and back to my insomniac ways the next night and soon after- the worst. At first, I thought to myself that it was because of my wisdom teeth but I kept unconsciously warming up my shoulders and arms, doing weird speedy waves that I cannot really…


Added by Esther Tran on July 25, 2015 at 5:00pm — No Comments

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