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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 inhabited the European capitals Casals himself frequented before…

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

Angklung

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…

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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 if the music, and the great Catalan cellist's indomitable…

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Added by Laurence Vittes on August 3, 2015 at 12:07am — 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…

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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…

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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…

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

Bach, Thomas Quasthoff and the Verbier Festival Defy Mortal Storms

Dateline: Verbier, Switzerland, Salle des Combins, 6 p.m., July 24, 2015

Just as Thomas Quasthoff began conducting the opening measures of the 21-year old Verbier Festival's first ever performance of Bach's St. Matthew Passion Friday night, an approaching thunderstorm arrived from over the surrounding high Alps,…

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Added by Laurence Vittes on July 25, 2015 at 7:00am — No Comments

Flute

Ancient Chinese musical instruments, but also the most representative of the most representative of the Han Chinese musical instruments. Chinese traditional music in common cross winds woodwind one, Chinese bamboo flute, Qu flute in the south, northern Bangdi and somewhere in between the flute.



Flute in Chinese folk music, opera, Chinese National Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra and modern music use, is one of the representatives of Chinese music instruments. In the folk band,…

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Added by Dylan on July 22, 2015 at 6:44pm — No Comments

Do You Have What It Takes to Be a NY Phil Violinist?

If you’ve ever wondered what the audition process is like for a professional orchestra, here’s your chance to take a stab at the repertoire and see if you’re up to snuff. In what is typically an undisclosed process, the New York Philharmonic has released its section violin audition packet and made it available to…

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Added by Stephanie Powell on July 21, 2015 at 9:35am — No Comments

The Bennewitz Quartet, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Irony and a Racing Red Ferrari at Lord Menuhin's Festival and Academy in Gstaad

Dateline: Rougemont, Switzerland, Temple de Château-d'Œx, 5:30 p.m., July 19, 2015

As festivals do these days, the 2015 installment of the Gstaad Menuhin Festival & Academy, founded in 1957 by the man everyone in the famed Alpine resort and surrounding communities calls Lord Menuhin, has a theme intended to provide numerous points of departure to explore and expand classical music's horizons: Irony and…

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Added by Laurence Vittes on July 21, 2015 at 12:30am — No Comments

Latest Baroque Violoncello

Very pleased with the latest cello made in the Vienna workshop. Despite the rather smallish corpus of 70.6cm the instrument has a very deep and rich bass range. The past two cellos I have used willow for the backs, providing a nice balance of soft, antique sound with the projection required for obligato performance.  Walking on clouds these days! Its astonishing how happy an instrument can make you, when its a success. Below some photos and a short video demonstrating the tone:…

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Added by Nate Tabor on July 17, 2015 at 5:32am — No Comments

Dream Teams Play Kurtág, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Nono: The Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival 2015

Dateline: Lockenhaus, Austria, the Town Hall and the Pfarrkirche, July 15, 2015

Classical music dream teams dominated the day's and night's events Wednesday at the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival: Soprano Anne Marie Pammer and violinist Ilya Gringolts; pianists Cristina Barbuti and Alexander Lonquich; the Vallardo-Kelemen-Altstaedt Trio, specially-constituted for the Festival; and the Quatuor…

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Added by Laurence Vittes on July 16, 2015 at 8:09am — No Comments

BSO’s Marin Alsop to Conduct Cuba’s Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional

Marin Alsop, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s music director, will lead Cuba’s Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional in a concert celebrating the 500th anniversary of the founding of Havana.

The outdoor…

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Added by Stephanie Powell on July 15, 2015 at 12:20pm — No Comments

Mothers: You Can Now Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Fiddlers - Lockenhaus Festival 2015

Dateline: Lockenhaus, Austria, Ritterburg Castle, 7:30 p.m., July 14, 2015

In the midst of a spate of injuries and ailments which sidelined superstar violinists Alexander Sitkovetsky and Vilde Frang, this year's Lockenhaus Festival, themed "Im Volkston," entered uncharted territory Wednesday night with a program titled "Appalachian Waltz" showing off two string quartets, a pair of…

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Added by Laurence Vittes on July 15, 2015 at 6:00am — No Comments

Now I Know Why the Books Start you off on the Pizz'

Observe I have nothing up my left sleeve, and nothing up my right... wait a minute where’s my watch gone?



Right... yes the pizzicato obsession new-learners literature seems to have for viols... So what's up with that? All the real players strut their stuff with majestic bow motions and fill rooms, halls and auditoriums with delightful sounds on which your soul can soar...



That is if you can multitask... As I said in my previous post, concentrating on getting the left hand… Continue

Added by Neil Nelson on July 9, 2015 at 5:30am — No Comments

A viola to a violin is as a coffin is to a cupboard...

They're both made of wood and you can keep things in them... The cupboard and coffin that is! (although apparently a viola holds more beer if the funny pages are to be believed.)



So here I am, having recently (finally) traded in my Stentor Student 4/4 violin in for a rather lovely 16" SieLam Music Divertimento viola.



Why did I do this? Well I love the sound of the violin, but being in posession of two enormous plates of meat for hands (4.5" across the palm) and not enough… Continue

Added by Neil Nelson on July 8, 2015 at 11:49am — No Comments

Kirill Petrenko to Succeed Simon Rattle at Berlin Philharmonic

Russian-born conductor Kirill Petrenko has been selected as Sir Simon Rattle’s successor as the chief conductor and artistic director of the Berlin Philharmonic.

At the press conference, which neither Petrenko nor Rattle attended, orchestra board member and double bassist…

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Added by Stephanie Powell on July 7, 2015 at 10:59am — No Comments

Basic knowledge of Violin

Violin (Italian: IL violin) is a stringed instrument. A total of four strings. The sound of a string and bow.



The violin is made up of more than 30 parts. Violin and Piano (resonator) about 35.5 cm long, with curved panel, back and side adhesive. The panel used soft texture; made of spruce, maple back and side, hard texture. The head of the guitar neck, with a maple fingerboard, ebony.



The violin is widely spread in the world, is the most important instrument in the modern…

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Added by Dylan on July 2, 2015 at 10:52pm — No Comments

Results from the International Tchaikovsky Competition Announced

In the face of pointed criticism on the blogosphere, the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition has announced the results of six cellists and violinists who placed in the final rounds.

In the violin category, which takes place in Moscow, Russia, no one took home the first-place title or…

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Added by Stephanie Powell on July 2, 2015 at 11:57am — No Comments

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