From our friend the violinist Lara St. John:
A few days before appearing with the Rai Orchestra, with Steven Mercurio conducting John Corigliano’s Red Violin Concerto, I started to realize I was in one of those puzzles where One of These Things Does Not Fit. It was the first homecoming of my 1779 Guadagnini in over 150 years, playing a concerto by an Italian-American dedicated to his Calabrese father on that father’s bow, with an Italian-American conductor doing an…Continue
Added by Greg Cahill on December 3, 2014 at 10:30am — No Comments
Lovely material in the workshop. I am just starting to cut into it, and this spruce, which is used for the tops of instruments, has a golden brown patina all the way through it. Normally, wood is aged by the tone wood seller for a number of years, and some sellers bake the wood in the sun, giving then of…Continue
Dateline: Hall of Art and Culture, Kaposvár, Hungary, Sunday August 17, noon, 2014
August 17 was once again a provocative day at the Fifth International Chamber Music Festival of Kaposvár, a festival without any recognized limits of where the musicians are allowed take the music they play.
Each night and each morning, the venues were packed with kids, music students…Continue
Added by Laurence Vittes on August 21, 2014 at 12:30pm — No Comments
Dateline: The Music Guild Summer Fest 14, University Synagogue, Brentwood, California, August 24, 2014, 2 p.m.
With a large, enthusiastic crowd at University Synagogue in Brentwood ready to hear what Music Guild impresario Eugene Golden had up his sleeve for the fifth and final concert of the Summer Fest 14 season, the Saguaro Trio gave everything they had, which was a lot, in Beethoven's Piano Trio Op. 1 No. 1 and brought rare notes of intimacy to Tchaikovsky's Piano Trio…Continue
Added by Laurence Vittes on August 30, 2014 at 9:52am — No Comments
For four days in Bergen, Norway, violinist and researcher Peter Sheppard-Skaerved pursued the essence of Norway’s most famous fiddler.
Another reason not to kill elephants for their ivory: they're fans of violin music. Watch the video
Added by Greg Cahill on August 28, 2014 at 1:01pm — No Comments
A new tool for string teachers--keep your students engaged with these monthly practice tips, instrument care advice and inspirational notes on their peers. Check it out here.
Added by Greg Cahill on August 23, 2014 at 8:00pm — No Comments
t begins as an itch or a chafe. Friends giggle, families gape, and perfect strangers won’t stop staring at it—that red spot on the left-hand side of your neck. It has many names in many countries—fiddler’s neck, violin hickey, or mark of greatness.
Dermatologists call this spot—where a violin or viola contacts with the player’s neck—“acne mechanica” and proceed further with such technical terms as “lichenification,” “erythema,” “scaling,” and good-old “scarring.” No…Continue
Sad to hear of the passing of jazz violinist John Blake Jr.
Read a 2011 interview with Blake from Strings magazine.
Added by Greg Cahill on August 17, 2014 at 9:20am — No Comments
Dateline: Szivárvány Kultúrpalota, Kaposvár, Hungary, Wednesday noon and evening, August 14
A curious series of events–particularly curiou to non Hungarian speakers–unfolded on Day Three of the 5th International Chamber Music Festival of Kaposvár.
After risky Beethoven, glamorous Ravel, superb Saint-Saëns and dashing Mendelssohn at the noontime concert, a troop of Hungarian actors presented potted versions…Continue
Added by Laurence Vittes on August 16, 2014 at 7:00am — No Comments
These expert tips, with video instruction by the award-winning Del Sol Quartet, can help kickstart your chamber-music career. Learn more here.
Added by Greg Cahill on August 15, 2014 at 10:00pm — No Comments
Dateline: Szivárvány Kultúrpalota, Kaposvár, Hungary, Wednesday morning and night, August 14
If the best classical music festivals are as much about discovery, friendship and even love as they are about entertainment, Day 2 at the 5th Kaposvár International Chamber Music Festival was no exception. During two sold-out concerts at the Palace of Arts—a wonderful…Continue
Added by Laurence Vittes on August 15, 2014 at 8:00am — No Comments
Dateline: Abbaye Saint Michel de Cuxa, Prades, France, Tuesday evening, August 5, 2014
Although Pablo Casals has long been most famously associated with the Six Solo Suites of Bach and the music of Bach generally—he began each morning by playing one of Bach’s preludes and fugues on the piano—he had an equally long and profound relationship with the music of Beethoven.
In 1928 he made…
Added by Laurence Vittes on August 11, 2014 at 11:30pm — No Comments
Wayne Booth, emeritus professor of English at the University of Chicago, was so bitten by the music bug that, not only did he take up the cello at the relatively advanced age of 31, he also passionately pursued cello and chamber music for the next four decades, devoting the book For the Love of It: Amateuring and Its Rivals (University of Chicago Press, 1999) to the subject.…Continue
Added by Greg Cahill on August 11, 2014 at 4:54pm — No Comments
The new initiatives at conservatories come as the classical-music industry is becoming tougher and students need to be fully prepared for what lies ahead. Teachers and administrators say that despite students’ enthusiasm for broad careers, they still need to be prepared for some of the harsher realities of a career in music, including the notion that some may eventually have to relocate to small but low-cost towns.
“We do have that conversation,” says Nathaniel Zeisler, instructor in…Continue
Added by Greg Cahill on August 11, 2014 at 3:09pm — No Comments
Dateline: Abbaye Saint Michel de Cuxa, Prades, France, Monday night, August 4
It has been 60 years since Pablo Casals, violinist Szymon Goldberg and pianist Rudolf Serkin gave a performance of Beethoven’s Piano Trio Op. 70 No. 1 that…Continue
Added by Laurence Vittes on August 6, 2014 at 10:00am — No Comments
DATELINE: Abbaye Saint Michel de Cuxa, Prades, France, Friday night, August 1
The Talich Quartet (Jan Talich Jr., Roman Patočka, Vladimír Bukač, Petr Prause) celebrated its 50th birthday and the indomitable Czech spirit by playing Mendelssohn, Shostakovich and Smetana for a sellout crowd at the 62nd Pablo Casals Festival in Prades. It was a striking emotional intersection with the spirit of Casals himself that was not lost on the musicians, the students from…Continue
Added by Laurence Vittes on August 3, 2014 at 2:00am — No Comments
. . . 2Cellos, in fact! Read all about it here.
Added by Greg Cahill on August 1, 2014 at 11:23am — No Comments
Dateline: Grottes Des Grandes Canalettes, Corneilla De Conflent (above Prades), France, Tuesday night, July 29
The Grottes des Grandes Canalettes, located on a spur of the Pyrenees above Prades, consisting of chambers rich in stalactites and helictites which defy gravity, and filled with immense pillars and wonderfully colored columns, made this a perfect environment for a…Continue
Added by Laurence Vittes on August 1, 2014 at 5:30am — No Comments
DATELINE: Church of Sant’Andrea in Castiglioncello del Trinoto, Val d’Orcia, southern Tuscany, Italy, Monday night, July 21…Continue
Added by Laurence Vittes on July 23, 2014 at 11:05pm — No Comments