Anna Stafford-Heifetz writes:
"I wish someone had held a class on the music business when I was at music school. We learned much about playing our instruments, but almost nothing about the business.
"At 23, Los Angeles seemed like some mysterious force that I could tackle no problem with hard work, discipline, and a brilliantly placed stroke of luck. Soon, I thought, very soon, I would be walking down the golden aisle of fame and fortune, with people dying to meet me and shake…Continue
Added by Greg Cahill on May 2, 2012 at 1:30pm — No Comments
Times are tough, and money's tight, but you might just want to help this wonderful and worthwhile string program:
The two-time Grammy winning chamber-jazz ensemble the Turtle Island Quartet has announced the replacement of two of its members, violist Jeremy Kittel and violinist Mads Tolling. Both Kittel and Tolling are active as soloists and leaders of their own bands.
The newest members—violinist Mateusz Smoczynski and violist Benjamin von Gutzeit—will join founding member, cellist, and composer Mark…Continue
Added by Greg Cahill on April 17, 2012 at 9:40am — No Comments
This past week, I spent 6 days as an artist ‘in residence’ at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst). In addition to working with the students in the school of music and performing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor, I spent much of the week playing for and speaking to large groups of non-music majors, who as part of their general education curriculum take classes…
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Added by Greg Olwell on March 27, 2012 at 10:54am — No Comments
The deadline for the Edith Eisler String Scholarship Award, an annual $3,000 award for a single qualified string student with financial need, is drawing near.
Candidates have until May 4 to submit their applications with paperwork.
Click here to download an application.
Added by Greg Cahill on March 21, 2012 at 5:00pm — No Comments
It’s amazing how similar it is to start with an idea, germinate it, cultivate it and then voila! Give birth to it like a baby. As I prepare to release my latest album, ‘Air-The Bach Album’ on Valentine’s Day, 2012, I started to think of the process it took to reach this place.
I listened to the Bach Concertos in A minor and E major, and the Double Concerto my entire life. My earliest memories of this music are when we were on a family vacation, driving in the beautiful woods of…Continue
Added by Artspromo on January 31, 2012 at 7:00am — No Comments
From the Strings online archive: Expert tips from Richard Ward of Ifshin Violins on buying a violin, viola, cello, or bass bow. http://bit.ly/zyEF5s
Share your own bow buying experiences.
This report is from LA Phil violinist Paul Stein in Venezuela:
Like millions of people around the world, my first encounter with the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra was on a computer screen. There the orchestra was on YouTube, the musicians jumping joyously out of their seats, dancing and physically bringing the music of Leonard Bernstein to life.
I was very fortunate this month to play Mahler’s Eighth Symphony with their grown-up counterpart, the Simon…Continue
The 1st Annual Chicago Viola Festival will take place on Sunday, March 18, at Ravinia, Highland Park. The Viola Fest will be full of workshops, master classes, sessions, technique classes, lectures, and performances.
Please join us and the following…Continue
Strings 25th anniversary issue is available as a digital edition—tablet ready and free! Now you can read news, player profiles, career and rechnique tips, music lessons, CD and print reviews, and much more on an interactive tablet-ready digital edition for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, Nook, Blackberry, and PC.
The special anniversary section includes 25 player tips from the Strings archives (from Hilary Hahn, Joshua Bell, Itzhak Perlman, Nicola Benedetti and…Continue
Added by Greg Cahill on January 30, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments
Cellist Ralph Kirshbaum remembers the first time he heard a recording of his boyhood idol, cellist Gregor Piatigorsky. “I was literally rooted to my chair,” he says. “I’d never heard a sound like it—so rich, vibrant, and concentrated.”
These days, Kirshbaum is rooted to Piatigorsky through a slightly more metaphorical chair. Since 2008, he has held the Piatigorsky Endowed Chair in cello at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music and is the artistic director…Continue
Added by Greg Cahill on January 18, 2012 at 12:53pm — No Comments
Here's another excerpt from our upcoming 25th anniversary edition. It's one of 25 player tips culled from our extensive archives at AllThingsStrings.com:
Most contests are judged by professional musicians and have similar judging criteria: common categories include rhythm, clarity, level of difficulty, creativity, and intonation. Rhythm deals not only with making sure the contestant stays in time, but also with how much drive the performance has. Clarity deals with the how…Continue
Added by Greg Cahill on January 18, 2012 at 12:30pm — No Comments
Mixing passion with practicality can be a confounding thing, as string teachers well know. Of course, violin teachers enjoy the professional delights of encouraging their students’ love of music and guiding them toward musical success, but most will admit that doing so with a full stomach and in comfortable surroundings remains a priority.
And so they must find a balance between their calling and their business, which elicits a number of difficult questions. How to gather enough…Continue
Added by Greg Cahill on January 12, 2012 at 1:30pm — No Comments
Good practicing starts with good planning. And planning starts in the mind, but it need not stay there.
A written record of intentions and outcomes—of what succeeded and what didn’t—can be a precious source of insight and self-guidance.
Barry Green, author of the enduringly useful book The Inner Game of Music (Doubleday Press, $21.95), has developed a pocket-size Inner Game of Music Lesson Journal for his students. In one compact notebook, there are places…Continue
Added by Greg Cahill on December 22, 2011 at 11:47am — No Comments
Turn Practice Time into Quality Time
Sheer time is not necessarily good; what’s good is the quality of the practicing. If somebody’s really serious, five hours a day is almost too much; no more than that. After five hours, the body doesn’t absorb any more. When I was growing up I didn’t practice more than three hours a day. And when you practice, it’s got to be 50-minute hours, with 10 minutes of rest.
Added by Greg Cahill on December 1, 2011 at 5:01pm — No Comments
Here's a tip from violinist Mimi Rabson, an associate professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston:
Just like talking, improvising is about expressing yourself through a language. The better your grasp of the vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure, the better your expressions will be. You can use this approach not only with jazz, but any musical style.
First, choose a bite-size, characteristic phrase from the genre you want to improvise in. Then take that…Continue
Added by Greg Cahill on November 10, 2011 at 4:38pm — No Comments
In our age of specialization, you want to know something deeply so you have your own niche. Know a tradition deeply—be passionate about it.
Because people roam around, you want to have enough flexibility and knowledge to be able to sit down with anybody from any other tradition and make it work. You have to understand not only the values of your own tradition but to…Continue
Added by Greg Cahill on November 4, 2011 at 2:24pm — No Comments