Dvořák Saves the Plane

Remember the movie Snakes on a Plane? Yeah, me neither. But let’s call this Strings on a Plane. It’s a warm afternoon in Beijing and a plane full of people are buckled in, awaiting departure that the crew can’t seem to get permission for. The plane has been grounded on the tarmac for not one, not two, … Read more

Augustin Hadelich: A Fiery Artistry

Call me sentimental, but when I hear a story about a talented performer in the arts world who suffers adversity and triumphs against tremendous odds, well, it steals my heart. It gets me rallying around that person. That I should be won over by the performer’s talent, musicality, peerless technique, before learning his backstory, well, … Read more

Schumann’s Ghost

Over at Violinist.com, editor Laurie Niles has recently interviewed acclaimed violinist Elmar Oliveira who, in 1978, won the gold medal at the ultra-prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition. (Check out the interview here: http://www.violinist.com/blog/laurie/20134/14574/.) In the years since, Oliveira has continued to thrive, through performing, teaching and recording. His most recent project is a recording of Robert Schumann’s … Read more

Strings: an exquisite act of incredible stupidity

Chalk it up to worsening eyesight. Dim light in my practice room. The fact that I change out my violin’s strings maybe, oh, about a quarter as frequently as I’m supposed to. But I put an A string where the D string belongs. My brain kept thinking “A” and my fingers decided “D.” It was … Read more

Max Bruch: the Romantic composer you’ve never heard [enough] of

  Max Bruch, German composer of the Romantic Era, wrote over 200 works. Ask any violinist and they’ll nod, maybe even roll their eyes, saying “of course, the violin concerto. Played it. Everyone student has.” Or heard it. Or heard Bruch’s celebrated Kol Nidrei for Cello and Orchestra. Or his Scottish Fantasy for violin and … Read more