How the violin un-stole Christmas

(This essay originally appeared in the L.A. Daily News on 12/11/2005) December, the “season of cheer,” never fails to evoke ambivalent feelings in me. Yes, there are the twinkling lights and ringing of bells; crimson and gold decorations adorning shops; the intoxicating whiffs of Christmas wreaths and kitchens redolent of freshly-baked cookies. But December is … Read moreHow the violin un-stole Christmas

Grown-Ups at the Barre

There is a wonderful blog called Grown-Ups at the Barre and when I saw it, I instantly fell in love with the concept, the collaborative effort and different points of views from various contributors. (Not to mention it’s a fun name with a great-looking graphic on the home page.) They have allowed me to chime … Read moreGrown-Ups at the Barre

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 moreStrings: an exquisite act of incredible stupidity

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

Serenade for Violin and Song Sparrow

This article first appeared at Violinist.com in May 2008 It is Saturday, a warm, drowsy afternoon in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and my family and I are doing our respective family things. My husband is in the office, tapping away at the computer while my son putters about in the playroom, pausing from time to … Read moreSerenade for Violin and Song Sparrow