Violin Nightmares

Back in 2007, when I wrote this for my blog at, I would have frequent, disturbing, “new violin owner/player” dreams. Now that my practice is no longer in its infancy, the dreams have faded. I suppose it’s like having a new baby in the house, compared to a teenager (different nightmares now — including … Read more Violin Nightmares

Schumann’s Ghost

Over at, 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: 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 Schumann’s Ghost

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 Strings: an exquisite act of incredible stupidity

First Violin Encounter

June, 2005. It started the way many a love affair has—a starry, warm night, a chance encounter in a hot tub, the gentle swoosh of the Pacific Ocean adjacent to us, a conversation that led to That Subject. “You’re a violinist?” I asked the woman in the hot tub across from me. “Oh this is … Read more First Violin Encounter