I STARTED playing the violin when I was four. I became pretty good just from listening to my older brother play, and my parents realised I had talent. With regular tuition from very good teachers, I was playing in concerts by the time I was seven, as a soloist in an orchestra at nine. I got my first management at 10 and was signed to Deutsche Grammophon at 11 – their youngest ever artist.
IN New York’s classical-music world most of the attention falls on the big boys: the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, the major international orchestras that pass through Carnegie Hall, the glamorous soloists who can earn tens of thousands of dollars an appearance.
AT THIS Friday’s ceremony in Oslo honouring 2010 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Liu Xiaobo, an empty chair will represent the missing honouree.
It’s rare for a concert to have quite as many selling points as the one that Robert McDuffie, the violinist, managed to compile in the program he presented at Strathmore on Sunday night. The program had going for it a crack ensemble, the Venice Baroque Orchestra. It had one of the most popular classical works in the repertory: Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.” Rarest of all, it had a new work with considerable popular appeal: Philip Glass’s second violin concerto, “The American Four Seasons,” written for McDuffie himself.
Musicologists in Oxford have made exact replicas of instruments featured in the The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch. And, apparently, they sound ‘horrible’.
WASHINGTON: A few years ago, when the US National Symphony Orchestra was rehearsing at the Kennedy Centre for a performance of Stravinsky’s Petrushka, a funny thing happened to the orchestra’s contrabassoonist, Lewis Lipnick.
Found among Marquess of Lothian family papers, score part of lost quartet and may not have been heard in 250 years.
A tall, trim man in chinos and a green checked shirt strode quickly past broken car carcasses, Dumpsters and chunks of unidentified metal.
At this summer’s classical music concerts, you could of course find a healthy array of violins, trumpets and cellos. But amid the familiar strings and brass have sprouted some odd instruments and strange adaptations of standard ones.