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March-April 2013 As usual, thousands (virtually!) of things have to be done now, and having made the latest installment of JLNotes appear later than planned, I certainly apologize for this delay. All the "things" cannot be done on time; they are never ending! I am extremely proud of all the students that participated in the Kiwanis Music Festival. Everyone played beautifully and definitely above the expectation and sure enough, they were all rewarded with a placing. Jessica Wei and Julia Mirzoev are now invited to participate in the Provincial Final. Congratulations to Dana Bultje, Ambrose Chan, Julia Mirzoev and Jessica Wei for your excellent efforts and achievements! The North York Music Festival is around the corner (mid to end of April) and I wish all those participating the best of luck! Remember: a rigorous, thoughtful and intelligent work is always rewarded! The Annual Student Recital in January was a great success and we even finished on-time at 9:00 pm! All students played very well and there were many positive comments from parents and families about how much their children were practicing in the time leading to the recital (and generally when they have to perform in public). So, there are many more opportunities to perform and therefore to practice well! And another very big project that takes a lot of time: the preparation of the JVL Music in the Summer Festival in Cremona. You can read about that in the following section. In this issue of JLNotes, you will find updates on the preparation JVL Summer School for Performing Arts “Music in Summer” International Festival 2013, and some interesting articles. As well, you will also find a recommended listening of various violin repertoires with links to YouTube. There is also vital information regarding violin competitions and festivals, RCM examinations dates and deadlines and some information about upcoming concerts in Toronto. Also in this edition, you will read about one of the greatest violinist of the new generation, Maxim Vengerov, and of course much more! So, enjoy reading and hopefully the next installment of JLNotes will appear in the near future. I certainly would encourage and invite any comments and suggestions that you may have.
I hope the warm weather is just around the corner and those of you who have enough of the snow and bitter cold winter: be assured, Spring is almost here!
News from JVL Summer School for Performing Arts The registration for 12th season of the JVL Summer School for Performing Art International “Music in Summer” Festival is now nearing its completion, and I look forward to seeing everyone in Cremona in July!
Applications Deadline is March 30, 2013
www.MusicInSummer.com We still are awaiting the confirmation from the Cremona Academy of the final number of places that can be allocated to the JVL students. Right now, we are at the almost capacity; however I am very hopeful to have a few more spots available to those traditionally registering on the last day. The Cremona Academy has reported a robust interest and registrations of musicians of all ages including young professionals, college, pre-college and younger students from around the world. Our kids, with no doubt, will have a great time of music-making. Last week we have already started to work on preparation of the chamber music material according to the student's level, and believe me, it is shaping to be a very interesting and extremely challenging program. The concert calendar is filling up very fast and on Saturday, July 20th the "Young Composers Showcase" concert has now been added to the roster. Due to the overwhelming success of the last year's Festival in North Bay presentation, we have decided to show the world the wealth of the talent and creativity of our young Canadian composers. You can see the complete list of concert on: http://www.musicinsummer.com/schedule.html It just has been announced that a renowned violinist, Rimma Sushanskaya from Great Britain, the last student and protégée of the legendary Soviet violinist David Oistrakh, will visit the Academy with Master classes. Below is the link to her website: http://www.rimma-sushanskaya.com/about/about-rimma-sushanskaya/ The preparation for the Cremona International Competition is now also in full swing. There is a great amount of applications have been received, especially for the intermediate and senior groups and soon after the April 2nd registrations deadline, the jury will start the selection process and will send out the invitation to those candidates selected for the second round. The travel arrangements to Italy have already been finalized by most of the students, however those who are still hasn't done it yet, and interested to join the group, please contact Tanya Chereshki from Payless Travel who is the JVL SSPA’s representative travel agent and will assist students and guests with individual and group travel. Please contact her on 416-665-1010 ext.2734 or toll free: 1-877-665-5050. The address: 1600 Steeles Avenue West, Suite 312, Concord ON Canada L4K 4M2. Website: www.payless-travel.com. You can e-mail her: [email protected]
Lake Garda Italy
Important Dates JVL SPPA and the Cremona International Music Academy Applications Deadline: March 30, 2013 www.MusicInSummer.com Cremona International Music Competition for Strings and Piano July 23 – 25, 2013 Registration Deadline: April 2, 2013 http://www.musicinsummer.com/competition.html
Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra The Romantic Masters Leo Jarmain, violin Cissy Zhou, piano Program: Rachmaninoff - Piano Concerto No. 2 Saint-Saëns - Havanaise, Opus 83 for Violin and Orchestra Respighi - Pines of Rome Rimsky-Korsakov - Capriccio Espagnol Saturday, May 11, 2013 - 8:00 PM The Salvation Army Scarborough Citadel 2021 Lawrence Avenue East http://www.spo.ca/concerts.html
Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra Chamber Music Concert David Lakirovich, violin Paulina Swierczek, soprano Marc Widner, piano St. Paul's L'Amoreaux Youth String Ensemble Program: Franck – Sonata for violin and piano in A major Ravel - Tzigane Rival - Schubert Fantasy Schumann: pieces from Kreisleriana Songs by Fisher, Gershwin, Strayhorn, Berlin and Judson/Tyler Saturday, May 25, 2013 - 8:00 PM St. Paul's L'Amoreaux Anglican Church 3333 Finch Ave. E. http://www.spo.ca/concerts.html
News from Examinations and Competitions Here are some dates and deadlines for RCM examinations and for festivals and competitions: RCM Examinations Spring Session Registration Deadline: too late! Theory Examinations: May 10 and 11, 2013 Practical Examinations: June 10-29, 2013 Summer Session Registration Deadline: June 4, 2013 Theory Examinations: August 9 and 10, 2013 Practical Examinations: August 12-24, 2013 http://www.rcmexaminations.org/ North York Music Festival April 12 - 29, 2013 Registration Deadline: February 18, 2013 http://www.northyorkmusicfestival.com/ Peel Music Festival March 18 - April 28, 2013 Registration Deadline: too late! http://www.peelmusicfestival.ca/Main.aspx Canadian Music Competition April - June, 2013 Registration Deadline: too late! http://www.cmcnational.com/en/cmc2013/
The Most Incredible Movie Please watch it!
Conductor Herbert von Karajan rehearsing with Nathan Milstein in Lucerne,Switzerland. Lucerne,1957
Milstein - Master of Invention (part 1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=a1f_1Gajh-Y Milstein - Master of Invention (part 2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jw1DfkqARtc&feature=watch_response
Interview Maxim Vengerov: Conducting, Competitions, and Returning to the Violin Maxim Vengerov couldn't be happier to be playing the violin again, after his four-year hiatus from performing, and after the painstaking reinvention of his playing technique following shoulder surgery. Now 38, Vengerov returns to the concert stage with his world enlarged: more conducting engagements, continuing teaching posts with the Royal Academy of Music in London and International Menuhin Academy of Music in Switzerland, and increased involvement with international violin competitions. During his years away from the violin, he studied conducting, and he also married Olga Gringolts, sister of Ilya Gringolts. (They just celebrated the first birthday of their daughter, Elizabeth.) Vengerov will be in North America this May for the Montreal International Music Competition, which features the violin in 2013. (By the way, applications are due on January 18 if you wish to participate.) Vengerov will conduct the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, accompanying the finalists and then the winners of the competition. Vengerov was a superstar from the start, beginning his lessons at age five in Novosibirsk, Russia (still the Soviet Union at the time of his birth) with Galina Tourchaninova, then with the great Zakhar Bron. Soon he was winning major international competitions and awards. At age 10 he made his first recording, then proceeded to record just about everything in the violin repertoire. As a teenager, he got to know both Mstislav Rostropovich and Daniel Barenboim, who became friends and mentors to him. He owns and plays the 1727 "Ex-Kreutzer" Stradivarius violin, and he was the subject of the documentary, Living the Dream, which received the Gramophone Award for Best Documentary in 2008. Vengerov stopped playing in 2007, citing both professional malaise and a weightlifting injury to his right shoulder that had plagued him since 2005. This month he releases his first recording in five years: the recording of his comeback recital on April 5, 2012, at Wigmore Hall in London. During the holidays, I spoke with Vengerov over phone from Lugano, Switzerland, where he was visiting family. We talked about his mentors in music and conducting, Rostropovich and Barenboim; about his return to violin playing, with physical pain as his guide; and about competitions and his new role with Montreal International Music Competition and the Wieniawski competition. Laurie: I enjoy your playing so much, and your Shostakovich recording, with Rostropovich conducting, is one of my favorites. How different is it to conduct a concerto, than to play one? Maxim: I can tell you one thing about Maestro Rostropovich: he may not have been regarded as one of the greatest conductors from the technical point of view; but I made seven CDs with him, and I must say, those recordings are my best ones. And I recorded with many other wonderful maestros who were not instrumentalists. I think it was his great musicianship and also understanding of the violin repertoire, of the stringed instruments, that helped us to build an incredible chemistry that I had with no one else. That's why I think I've inherited this love for accompaniment, to accompany young people, my colleagues. I love to not only accompany violin but also piano soloists. For me, it is a great challenge and a great privilege to be on stage with them. Laurie: I know that two of your mentors were the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and also the pianist Daniel Barenboim, and both of them are conductors. Did you speak about conducting with them, or mostly about music, or both? Maxim: Both! Music, conducting, playing with the orchestra…They were my mentors, and sometimes our meetings went far beyond technical issues. Of course, the principal source of our meetings was the music, and what was required to perform Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, or Brahms, Sibelius, Nielsen….I've recorded most of my violin repertoire with these two conductors, who were also instrumentalists. Laurie: What kinds of things did you learn from each of them? Maxim: Slava (Rostropovich) was like a musical father, he was so close to my heart. Again, it was much more that I learned from him than just music, and musical expression. The thing that struck me was his humanity, and he transformed me into sort of a man of the world. Before meeting him, I was
just a talented player that loved playing for audiences. We worked principally on pieces by composers that he had met and that he had friendships with. Those were Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Britten, Walton, Stravinsky. Beyond that, we also recorded Beethoven. One of the interesting things, when I came to play Beethoven for him, he said, "You know what, Maxim, I can just feel that Beethoven is trying to say something to me, because I think if you play it like this, he would love it." I asked him, "How do you absolutely know this, that Beethoven would love it?" and he said, "Because I think even the composer was convinced, even it wasn't his way. Even if the tempo is slower or faster than he would imagine, he would enjoy it!" For (Slava), it was a matter of being convinced what Shostakovich and Beethoven and Tchaikovsky was, even if he had not met those composers. For Barenboim, it was a different approach. He would view a piece of music as an instrumentalist, as a pianist, from the harmonic point of view, from the orchestration, coloring. (Barenboim's was) also an amazing view, completely different from Slava. With Slava, it was this instant connection with the composer, with the soul of the composer. He would tell me, you have to imagine you were Shostakovich, or you were Prokofiev, performing the music. One of the most striking and touching things Slava told me was right at the end of his life, when I met him for the last time in the hospital. He told me that when he met me, I played beautiful Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, and he told me a lot of things about those composers. But Shostakovich, he didn't have to tell me; it was as if I knew this composer when he was alive. And that was the biggest compliment, coming from him. For Barenboim, the work was written, and that's in the past. He would approach it as if he were re-working and re-writing the whole work from scratch. But I think those were also Slava's qualities, he would take the work and say, "We have to try to reinvent this and make it as if we are doing a world premiere of the Beethoven Violin Concerto," which is actually hard to imagine! How many times has the Beethoven Violin Concerto been performed, since the concerto was written? But he would still find something very personal, something that is personal to him. I learned a lot from this approach. Laurie: So what do you feel for you, as a conductor, is the most important thing, when working with a soloist? Maxim: First of all, one has to reach a harmony with your colleague, the soloist. Laurie: If you can! Maxim: If you find no harmony whatsoever with the soloist (he laughs) -- that happens sometimes -because sometimes the soloist doesn't want to or cannot, due to the lack of experience or an unwillingness to connect with you. There are some players that think: here I am, a violinist or pianist, and you're an orchestra conductor, to serve me. It's a normal approach -- I don't say this as something negative. It's obvious that if we listen to the recordings of Jascha Heifetz of the most beautiful works by Sibelius, Beethoven -- with great conductors, you hear a loud, very present violin sound, and somewhere in the back is an orchestra! (He laughs) That's why I don't say this is bad! It's a matter of upbringing, a matter of habit, how the performer views the music. And some people view it in a sort of horizontal way: a line of the violin, or piano, with accompaniment of orchestra. Laurie: And so what do you do if the soloist views it that way? Maxim: Then you just serve your best, to be together and to support the instrumentalist, soloist, and try not to be annoying. For me, to be frank, it's less interesting because it becomes a matter of sport: Can I be together, or can I not be together? You use your professionalism to bring the orchestra at the right (dynamic) level, at the right speed, at the right form of articulation -- and this is what I call a good service to the soloist. Now, when the soloist meets you and says, "This is how I feel," and "Let's make music together," you discuss a little bit, he or she plays for you, something in the dressing room, and then once you start making music on stage, a harmony has to be reached. You can absolutely disagree with the soloist, but again I should serve the best I can at the moment -- and not be passive, but be active in the accompaniment, to bring out the harmonies to stimulate the soloist to play his or her best. The conductor and orchestra, depending on the piece, provide the rhythm, character, harmony, and the spirit of the work. Laurie Do you like conducting and playing equally well, or is there one you prefer over the other?
Maxim: It's like saying, I was born in Russia and my mother tongue is Russian. Do I love German, or English, more? I can't say I love Russian less, it's just so different! (He laughs) and I enjoy speaking different languages. Laurie: How many do you speak, by the way? Maxim: Well I speak English, fairly good German, not reasonable French. (He laughs) In time, I hope to speak French well! And a bit of others… For me, violin is my first source of communication with the audience -- no doubt, my first love. But before coming to the violin, I wanted to become a conductor, because my mother was a choir conductor, and I saw her conducting. I sat in on all the rehearsals -- I was singing in the choir. She wanted to become a symphonic conductor, but because I started playing, and I needed her to be with me, she quit her job. She didn't develop the symphonic conducting career that she wanted. My father worked in the orchestra as an oboist, so I visited his rehearsals and watched the conductor who was the principal conductor of the Novosibirsk Philharmonic, Arnold Katz. I really loved his example. He was my idol at the time, when I was three and four. He just passed away a few years ago. Laurie: So you had this in mind, for a long, long time. Maxim: Yes, I had this in mind, but then I started with the violin and I was sort of stuck with that! (He laughs) Laurie: You were so good at it, still are! Maxim: Quite successfully stuck, let's say. And I rather enjoyed that, throughout my years. And then there came a time when I needed to conduct the English Chamber Orchestra, and so I needed to take some lessons. I didn't, and I still don't, believe that somebody with absolutely no knowledge of conducting technique can go in front of orchestra and say, okay, I can play the violin great, now I can conduct! It also requires some time, to learn the language of the musicians. You have to speak their language. Laurie: Whom did you study with? Maxim: I studied at that time with Vag Papian, who was my pianist. Vag was a student of a very important teacher in Russia, Ilya Musin, who was a teacher of Valery Gergiev, Semyon Bychkov, Yakov Kreizberg, and many others. Laurie: What kinds of things did you learn from him? Maxim: He comes from the Leningrad school of conducting, which provides great technical basic skills for the conductor. For me, that was wonderful to go through, the studies with Vag. I progressed quite quickly, and I was able to conduct chamber orchestras. Then in 2009, I decided to study conducting on a different level, a more serious level, so I would be able to conduct symphony orchestras. At this time I became a student of Maestro Juri Simonov. He comes from another school of conducting, also from Leningrad, from St. Petersburg. His teacher was (Nikolai) Rabinovich. So Rabinovich was a student of Aleksandr Gauk, Gauk was a student of Nikolai Malko. Malko was a student of Felix Mottl (and Mottl was a contemporary of Mahler.) So that is the Russian-Germanic school of conducting. Laurie: A good pedigree! Maxim: I'm very lucky, because Juri Simonov provided a phenomenal manual technique of conducting that allows me to show quite a lot of things with my hands, without using a lot of verbal expressions. Laurie: I'm sure you wind up in front of orchestras with musicians who speak many different languages, but we all speak music, right? Maxim: Yes. What's important is to be able to express yourself and the way you feel about this music, your interpretation, with your gestures. That's why you need to learn the source of communication: conducting technique. Laurie: There are too many people who get up there and do some kind of ballet that doesn't really convey a lot. Maxim: It may work in the short-term, because the orchestra is inspired. Also nowadays, orchestras (are so good), they can play even without a conductor. But if one becomes music director, you need a different knowledge. Laurie: Do you want to become a music director, one day?
Maxim: I'm not sure I would like to become a chief director of an orchestra, I will tell you why: simply for one fact, because I may have to abandon my violin. (A music directorship) is a big job: to spend at least 15 weeks with the orchestra, to learn all this repertoire each year, to do the administration, to discuss the agenda with the orchestra, to advocate for the right soloist…there's a lot of work, being a music director. And it's not only the conducting -- conducting takes maybe the least time! That's why, I may look for a guest conducting position, which would require maybe three to five times a year somewhere. Laurie: A regular guest conductor. Maxim: Yes, to establish a very good relationship with an orchestra. That is what I think, in time, I will be looking for. Laurie: Now speaking of abandoning your violin, did you ever really do that during your break from performing, or were you pretty much playing the whole time? Are you happy to be back to performing? Maxim: First of all, I'm incredibly happy to be back on the violin. When I couldn't play for four years -- it was a very good time for me, actually, because I could study conducting. Otherwise, I never would have been able to devote myself to this learning process. So from this point of view, it was great that I didn't play the violin. Also, it's increased my deeper knowledge in music, not only conducting, but I think I have more colors to my violin playing than before, for the fact that I hear it somehow differently. Anything we learn and anything we go through in life gives sort of an imprint on your main profession. I can feel now, as a violinist, I'm a different person, and I'm thankful for these four years of time. But I missed my violin for at least two of the years that I didn't play: the third and fourth years. The first two years were just great -- because I had a good rest! But then I said to myself, "Ooh, I really miss it," and I was looking for a way to come back. It wasn't easy, I must say, it wasn't. Laurie: How did you do it, how did you come back? Maxim: I came back because I was lucky to find a good surgeon who performed wonderful surgery on me, on my shoulder. And then I had one year of rehabilitation. Laurie: I wondered if you had to change your violin technique. Maxim: Not only did I have to change technique, but I wanted to. It was very natural for me to change technique. I feel much more free with the instrument. Because simply, I was putting too much effort into the violin-playing, it was sort of too physical. Now, I use only what's necessary to produce the sound and articulation -- whatever I need. Now I don't move too much, whereas before, my movements were sort of like a palm tree! Laurie: When you rehabilitated, did you work with a doctor, or a violin teacher, or both? Maxim: Totally alone. I had two criteria: First, music. The final result in music, what I wanted to hear, because I have very strong expectations, always, as to how it has to sound. And the second criteria: it had to be as less-physical as possible. So I wanted to achieve the (musical) results I wanted, with as less effort as possible. Laurie: Did you play repertoire, did you play scales, how did you do it? I can think of a lot of violinists who would love to improve their physical playing to improve their health, but it's hard to know how. Maxim: I must say that in this way, I was really lucky, because I had had an operation, and I was still in pain when I got out of the operation. Four months after the operation, I had done a lot of rehab, physical exercises, but I still couldn't play. So I had to work with pain, with quite a lot pain, actually. I had to (address the) matter of relaxation in my playing, otherwise I couldn't sustain playing more than 10 minutes. Laurie: So the pain kept you from overdoing it. Maxim: Exactly. So pain was sort of my red light. (He laughs) Laurie: Pain was your teacher. Maxim: Yes. If I had pain, that meant I was doing something wrong. It's amazing, actually. I realized that if I am in pain when I'm playing, I had to balance it. (I had to use) force, but just enough to get through. And I had to always increase the amount of playing. I started with 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, then 20, I got to an hour. It was quite a long process. Then very naturally, I could see that
my movements were more refined than before. I had reconstructed everything, including my left hand, and my position of the neck.... Violin-playing, as anything else in life, is not only about being relaxed, but you have to contract your muscles and de-contract. The relaxation after the contraction is very important, you have to be 50-50. So I was working with this balance for a very, very long time, until I felt absolutely at ease, which is now. Now I feel that. Yes it's true, I could write a book about this. Laurie: It would be a very interesting book! Inspirational. It's hard to work back from something like that.Maxim: Actually, I didn't do it totally alone. My father was my mirror all that time. He helped me -- he was more of a psychiatrist. (He laughs) But I think now my father can -- if you gave him the violin, I think he would start playing now! (He laughs) Although he never touched the violin in his life! Also, I'm helping a few young people now, who came to me after the operation. I understand their difficulties. I'm actually the one who has gone through it, and I'm a good example for them. Not direct students, but they come to me and I see them regularly. Laurie: You do teach though, at the Royal Academy in London, yes? Maxim: Yes. At the Royal Academy, and at the International Menuhin Academy of Music in Gstaad, Switzerland. Laurie: I've watched an old masterclass video of you teaching and you look like a fun teacher, do you enjoy teaching? Maxim: Yes, although I must say that my style of teaching is different now, due to experiences I've had, and also my conducting experience, and experiences with viola and baroque violin -- all of these things add to the package. Laurie You have also been more involved with competitions -- as chairman of the jury for the Wieniawski Competition, and this year you will be working with the Montreal International Music Competition. How did you get involved with the Montreal competition? Maxim: I've known about the Montreal International Music Competition for quite a long time. It's a wonderful competition, and when the organization approached me, I thought it would be a great honor. Also, with my experience as chairman of the jury for the Wieniawski Competition, I felt this would be wonderful continuation, to be involved with another competition. Laurie: So you will be both conducting and serving on the jury? Maxim: We decided that I should not be on the jury after all, because I'm going to conduct in the final round. It's difficult to be on both sides of the fence! (He laughs) So this time I prefer to be with the colleagues, with the young competitors. I know how difficult and challenging it is to perform in front of the jury -- not only that, but to compete among other brilliant young musicians. We have a very good committee, so I'm sure the choice will be made wonderfully, and I trust the competition is going to be at the highest level possible. I'm very excited about conducting all the finalists. Conducting the violin repertoire is one of my favorite things to do, because I do understand the challenges of the concerto, and I know the difficulties of playing with the orchestra. As conductor, I think I can be of some help to the young competitors. Many people wonder, why do we need to do competitions? Many young people say, maybe if I can learn a couple of concertos, can get a good PR agent, it will just happen for me! Yes, it might, because with today's media possibilities -- the Internet, TV, all the promotional activities -- you can achieve phenomenal things to promote yourself. But there is something that we forget, by promoting yourself. We sometimes forget about the main reason why we are playing for people. We are playing the greatest compositions -- Beethoven, Brahms, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky -- they left for us this great heritage. It's as if people go to museums to see Leonardo da Vinci, the great paintings -- we have to deliver these great works, all the concertos, sonatas, chamber music, symphonies, in the best possible way that we can. We have to find very personal approach to them. Every soloist nowadays has to try to say something unique, something personal. Otherwise, if you're playing just another performance of Brahms concerto, why do we need to hear that? That is the great lesson that Barenboim taught me. I played the Sibelius concerto for him, in a private room with the pianist, and I was very happy about my performance. I felt it was very emotional, good technically -- and he didn't say anything. I asked him, "Maestro, don't you like it?" He said, "Yes, I
like it. It's great violin-playing. But I want to hear your Sibelius! I didn't hear your Sibelius." I asked him, "What do you mean, my Sibelius?" He said, "Well, take the score, don't play the violin any more. Just study the score. Tomorrow morning, we have the first rehearsal with the orchestra, and I want to really hear your Sibelius, your discovery, based on your new, detailed knowledge of the musical score." I spent one whole night with the score of the Sibelius, and I totally re-discovered this work. Of course, the first rehearsal was far from perfect, and even my technique started to lose something because I was more busy with the music. So I went a step back, and after rehearsal I was very unhappy. But Barenboim came to me and said, "Well, I am happy that you have started now."Why do we need competitions -- we want to hear every young competitor, to compare their interpretations, their souls, their personalities, how each of them views Beethoven, Mozart, even Paganini -- Paganini was a great composer, not only sportsman, as some people view him. And we want to go definitely beyond technique, because in today's society, with all our new technological possibilities, the level of technique has grown. That means the development of the human souls has to be even higher, has to match the technical possibilities. Laurie: So when you are on a jury, it sounds like you are looking for the kind of thing that Daniel Barenboim was looking for in you. Maxim: Absolutely. That's why we need competitions. Because we can recognize out of 40-50 players -- we want to find the most developed ones, the people who, in their future, will bring something to our audience, will bring something to the music, will add something to the musical world. And beyond that, even those people who do not pass through to the finals, they will have goals, they will have dreams fulfilled because they were at the competition where the atmosphere was incredible, where the level, not only technical but the performing art level, was fantastic. So they go away from the competition with the souvenirs and new challenges. Laurie: Inspired. Maxim: Inspired. That's what, we need to inspire young people. January 9, 2013
Laurie Niles Violinist.com
Did you know... CITES backs instrument 'passports' Certificates agreed for items containing endangered species Delegates at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) have accepted a draft resolution to implement a socalled 'musical instrument passport' for musicians to present when crossing international borders. The passport, which will contain details of all protected species (such as ivory and tortoiseshell) within the instrument, will be an optional alternative to the current system of permits. Under current regulations, musicians carrying such instruments are often required to have a permit to enter a certain country, and then obtain another in order to leave it. A passport, which will be valid for three years, will state that the instrument is owned for personal use and may not be sold, loaned, traded or otherwise disposed of outside the individuals state of usual residence. The draft proposal was originally drawn up by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Tim Van Norman, FWS' branch chief of permits, estimated that the US would begin implementing the resolution 'within 90 days, assuming everything goes as planned, with the whole body of the Convention adopting the resolution'. He added that FWS would also be releasing guidance documents, such as application guides and fact sheets, before implementation begins. Heather Noonan, vice president for advocacy at the League for American Orchestras, welcomed the agreement as an aid to streamlining the complex permit system. However, she stressed, 'It is essential that a passport be voluntary, and take into account the time, expense, and practical realities of travelling with instruments. It is key that
steps are taken today and in the future to educate the music community about how to navigate the permit rules both those existing CITES requirements and the varying domestic endangered species permit rules for each country, which won't be covered by the CITES passport concept.' She also stated that the passport concept would not be 'a silver bullet' in itself. Details such as the likely cost of a passport or the duration of the application process have not yet been disclosed. However, it is acknowledged that not all of the 178 countries represented at the CITES conference will be implementing the passport: Australia, for instance, will not do so because the passport will have to be hand-stamped rather than electronically processed.
Concert Calendar Here are the details of some Toronto concert organizations’ websites: Toronto Symphony Orchestra http://tso.ca/Home.aspx Canadian Opera Company http://www.coc.ca/performancesandtickets.aspx National Ballet of Canada http://national.ballet.ca/performances/season1213/ Roy Thomson Hall http://www.roythomson.com/ Royal Conservatory Concerts http://brochure.rc.mu/ Tafel Music Baroque Orchestra http://www.tafelmusik.org/ Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra http://www.spo.ca/
Some music quotations: Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. Victor Hugo Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy. Ludwig van Beethoven Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us. Martin Luther Hell is full of musical amateurs. George Bernard Shaw When words leave off, music begins. Heinrich Heine
Some funny videos Being John Sebastian Bach http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9A95yzVgBTs&list=PLD1F522C214697D31 Don't Want No Trouble http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wJ0YmWrq6w Igudesman/Strauss: Kukuck http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=S0vWx7Zj9aw&NR=1
Some funny stories: Why is a viola solo like a bomb? By the time you hear it, it's too late to do anything about it. How can you tell when a violist is playing out of tune? The bow is moving. Why do so many people take an instant dislike to the viola? It saves time. What's the latest crime wave in New York City? Drive-by viola recitals.
…and not so funny: Two years ago an orchestra was on tour in France. One evening they decided to go find some snails so they could have escargot for dinner. Everybody was given a bag and send into the vineyards. Gradually everybody came back with their bags filled with snails. All sections were there except the violists, who returned several hours later. The concertmaster asked, "Were have you been for so long and why are your bags empty?" "Well," they said, "I don't know how you managed, but It was a disaster. We saw a lot of snails, but they were quick! Just as we went to get them, rush...and they were gone!" Once upon a time, there was a blind rabbit and blind snake, both living in the same neighborhood. One beautiful day, the blind rabbit was hopping happily down the path toward his home, when he bumped into someone. Apologizing profusely he explained, "I am blind, and didn't see you there." "Perfectly all right," said the snake, "because I am blind, too, and did not see to step out of your way." A conversation followed, gradually becoming more intimate, and finally the snake said, "This is the best conversation I have had with anyone for a long time. Would you mind if I felt you to see what you are like?" "Why, no," said the rabbit. "Go right ahead."
So the snake wrapped himself around the rabbit and shuffled and snuggled his coils, and said, "MMMM! You're soft and warm and fuzzy and cuddly...and those ears! You must be a rabbit." "Why, that's right!" said the rabbit. "May I feel you?" "Go right ahead." said the snake, stretching himself out full length on the path. The rabbit began to stroke the snake's body with his paws, then drew back in disgust. "Yuck!" he said. "You're cold...and slimy... you must be a conductor!"
News SF Symphony cancels tour Carnegie Hall concerts called off due to musicians strike The San Francisco Symphony has been forced to cancel its tour of the US East Coast, after the orchestras musicians failed to come to an agreement with management over a new contract. The four-date tour was to have included two concerts at New Yorks Carnegie Hall, and one apiece at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. Four more concerts have already been cancelled at the orchestras home venue, Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco (left). According to a statement from the management, the musicians union rejected the idea of a cooling off period, put forward by a federal mediator. It also refused the managements most recent proposal, for a new annual minimum salary of $145,979 with annual increases of one per cent and two per cent in successive years. Before the musicians went on strike on 13 March, they had been playing without a contract since 15 February. In previous statements, the union negotiators have argued that orchestras in Los Angeles and Chicago receive around $7,500 more annually, and that the cost of instruments and living in the San Francisco Bay Area hurt their ability to compete with their peers nationally Musicians hail plans to force clarifications from airlines European airlines will be obliged to lay out their terms and conditions for carrying musical instruments, both in the cabin and in the hold, under new revisions proposed by the European Commission (EC). The proposals, which could become law as early as 2014, will also ensure that instruments are not refused for any reason apart from safety or technical specificities of the aircraft. Musicians often do not know in advance under which conditions fragile and often very expensive instruments will be taken on board, states the EC memo, published on 13 March. Under the proposal, the air carriers must accept smaller instruments into the passenger cabin and must clearly indicate the terms and conditions for the transport of larger instruments in the cargo hold. The proposal, however, does not give definitions for smaller and larger instruments. Regarding the liability of airlines over passengers and their luggage, the memo states: National authorities will be responsible for the enforcement of compensation rules for mishandled baggage, and the new rules on the transport of musical instruments make sure that their carriage is not refused on other grounds than safety or technical specificities of the aircraft.John Smith, president of the International Federaion of Musicians, welcomed the proposals. It is only by working at a European and international level that we can successfully tackle this issue, as the problem is much broader than just UK airlines, he said. The problem has always been that existing law allows each airline to set their own policy regarding musical instrument, and this proposal would bring much needed uniformity and fairness to the whole sector.The proposals are part of an extensive revision of the ECs air passenger rights legislation, aimed at clarifying the airlines various regulations and eliminating legal grey areas. As well as the provisions on musical instruments, the commission seeks to force airlines to clarify baggage allowances, provide clear procedures for handling complaints, and eliminate charges for correcting misspelt names on tickets.
Titanic violin to be auctioned Instrument said to have been played while ship sank A violin that belonged to Wallace Hartley, bandmaster on the ill-fated maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic, is to go on display in Belfast City Hall at the end of March. According to specialist Titanic auctioneers Henry Aldridge & Son, the water-damaged instrument (left) is the one played by the violinist as the ship went down: according to legend, Hartley played the hymn Nearer My God to Thee as passengers were being loaded into the lifeboats. The violin has been examined by Bath-based dealer Andrew Hooker, who estimated its date as between 1880 and 1900. Based on a Maggini model, it was probably made in a German factory, possibly in Markneukirchen or Klingenthal. It has a spruce front and maple back. No makers label has survived, although the violin bears a silver plate on the tailpiece, with the inscription: For Wallace on the occasion of our engagement from Maria.The data corresponds with the known facts about the Titanic violin, which was given to Hartley by his fiance, Maria Robinson, in 1910. Supporting the theory that the violins are the same is the transcript in Robinsons diary of a telegram dated 19 July 1912, three months after the sinking. Addressed to the Provincial Secretary of Nova Scotia, it reads I would be most grateful if you could convey my heartfelt thanks to all who have made possible the return of my late fianc's violin. According to auctioneer Andrew Aldridge, Wallace Hartleys body was recovered on 25 April, and the violin and valise would have been in Halifax, Nova Scotia, until their return to Maria Robinson.The evidence unearthed by the group appears to show that Hartley put the violin inside a leather valise, which he then strapped to his body before the ship sank. The monogrammed valise, still containing the violin, was discovered by Robinsons sister upon her death in 1939. Since then it has been in the hands of a succession of private owners, before being brought to the auctioneers attention
Stolen Stradivari recovered Bulgarian police may have tracked down the 1696 violin taken in 2010 Police in Bulgaria believe they have recovered the 1696 Stradivari violin (left) that was stolen from a London sandwich bar in 2010. Undercover detectives in Sofia were offered a Stradivari for 250,000 in a sting operation on Hristo Varbanov, a Roma mafia crime boss. The instrument, valued at 1.2m at the time of the theft, belongs to Korean-born violinist Min-Jin Kym. It was taken by Irish traveller John Maughan, working with two teenage accomplices, while Ms Kym was on the phone. As well as the Stradivari, the trio got away with two bows one a Peccatte and the other made by the school of Bazin which together were valued at 67,000. The fate of the bows has has not yet been reported. Maughan was arrested in March 2011 and jailed for four and a half years for the crime. At his trial, it was revealed that he had tried to sell the instrument (bought by Kym in 2000 for 750,000) to a man in an internet café for 10. At the time of Maughans arrest, investigating officer Andy Rose said the police believed the items could be held within the travelling community and that it was possible they would be offered for sale within the antique or musical trade, either in England or Ireland.
These months’ birthdays: March No birthdays! April No birthdays! Everyone: Have lots of fun with Music anyway! Featured Artist
Maxim Vengerov Born: August 20, 1974 - Novosibirsk, Russia (former USSR) The Rusian born is a violinist, violist, conductor, and music pedagogue, Maxim Alexandrovich Vengerov, was born to a Jewish family with musical tradition and took to violin naturally. His mother was the conductor of a 500voice choir. As a four-year-old he began practice after dinner and kept going until he was too tired, then went outside and rode his tricycle to wind down, usually by 3 a.m. His father decided to find the best available teacher, and took him, without appointment, to Galina Turchaninova who, oddly, greeted them by saying, "Oh, I've been expecting you." She took him as a student. Before the first lesson Turchaninova realized a case of mistaken identity had occurred: she thought Maxim was a boy the director of the Conservatory had sent over, who never showed up. Turchaninova was a very strict teacher, and the boy at one point refused to play a note for five straight lessons. She called Maxim's mother in to inform her she was dismissing him as her student. When his mother broke down in tears, Maxim realized he had done wrong, picked up his violin, and played 17 assigned pieces from memory; he had been practicing them even though he had not been playing them. "Very well," said Turchaninova, and agreed to continue his lessons. "A violinist like Maxim is born only once in a hundred years." When Maxim Vengero was 7 the government gave permission for the family to move to Moscow where he could be enrolled in the State's top school for talented musical children. His technique was fully polished before he was 10; from them on he needed only to study musical and interpretive issues. He studied with Zakhar Bron, another great teacher, and practiced seven hours a day. 1984 saw the 10-year-old Maxim go abroad for the first time; in Lublin, Poland, he won the first place at the International Karol Lipiński and Henryk Wieniawski Young Violin Player Competition (years later, he recalled, "I thought Poland was somewhere at the end of the world. One does not forget such trips; no wonder I always remember Poland very fondly…"). He immediately had concert engagements in Russia and even with western European orchestras such as the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. His Moscow debut was in 1985. When Bron left Russia in 1987 to teach at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) in London, Vengerov and his mother followed him there, and did so again after Bron moved to Lübeck to open a school there. Vengerov first appeared in Germany in 1987, and in London in 1989. He won the prestigious Carl Flesch Competition (named after one of the great violin pedagogues) in 1990, and first appeared in New York with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in 1991. In 1990, Vengerov proved his extraordinary talent with victory at the International Carl Flesch Competition in London. Widely regarded as one of the world's most dynamic artists, Maxim Vengerov has performed sold out concerts with the world's most eminent orchestras in every major city in the world. Steeped in the celebrated Russian tradition of music making, He enjoys international acclaim as a musician of the highest order, tireless in his search for new means of creative expression. In an age where bright, attractive, and talented young violinists seem to emerge as often as new hybrid roses, Vengerov is a
remarkable standout. His public appearances - both solo and with orchestras - at major European music venues sparked interest of major record labels (to date, he has recorded close to 100 compositions or cycles) and music magazines. In 1995, Maxim Vengerov released his recordings of the Dmitri Shostakovich and Prokofiev First Violin Concertos on the Teldec label. This disc was Best Concerto Recording and Best Record of the Year in the Gramophone Awards, was nominated for two Grammy Awards, and represented an early collaboration with his favorite conductor, Mstislav Rostropovich. He has followed that success with many other recordings, including sequel to his prize winning release, the Second Violin Concertos of D. Shostakovich and Prokofiev, which won the equally prestigious Edison Award in 1997. He has also won awards as Gramophone Young Artist of the Year and the Ritmo Artist of the Year in Spain. The highly prestigious “Echo Klassik” annual distinction awarded to him by the German Television in 2003 (for recital featuring compositions by J.S. Bach). Maxim Vengerov was named in 1997 as the Envoy for Music of the United Nations' Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the first classical musician to be so appointed, and has met and performed for children in such places, as Uganda, Thailand or Kosovo, and helped raise funds for UNICEF assisted programs. Playing by Heart, a Channel 4 production about the virtuoso’s meetings with young musicians during his master classes, which was shown at the Cannes Festival in 1999, enjoyed tremendous popularity throughout the world. In 1997, he was asked by conductor Kurt Masur to play the season's opening concert of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Contacts with Mstislav Rostropovich, Daniel Barenboim or Vag Papian, as well as performances with the world’s most famous orchestras, like the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra or the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, exerted profound influence upon Vengerov’s artistic progress and development of his musical skills. The artist took a two-year course in the Baroque violin and repertoire of the epoch, and has played Baroque violin in recitals with harpsichordist Trevor Pinnock.. However, he does not restrict himself to the violin alone; the viola, jazz improvisation, dance, and conducting have caught his attention. In May 2000, after a ten-year exclusive contract with Teldec, Maxim Vengerov signed with EMI, receiving many prestigious awards and nominations including Grammy Award and Gramophone Artist of the Year. He released on EMI Rodion Shchedrin's Concerto Cantabile (which was written for him) with Rostropovich conducting. Vengerov was an Edison Award winner and Grammy Award winner in 2004 for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (with Orchestra) for the Benjamin Britten: Violin Concerto/William Walton: Viola Concerto Album released on EMI Classics. He toured the Far East and Europe until the end of 2004 with a new programme of Virtuosi pieces, a programme which was also recorded and released by EMI. Since 2005, Maxim Vengerov has been Professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London. During a sabbatical year in 2007, Vengerov was the subject of the film Living the Dream, directed by Ken Howard, for ITV's South Bank Show, in which he revisited his birthplace in Novosibirsk and played viola and danced tango with Christiane Palha for the premiere of Benjamin Yusupov's Concerto for Viola. Living the Dream was also issued as an EMI DVD which won the BBC Music Magazine Award for Best DVD documentary 2008. From 2008 to 2012, Maxim Vengorov performed only infrequently in public on violin, having suffered an exercise injury that affected his playing. During that time, he devoted himself extensively to conducting. In March 2012, he gave his first performance in London in four years, replacing an indisposed Martha Argerich at a concert with Yuri Temirkanov and St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. In April 2012 he gava recital at Wigmore Hall in London, which was to be his comeback recital in London. Recently, Maxim Vengerov has also renewed and consolidated his ties with Poland. He has been performing with the Sinfonia Varsovia, the Sinfonietta Cracovia and the Polish Baltic Philharmonic. In October 2006, his concert with the Sinfonia Varsovia conducted by Andrey Boreyko closed the 13th International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition in Poznań. In October 2011 he was the chairman of the jury at the 14th edition of the competition. In October 2012, after his recital with a pianist Vag Papian at Adam Mickiewicz University Auditorium in Poznań, Vengerov signed a contract appointing him the Chairman of Jury of 15th International Henryk Wieniawski Violin
Competition in 2016. He regularly serves on other juries, most recently at the Yehudi Menuhin Violin Competition and the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition. Having reached the pinnacle of the musical world as an instrumentalist, Vengerov followed in the footsteps of his mentor, the late Mstislav Rostropovich and turned his attention to conducting, bringing his sensitivity and keen musicianship to the podium. He took his first conducting classes from Professor Vag Papian, who himself studied with the legendary Ilya Musin in St. Petersburg. made his conducting debut with the English Chamber Orchestra. At the invitation of Valery Gergiev, Vengerov has conducted the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, earning accolades both from the critics and the public. Over the past few seasons, he has developed close relationships with Verbier Festival Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic, Sinfonietta Cracovia, et al. Vengerov's Carnegie Hall debut as a conductor, which took place during the 2007 Verbier Festival Orchestra tour of North America, received critical acclaim. "The musicians responded magnetically to him", wrote Vivien Schweitzer of The New York Times. In September 2008 he was invited by the BBC to conduct the BBC Concert Orchestra and be a member of the jury in the Maestro Series, a programme designed to give general public an insight into the fascinating profession of a conductor. Hungry for experience that lies outside a standard track record of a musical prodigy, Maxim Vengerov has let himself be inspired by many different styles of music, including Baroque, jazz and rock. He has taken the time to learn how to tango and premiered Benjamin Yusupov's Viola Tango Rock Concerto, exploring the physicality of music and making a powerful statement about the diversity of cultural influences in the 21st century. Along with Rostropovich and Gergiev, Maxim Vengerov counts Daniel Barenboim among his mentors, not only from the purely musical point of view but also in terms of their commitment to philanthropy, education and talent development. Vengerov enjoys creative partnerships and friendships with some of the most prominent instrumentalists, such as Ida Haendel, Joshua Bell and Alexander Toradze, to name but a few. At the same time, he makes it a point to feature young promising soloists who benefit greatly from his extensive experience and rare generosity. Educational activities such as music forums, lectures and conferences are an integral part of Maxim Vengerov's work. He holds Honorary Professorships from many top conservatories around the world, including the Royal Academy of Music in London. Since 2007 Maxim Vengerov has been an Ambassador for Zegna & Music project, which was founded by the luxury men's clothing label Ermenegildo Zegna in 1997 as a philanthropic activity to promote classical music. Vengerov is a patron of the MIGDAL Project in Northern Israel designed to give disadvantaged children a chance to learn how to play a musical instrument and to improvise in classical and ethnic styles, harnessing the healing power of music and promoting humanitarian and cultural values. Vengerov also supports the MIAGI Project in South Africa, which connects children of different ethnic backgrounds through music. There are many exciting projects in store for the next two seasons, including a North American tour (Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, etc), a Russian tour with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, a series of performances with Kammerorchester Basel and a conducting debut with the Jerusalem Symphony. Vengerov will return to the Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. He will also make his debut with the Moscow Virtuosi in Moscow and St. Petersburg. His programmes will feature works by Mozart, L.v. Beethoven, Felix Mendelssohn, Johannes Brahms, Bruckner, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Dmitri Shostakovich. In November 2011, Maxim Vengerov married Olga Gringolts, sister of the violinist Ilya Gringolts. Since the earliest stages of his career, he has been playing various Stradivari instruments; especially the 1727 "Reynier" Stradivarius, and at present. In 2000, with the aid of Mrs. Yoko Nagae Ceschina was able to purchase the famous "ex-Kreutzer" Stradivarius. He uses Jascha Heifetz's bow. He now makes his home in Israel.
Recommended listening: Maxim Vengerov plays: Waxman - Carmen Fantasy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfHA7Qqs97o Ysaye - Caprice d'apres l'Etude en forme de Valse de Saint-Saens http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfiGrkCQF7k Wieniawski - Variations on an Original Theme http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuDHk-8LUZo Waxman - Carmen Fantasy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfHA7Qqs97o Ysaye - Caprice d'apres l'Etude en forme de Valse de Saint-Saens http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfiGrkCQF7k Wieniawski - Variations on an Original Theme http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuDHk-8LUZo … and of course Heifetz! Debussy La fille aux cheveux de lin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_Uwvh2scyA Jascha Heifetz and William Primrose play Handel's Passacaglia, arranged by Johan Halvorsen for violin and viola. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUF9neEN81I
Finale You can download this edition of JLNotes with direct links to various sites referred above from our websites: www.musicinsummer.com www.lakirovich.com http://www.facebook.com/MusicInSummer
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