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Everything posted by fatcat

  1. I was there too and agree with StringDad's comments - it was a great evening. She really is extraordinary. A privilege to hear her. NY audiences can be somewhat snooty and standing ovations are not given out to just anybody. I don't think I've attended a concert in NYC with so much whistling and cheering! My only (small) quibble would be that I've heard those same encore pieces at her recitals for the last 3 seasons. Everything was played from memory, by the way.
  2. When I was in music school I didn't practice enough - maybe 2-3 hours a day, which was not enough for me at that time (for others, it may have been plenty). 20 years later, I often wish I hadn't squandered that time. A few years later, when a great gift of time came my way, I upped my practice to 6-8 hours/day. Did this for about 8 months - the improvement was unbelievable.
  3. Back when I was in music school, I found Bach boring (I know, I know!), much the chagrin of my teachers who must have been questioning my intelligence/musical aptitude. Now, Bach is my favorite composer. I am constantly amazed at the intricacies of his music and its majestic beauty. So many layers, so much going on, so much to learn. I find there are infinite ways to listen to and understand his music. It is a never-ending quest.
  4. I am a reluctant Lara St. John fan. I bought a CD of hers and did not expect to like it, but found it growing on me. She is not my fave but I do like her playing. The marketing of her, however, I find to be a joke - except, it has worked for her, hasn't it? I don't find her especially pretty either. But the marketers of classical music have been looking for a sexpot for quite a while now and LSJ seems willing to fill that role. So, more power to her. LOVE aaron's photo!!!!!!
  5. Kabal, my hubby also has a Chuck Jones. He met Jones when he was a young boy and asked for his autograph. Jones said he didn't sign autographs but if Mike would write him, he'd write back. So he wrote and got back an autographed picture of Wile E. Coyote! We have it framed.
  6. It doesn't seem very bright or forward-thinking of the dealer - perhaps after that important engagement there would have been no problem finding a benefactor...
  7. But the Mostly Mozart concerts that don't involve the festival orchestra are still going on. Gotta second rainyann's suggestion of Bargemusic - definitely the best place in NYC to hear concerts. Unique, fun - you'll be sitting 10-20 feet away from the players - some of the best musicians in the world. Whenever people from out of town visit me I drag them to Bargemusic. All have enjoyed it immensely.
  8. Interesting article. Times sure have changed though. 20 years ago, during my conservatory days, nearly every male teacher could have been charged with sexual harassment by someone. A couple of incidents: I was on tour and a teacher was with us. He leered and flirted with me all day. When we got to the hotel he asked for my room number and if he could come up later. I said, sure and gave him a room-number on a non-existent floor. I told everyone and laughed about it the whole rest of the trip. I played a piece for my teacher which was to be played on my upcoming jury. When I was done he came over and kissed my forehead and told me the piece was lovely and beautiful and all the notes were there, but "you played like a sweet little girl in Sunday School choir - it's just a little too virginal, if you know what I mean". He then told me details of the previous night he had spent with the woman he was dating (not a student) and the charged sexual/romantic atmosphere of their evening, "and I thought of you - I thought 'one day (fatcat) will be able to play like that'". I couldn't wait until the lesson was over - to go back and laugh with my friends about horny old Mr. XXX and how he advised me to get laid before my jury. This teacher was adored by me and all of his students. I guess I could have had him fired if that happened today. I'm not saying that sexual harassment isn't real or serious, just that some incidents can be taken care of without resorting to lawsuits. But yes, other times a lawsuit is what it takes.
  9. I adore Wodehouse and agree with Oldbear's definition. If I had another lifetime I would spend it trying to annotate all of Wodehouse - probably an impossible task. Remember, "The F. of the S. is more D. than the M."
  10. I think your experience is typical and I was thinking along those same lines as I read that thread. Every teacher I have had has changed something but that doesn't mean what I had been doing was wrong or that my former teacher was incompetent. Sometimes things will be refined as you improve or get older, sometimes a teacher has discovered a technique that works for him/her, sometimes they simply insist you do it the way they, themselves, were taught.
  11. I don't know what it is like for teachers in NC now but in the 1970s, when my Mom was a public school teacher in NC, teachers got paid for the months they worked (10) with the OPTION to spread that 10 months pay over 12 months if they wished so there would be no pay gap during the summer months.. I think she was making about $9000/year, no joke. Every weekend, holiday and summer day off, Mom worked at the local hospital. She sometimes worked at the hospital after coming home from school at 5pm. She literally had about 1 day off per year. She was one of the most popular and best teachers at my high school. Also found time to work on a Master's Degree during that time. I know this is off-topic and I know no one here was suggesting ALL teachers are lazy but I just felt the need to put in a defence of my Mom, who is also my hero.
  12. I've heard the Larks, though not recently. I was friends many years ago with their cellist. An excellent quartet.
  13. My opinion on this changes constantly but recently I'm really loving Faure's Quartet No. 2 in G minor, Op. 45. What a great piece of music!
  14. I'm pretending I don't know who that guy is.
  15. quote: Originally posted by hk1997: In Houston, our symphony advertised that you can go in t-shirt and jeans. And I did once, but I didn't see anyone else dressed the same. In NYC you see people at concerts in all manner of dress - from jeans to tuxedos. Though most people dress up a little, I think that gowns/****tail dresses and tuxedos are even more out of place these days than jeans.
  16. I haven't seen this but it sounds like something I would attend. Please post your impressions if you decide to go.
  17. quote: Originally posted by Mu0n: Landing an orchestral position seems pretty tough. What about the violinist/composer soloist CD churning out niche? Even tougher.
  18. quote: Originally posted by Chris2: Grappelli's best collaborator, hands down, was Django Reinhardt. I'd avoid the classical crossover stuff. Agreed.
  19. As I get older, I more and more think that what comes out of my flute (and even my fiddle) is ME. I think you can be a mean bastard and play/write beautiful music, but something will be missing - a humanizing element, honesty, something. Of course, meanness is also a human trait. Maybe beautiful is not the best word. Music doesn' t have to be beautiful to be great. I would also like to point out that just because people may think that XXX is a mean bastard doesn't necessarily make it so. Just because others may think that XXX is the greatest thing since sliced bread doesn't make IT so.
  20. Interesting article in the NYTimes about pianist Randall Hodgkinson who has a nice career in music but never hit it big on the soloist scene. It talks about his playing chamber music and teaching (and even ballparks his salary!). Mentions also the cellist Carter Brey and flutist Emmanuel Pahud who combine orchestral and solo work. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/11/arts/music/11NOTE.html You might have to register, but it's free.
  21. I said house cleaning can be good - never is it fun. Which is why I had 10 years of dust to clean off some of those books! But you're right, playing with old books is the best - even though they make me sneeze.
  22. This is violin-related, I swear. We have literally thousands of books. And a small NY apartment. Finally splurged and bought 5 new bookcases to house some of the poor books that have been double-shelved for many years. So I'm dusting off books (just imagine the dust - hack, hack) and trying to put them in some semblance of order: music, biography, history... And I come across a 1st Edition copy of Auer's "Violin Playing As I Teach It"! Cool! Even though I have a paperback copy that I bought and read after I began playing a few years ago, I started flipping through it. My husband's grandmother had written a note to him - something along the lines of "This is the book I told you about. It should be helpful to you as you learn the violin. See page 19" (hubby played violin for one year in grade school). I turned to page 19 and there is a picture of Heifetz. Underneath, in husband's grandmother's handwriting is written, "This is the famous violinist that gave your Uncle Emil the trans-oceanic radio that is in your kitchen." Heart stops! Mike's (great) Uncle Emil knew Heifetz?!! What the... Mike recalls some sort of short-wave radio that was in their kitchen when he was a kid. Thinks sister probably still has it (oh, it will be mine!). Quick call to Pittsburgh where in-laws remind us that Uncle Emil (deceased) lived in Los Angeles and was an Ob/Gyn and an amateur violinist - maybe delivered a Heifetz kid? Did Heifetz have children? Did Jascha and Emil ever play together????? Unfortunately, Gramma is also deceased so we will have to do some digging to find out the story of Heifetz and Uncle Emil. A mystery, but it should be fun. Also tucked in the book were 2 or 3 obits dating from the death of Kreisler. I love books. What fun.
  23. Quotes from a couple of posts: "Great, but not phenomenal players" "Maybe the instrument collection will attract better players in the future" Um, the NJ Symphony is already a great orchestra. Most of its players are very active New York musicians and a large number are Juilliard (and probably Curtis too) alumni. The orchestra is hindered (in reputation only) by its proximity to NYC.
  24. Crystal, my condolences to you and your family during this sad time.
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