lwl

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  1. The Khachaturian is a lot of fun, the third movement more so than the first, in my opinion. Lalo is fun, too. Will the concerto competition allow you to play the Zig? It's about the same length as a concerto movement and it's got a good orchestra part.
  2. I think of modern as "contemporary", i.e. something by a still-living or recently-deceased maker. My violin is from the 1850s so is definitely not a modern. I usually say, "Oh, this is a French violin from the 1850s", unless I'm talking to another violinist in which case I'll be more specific and say, "This is a JB Vuillaume." People often tell me that they've never heard another violin like it; I imagine since I'm usually playing in venues that only have a few hundred seats at most, it's more in-your-face than anything they've heard in a concert hall. (A pro pianist who used to spend a lot of time with the Guarneri Quartet told me, "It sounds like a Strad.")
  3. People almost always come up to me post-performance to remark that my violin's sound is extraordinary, and they're wondering what it is. My bio clearly identifies me as an amateur, and so the question I usually get asked is, "Is it a modern?" rather than the assumption that people would tend to make with a pro who'd be more likely to have an antique. So even the general public has gotten the message that moderns can be excellent, thanks to all those news articles about blind tests. (But no. I'm not playing a modern, actually. This seems to almost disappoint the people asking that question.)
  4. I also agree with the advice to look for a nice workshop violin, which would set you back around $2k-5k, and which you could probably eventually sell for a break-even or slight loss when you're ready to upgrade again. If you're considering a $12k violin, I would set yourself a budget and do some serious shopping in that price range (and below) -- say $10k to $15k. There is tons of inventory at that price, and you owe it to yourself to try lots of violins before settling on one. This miracle Allison violin you're playing may feel wondrous simply because you haven't had enough experience with better violins. Find a violin that you think is worthwhile even if it turns out that is worthless for resale later. Resale value is nice, but if you want to invest your money, go put it in the stock market or something; focus on the utility value of your purchase and not its investment value. Think of it more like buying a car.
  5. And since this involves teenaged boys and not females, the BS currently being spouted in the other thread about predatory women using their wiles on men certainly does not apply.
  6. I would say that you can also run into a situation where you have already changed your technique, and in the process you find that your old bow doesn't suit you as well any longer, and you are now looking for something different. I went through a change in right-hand technique that meant that I went from liking very flexible bows to liking strong sticks, probably best expressed as going from not liking Sartory to preferring Sartory. Unfortunately, when I first went shopping, Sartory's work was in my price range; when I was shopping for my changed technique, it was not. (I regret not having bought a Maline or even a D Peccatte when they were "affordable", since I think I'd still have loved the same bow even through the technical transition.)
  7. Speaking as a woman who is not conventionally attractive, I will tell you from personal experience that it is not at all a deterrent to predatory men, and in fact, said predatory men will pretend to be doing you a favor by harassing you. Speaking as a woman who has managed teams at tech companies, I can also tell you that sexual harassment in the workplace is rampant, and it's hard for even the best-intentioned managers (male or female) to protect the women on their teams. And finally, I can tell you, from personal observation in the workplace, that even butch lesbians with zero interest in men and no flirtatious manner whatsoever still get the unwelcome attention of men. Some men are just predators. A recent news article noted that we're starting to understand something really important about rape. We used to assume that "date rapists" were a totally different category from the men that committed violent stranger rapes -- that a guy who might take advantage of an ambiguous situation or a drunk woman was a "normal" guy caught in a bad situation. Rape-kit testing is now destroying that assumption. It turns out that many men who commit violent rapes have, in the past, been given a pass on a he-said she-said date-rape accusation.
  8. Not only did she report it, but numerous other women also reported it. I think it's important institutions deal with this, because Curtis needs to take a hard look at itself and figure out how to deal with any abuse that might be happening now and in the future, since there will be other abusers in the future. This isn't just happening in music, but in other educational institutions as well. There are lots of schools that are dealing with buried reports of sexual assault where men in their 60s are coming forward. (The MeToo climate has been freeing for men to report abuse as well.) Reading interviews with survivors, it seems pretty clear that people often need decades to get the therapy and help they need to recover, and the courage to confront often beloved institutions and fondly-remembered teachers who are often long dead. Note that abusers may construct their lives specifically to obtain access to children. Many beloved teachers build a foundation in which they are loved by the administration, colleagues, parents, and children, so that when they are accused of abuse, the child will not be believed, and/or the problem will be swept under the table. This is part of the grooming behavior. Other abusers are opportunistic. Music provides ample opportunity for one-on-one access in an intimate setting. I know a college prof (musician but not violinist) who has repeatedly engaged in sexual relationships with his students, which he views as consensual but might have an uncomfortable power dynamic nevertheless.
  9. Direct your ear and attention to the melody. Tune the other line to the melody. The place where you sometimes have to compromise unpleasantly is if you're playing solo Bach and need to use a not-quite-in-tune open string to play a chord. You are better off slightly compromising the intonation of the notes before and after that chord to narrow how obvious the difference is.
  10. I read music using progressives and a good stand light or an iPad. I don't especially like the progressives and am thinking of having an intermediate pair made specifically for music.
  11. lwl

    Vuillaume violin.

    Out of curiosity, what is the seller (presumably an optimistic individual with an attic violin, or an eBay scammer, and not a dealer/shop) doing to try to convince you it's real? Do they claim to have any paperwork?
  12. Bill, fortunately not. Though we do ask people to tell us something about themselves prior to the audition.
  13. Don Juan is serious overkill for a community orchestra audition. If you submit an audition full of the traditional professional excerpts, and they are perfectly played, the orchestra's manager/conductor/concertmaster will probably question if you understand that this is a community orchestra. If they are not perfectly played, choose something that's actually fully in your technical command. If for whatever reason you think the Bruch isn't a difficult enough concerto for this orchestra (though it really should be, if you play it with total command), then pick a more difficult concerto that you know. Although honestly unless you're going to play the exposition of Brahms, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, or Paganini No. 1, the Bruch is fine.
  14. Honestly, I'd just play the first movement of the Bruch, in its entirety, and leave it at that. Or if you want to up the difficulty, the last movement of the Bruch. (Or if you really think that the orchestra is highly competitive, play the exposition of a more difficult concerto.) As a community-orchestra concertmaster, I listen to all of our violin auditions. My impression of a player is probably going to be formed in the first 30 seconds, and two minutes is probably adequate to tell me what I need to know.
  15. I love my violin and bow, and for practical reasons I expect they will be "lifetime" equipment, but I honestly thought that about my previous violin and bow, too. And twenty years from now when I'm at retirement age, I think I might want to commission a 7/8ths, which would be less hard on my small hands, which would probably mean that I'd sell what I currently own. I'm both deeply attached to whatever violin and bow I have at the time -- and not so sentimental I'm not willing to sell to upgrade. My current violin was a lucky find, at a time when I wasn't actively looking and indeed thought I already had my forever violin. Finding a bow to match was a multi-month, multi-state search. Identification of both is left as an exercise for the reader.