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Everything posted by Samira

  1. Here's a link to a generally good review in the Philadelphia Inquirer: http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/9814831.htm?1c What I like best is the following quote in the article (italics are mine): "But the best qualities in Hahn's performance were present in her first outing with the piece four years ago with an amateur orchestra at Johns Hopkins University. It was always her piece, with her Olympian temperament acting like a beacon amid the music's thickly orchestrated emotional turbulence." Nice to know the Philadelphia Inquirer's music critic still remembers that concert in a positive light. It was a fantastic experience for the members of the orchestra, for sure. I only wish I could hear a recording from THAT performance!
  2. On the other hand, Menuhin at 24 wasn't what he was at 16, either!
  3. And how old was Menuhin when that recording was made? 15 or 16? So would you really think that he was so much more mature a performer than Hilary Hahn at 24? I'm really looking forward to this release. As I have probably said at every opportunity here, her performance with the commmunity orchestra in which I play was her first orchestral performance of the Elgar. That was in June of 2000 so I have been waiting to see how far she would take the piece. I thought she played it with a lot of passion and sheer stamina, plus it was typically very clean and seemingly effortless. Isn't it the longest violin concerto? It's very demanding of the orchestra, too. I was a little surprised to see that it is paired with Lark Ascending. There is a Kennedy recording of the same two pieces from 1997. Begs for a direct comparison, doesn't it?
  4. I've had one since September. I'm not sitting in front of it at the moment and haven't used it for triplet or other fancy beats, but I think it does that. I bought it because 1) it is indeed loud, certainly loud enough that it worked nicely when I was playing in a piano trio (and the volume is adjustable, and you can choose between two different tones), and 2) it has a chromatic tone generator where you can have it play continuously; I guess people use this to tune to specific pitches but my daughter's teacher has her use it as a drone to help her hear the fundamental pitch in her scales or tricky sections of her pieces. I tried it myself and it really does help! It also has an automatic chromatic tuner function (lights up to tell you when you are playing in tune). The only problem I've had with it is that sometimes my daughter or I forget to turn it off when it is in tuning mode and it runs the battery down because it is constantly picking up all the noise in the room.
  5. So East Texas folks...how was the concert this past weekend?
  6. Her name is not listed in the faculty directory for either the Conservatory or the Preparatory (hasn't been for at least several years). I don't know if she is actively teaching privately, either. I know that she was at one of Hilary Hahn's Baltimore performances in 2000 (and probably others since then).
  7. You can take a look at the Finale family of products at http://www.finalemusic.com/ Unfortunately, only the full version of Finale is currently available for OSX, but you can run NotePad (which is free) under Classic. I ended up buying Print Music because Finale NotePad wasn't up to tasks like changing time signatures partway through a piece, and transpositions work better, etc. I've been happy with it; it's all I need because I don't do any MIDI stuff. They promise that they will be releasing an OSX version sometime this year.
  8. Congratulations on your assistantship, Jesse! I think Baltimore is a really exciting place to be doing chamber music these days. It is definitely a more active scene that it was even as recently as 5 years ago. Seems like during the regular season there are at least 3 or 4 interesting concerts to choose from every Sunday afternoon or evening, let alone all the stuff during the week at Peabody and elsewhere. (BTW, I saw a notice for your recital a couple of weeks ago when I was hurrying to my weekly lesson at the Prep, but it was literally about to start so I couldn't go...I hope it went well. I've also seen a poster or two about the Rivendell Quartet and hope to attend a concert sometime. I enjoyed meeting Liz last summer when I was observing for the week at Peabody Prep's string camp but I never really got to hear her play.) Best wishes to everyone else as well!
  9. "...a louder shade of warm..." I like that, it's very poetic!
  10. As I noted in another thread about shoulder rests, I was able to order several rests from Shar, take them to my daughter's teacher who helped her winnow it down to one (the Bon Musica, as it happened), and then return them. I made sure the return policy would cover this AHEAD OF TIME (because I did have to pay for them up front and wait for the credit to my account after returning them) and of course was very careful to repack them exactly as they had been before we opened them. As for other Kun-like rests, I used to use a standard Kun. When my daughter was trying out rests I took the opportunity to test a few myself. I wasn't particularly unhappy with the Kun, but the foam pad was beginning to wear out and it seemed like a good time to tinker with things. I tried the Kun Bravo and found it actually does not feel exactly like a standard Kun (I didn't like it as much). I liked the plastic Mach One and switched to that. Then I got a maple Mach One as a gift and found that its shape IS a little different from the plastic one (and I like it better). I had a lot more trouble at first getting the maple Mach One to stay put than either my old Kun or the plastic Mach One, but once I got the right combination of leg heights and the angle across the back of my fiddle I stopped having problems (much to my relief since I really like it). So even within a brand, the differences are not always so subtle and sometimes they do matter.
  11. They don't all weigh the same...keep that in mind if you decide to keep a rest but want to try a different one. I don't see people talking about the weight as a separate issue so much but it is a factor. One of my teachers, a violist, actually likes a heavy shoulder rest. (Not me, though!)
  12. When my daughter's teacher wanted her to try out a bunch of different shoulder rests, I ordered them from Shar, took them to the lesson, and the teacher weeded out all but one. We opened each package very carefully, and I then carefully repacked the ones that we didn't want and sent them back to Shar. I asked ahead of time if their return policy really would apply to this sort of situation and was assured it did. So that's one way you can try out some rests without having to buy a bunch that you end up never using. I think that you really can tell pretty quickly if there is one that is just never going to work for you so you can at least narrow it down to a style of rest.
  13. You don't say exactly which muscles you are "feeling" after your practice sessions...and I'm certainly no expert, but I'm not convinced that it is automatically bad or wrong that you are "feeling it" in your muscles. I agree that they shouldn't hurt. But couldn't it be normal to feel some fatigue when you are just beginning to use those muscles, as with any exercise that causes you to use your muscles in new ways? In other words, is it uncomfortable fatigue or just a new awareness of certain muscles? Maybe without the shoulder rest you aren't using muscles that you should be and that's why you feel them when you do use the shoulder rest. Just a thought.
  14. I have a GEWA also and I agree, there is a different name for its style...but I don't know what it is, either! It works well for me.
  15. I like Sheet Music Plus too, haven't had any problems with them. I have also ordered quite a bit of music from Hutchins and Rea (www.hutchinsandrea.com); the prices are not discounted as far as I know but whenever I've had a question I've gotten prompt and thorough advice via email from the owner (my sister reported the same with questions on the phone) and my orders have shipped without any problems. They carry a wide variety of publishers so it's a good place to go if you need a particular edition of something. When I am ordering other stuff, I look at both Shar and Southwest Strings. Southwest often comes out a bit cheaper so sometimes I've gone with them. I also like the fact that for a lot of their sheet music they have a little sample so you can see what it looks like on the page (wish everyone did that). But I find Shar has been very reliable and their customer service has always been pleasant for me to deal with. My orders arrive pretty quickly, too. I haven't ordered from Southwest nearly as much but so far, no problems, and I always order online.
  16. I think she is very comfortable with who she is and I think she genuinely enjoys what she does. This is something any of us would be fortunate to say at any age! That's what I point out the most to my daughter, even more than her wonderful playing.
  17. I agree, her current shoulder rest looks like a customized affair. I only got one good view of it as she was walking offstage last weekend, but it looked like there were two velvet-covered cylindrical cushions at each end, and that they were spaced so that one of the cylinders would rest behind her shoulder and the other in front of her shoulder. I'm pretty sure that in the past she used something that either was a Kun or looked a lot like a Kun-style rest. She has always had the handkerchief whenever I've seen her play over the past 4 years or so. I'd have been happy to ask her about it but as noted above, chit-chat time was in short supply!
  18. Hey, we could talk about Hilary Hahn's shoulder rest! (Or not...)
  19. Her recording of the Bach Partita is also on the deliberate side (especially the Allemande) so I wasn't surprised by the pace, though I had been curious to see what she would choose to do. It's ironic that there has been criticism of her latest Bach album (the one with the concerti) for tempi that are "too fast." At least either way you can't say she sounds like everyone else! I agree with your opinion of the Bloch and the Mozarts. When I think of Mozart's greatest works the violin/piano sonatas don't spring immediately to mind, anyway, so maybe it was a fine performance of lovely but not extraordinary Mozart compositions. It was the Bloch that inspired my 11 yo daughter to stand in the autograph line! I wonder how the Philadelphia performance went? By the way, Thom, thank you again for posting in an earlier thread that she was appearing in DC. I would have missed this concert if I hadn't seen your post. In return I will tell you that she will be appearing in Baltimore sometime next year with the BSO, playing Prokofiev's 1st violin concerto. I don't know the date, just saw an article in the paper announcing highlights of next year's season.
  20. Postscript... 1) it's great to see her website back up and running. It wasn't there a few weeks ago so it must be very recently back online. 2) She is playing the Spohr concerto in Texas. I'm not sure but I think it is something she hasn't played a lot publicly in the past, so it could be that she is in the early stages of adding it to her rep in more prominent places...or working it up to record eventually. She played the Elgar concerto with our community orchestra 4 years ago. It was the first time she performed it publicly with an orchestra. Our conductor pointed out that playing a piece in smaller venues at first and then adding it to her schedule with big name orchestras is a good way to for her to develop it, live with it, whatever. I think her next recording to be released will be the Elgar Concerto (with The Lark Ascending), and it did end up on her tour schedule with some big name orchestras. So the Texas engagement could be part of that process.
  21. I was at the Kennedy Center concert yesterday. Fabulous. I have never seen her in a recital before, only in concerto performances. I was very impressed with her pianist (Natalie Zhu). The program was lovely: 2 Mozart Sonatas (K 301 and K 526), the Bach D minor Partita (which I've been waiting to see her play for about 7 years) and Bloch's Sonata No. 1. Plus two encores! I've seen her play four times now and the encores have been different each time. I was happy to see that she is still signing after her concerts but the management was moving things along so efficiently that she wasn't personalizing the autographs (at least yesterday). This is understandable but a little sad because I've seen her signing in the past and she was able to chat a little, always asked who I was and seemed to enjoy interacting with people. She was still as gracious as could be under the circumstances yesterday and I did manage to say "thank you for a wonderful performance" without slowing anyone down. Those of you who are planning to see her later today and in Texas are in for a treat.
  22. Excellent! I will see if I can get tickets still! Thank you. Often her DC appearances have been on a weeknight (too late for the drive from B'more). This one is just right.
  23. Quote: Then she is working her way to the east coast; I am seeing her in DC at the end of Feb. Could you please provide more details about her appearance(s) in DC next month? I didn't see anything on the Kennedy Center website and hilaryhahn.com doesn't give enough details
  24. Check it out: http://www.cincinnati.com/local/norwood/E9....ART_Other.html
  25. I haven't, but his story makes me think of the great jazz guitarist, Django Reinhardt; although his ring and pinky fingers on his left hand were mutilated in a fire when he was a young man, he was able to keep playing amazing stuff with his two good fingers. If you want to do something badly enough I guess you'll figure out a way!
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