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Everything posted by fmfischer

  1. In 1703 Bach earned his salary as violinist in the Weimar Court orchestra. From 1708 till 1717 he was even the leader of this "band". So no worries, he knew what he was composing. Just not for your contemporary violin. FMF
  2. Thanks, even when I've reported this as the webmaster FMF
  3. She will take up her duties in fall 2006. More details to follow here:http://www.hfmdk-frankfurt.de/englisch/hfmdk_e.phpFMF
  4. con-ritmo, I thought this is a non-provincial, word-wide forum. So why are you coming up with some local US RIAA figures? Do you really think the US market in classical records is important enough to prove predictions for the future of a product? FMF
  5. I've found very often grotesque discussions around this or similar subjects. One of the "problems" of classical music: Generally mothers still bear the larger share of childrens education. But lots of these these mothers have been raised not to worry when spending more money e.g. on hairdressers than on concert tickets. So they will not worry whether hairdressers make too much compared to their contribution to morale and progress. And so the children will also implicitly assume everything is in order when wasting money on superficial treatments. When certain fathers come into the education picture situation will not get any better. Whether it's a cruise they are dreaming off or wrestling tickets or some posh car accessories that would not make driving healthier or more environment-friendly. Children learn from us parents where the values (also in terms of money spent) are. So whatever the next generation will do with or to classical music, where they will spend their money, all depends on this generation. FMF
  6. rufviol, I am glad you've enjoyed the music and the treatment you've received from Julia Fischer. My contribution here did not deal with her specific situation, that's why I did not mention her personally. Sometimes leaving the artist alone for a few minutes right after a performance can be a proper way of expressing respect and admiration. And I agree that part of a musician's education should deal with attitude and communication skills, it would certainly help. Comparing F1 racing or heart surgery with a public concert performance is a way to approach some problems around classical music. It's certainly not the only one. I am not sure if the imagination of an assistant close to the soloist handing over fresh bows and drying the artists forehead during performance impresses or amazes me. In any case the soloist would be less exhausted after the concert, that's right. Also nice: A team of 2-4 technical assistants who change strings between the movements, re-rosin the bow hair: good teamwork! FMF
  7. Not enough PR? One of the attributes of a fine performer is the ability to concentrate to a degree most mortals cannot even imagine. Concentrate not just on the own lines but also what's going on in the orchestra, with the conductor etc. So we should realize that an utmost exhaustion after such a performance might be the rule, not the exception. Sometimes I wish the audience would be more sensitive to the artists needs after observing the person in a "Green Room", and leave quietly, just happy the guy is still alive. FMF
  8. No, I would not say I am in disagreement with the salaries. Only as far the salaries make a proper cultural service more or less impossible. So as long as an orchestra can function salaries are OK. But there is another problem coming with relatively high salaries: Controlling the rehearsal length versus controlling the quality of the performance. Orchestras are about the only workplace where "workers" making 50K$ and more count their working (rehearsing) hours and virtually "drop the bow" to avoid overtime. Most soloists wouldn't do that. Doctors wouldn't do it. Not even most teachers making substantially less. etc. FMF
  9. One way would have been: 1. Make sure the orchestral players' salaries compare somehow to levels in other civilized countries first. So the soloists do not have to fear feeding orchestral players on top of their own family and other obligations. 2. Find out whether soloists are needed at all for artistic reasons. 3. Find out whether soloists are needed at all for "filling the hall" reasons. 4. If the answer to 2 or 3 is yes, tell the artistic world how much the orchestra is willing to pay for a soloist. 5. If the answer to both 2 and 3 is no, stop bothering. 6. Wait which soloists (agents) apply for a gig under the stated conditions. 7. Make up your mind which of those you like to perform with. How about that? FMF
  10. Ok, an orchestra has got a budget which might be sound or messy or out of balance or maybe just plain stupid. A soloist with his/her supporting structure (agent, assistant etc.) has got a budget which might be sound or messy or out of balance or maybe just plain stupid. According to Erika it's a reasonable scenario then when a soloist asks for higher fees to get the soloist's budget back in shape? It this case I'd recommend to any soloist to start a press campaign, explaining the relevant budget difficulties. This should help in getting higher fees, shouldn't it? FMF
  11. My sincere recommendation: Before discussing the "correct" fee for a soloist, please, consider the expenses such soloists have first. Fees typically include travel. Insurances and pension funds have to be paid from the fee " text-decoration: underline;">after tax. Most countriesdeduct up to 40% taxes up front if the soloist is a foreigner, the instruments needs financing ... and there other issues one needs to know about before publishing an opinion. This does not mean there aren't any outrageous fees being paid and I know of cases were festivals were more or less blackmailed, just to make sure all the funds are spent on one soloists so no money would be left for other, even much cheaper ones. If as a journalist I'd like to sell as many articles as possible any subject around enviousness will do. So be careful about the motives of a writer addressing "too high fees". FMF
  12. "reasonable for the Suzuki Association to recommend that parents look for teachers who meet the Suzuki Association's standards" - right, for the Association it's reasonable. Parents, however, could not care less: The only reasonable benchmark for choosing a violin teacher is to listen to and have a chat with this teacher's students and their parents, with as many as only possible. If all these "auditions" go well, the last step will be to get a personal impression about the teaching person and the way the child interacts with the teacher. A little "probation" lesson will do. And don't trust fame; I know about a very famous teacher who brought out a few very famous violinists. And musically destroyed tens of others on his way. A teacher is a dangerous creature, who could train your child up to the very top but with a technique that could make your child (then adult) a violin-wise and otherwise handicapped person later on. Not even talking about the musical taste such a teacher might impose onto some of the more timid and seeking students. FMF
  13. It's simple: you have all the freedom to call messages and information you get "harassing", even if there is nothing else inside the messages than additional facts that might have escaped your attention. It's the freedom of the "harassing" ones to question your state of mind when you claim on one hand "my objective is the disinterested pursuit of the truth" and feel harassed on the other hand when people offer you more info on the subject so you would be able to get closer to the truth. You want to discuss matters with humans? Then you should at least try to obey some basic rules of civilized communications. It could also help you in not seeing threats inside friendly exchanges. If you feel nothing could possibly have escaped your attention, find a board, please, where you can discuss with other more or less divine creatures rather than with us normal mortals. FMF
  14. "The first person" (nice nickname I've got from Cmsunday here) never mentioned anything about the future. (I should know, because I obviously am "the first person"). This person did not even speak about your self-interest, just about some observations around anti Suzuki specialists this first person had the chance to collect during the last 18 years (again, no future here). Fact is: only a very, very tiny majority of violin teachers competes for students with the slogan "More music in less hours!" or similar. And I am just preparing a radio feature about how famous violin teachers (e.g. Yankelevitch) developed a whole system ensuring students get dependent on them and will not start too early competing with their distinguished professors. Just to avoid misconceptions here: Cmsunday as an unknown entity to me, should not be concerned by this radio feature. "The first person" did not mean him. Really not. FMF
  15. I had the pleasure to meet and work with three Suzuki trained violinists who either won a pretty demanding competition (Leopold Mozart in Augsburg) or are world-wide touring soloists and all this at teen's age already. None of the three ever raised any objection against having the first 2-4 years of violin education through Suzuki method. That there are clever business people who try to make money out of " Suzuki certifications" is another story and has nothing to do with the method as such. Btw the method works with other brand violins than Suzuki, too . The real "problem" around this method is the rather high speed at which Suzuki students learn when guided by a proper teacher. This speed is bound to make other, more abstract methods questionable. And higher learning speed means less lesson hours thus less income for violin teachers ... FMF
  16. Just to prevent illusions: Even an excellent Alexander trainer cannot make up for a bad violin teacher. Who doesn't believe it, should answer the following question: Is it more likely to damage your body through violin playing or Alexander technique? FMF
  17. Unfortunately there are at least three variables to the equation: A "fine" setup can turn out "not fine" in no time when you are very demanding and successful about intonation. Quite a few players do not realize that their setup has got at least a 50% share in successful intonation and NOT the duration of the practicing. A "fine" setup can turn out "not fine" in no time when you are very demanding and successful about fast playing. A "fine" setup can turn out "not fine" in no time when changing your dress. Other way around: the less demanding you are about intonation and speed of acquiring a piece and playing it in tempo the less important is your setup. In another thread here we discussed the difference between players studying e.g. a Brahms concerto for 12 months and others for 4 weeks to get stage ready. There the proper setup is responsible for at least 50% of the success. FMF
  18. For learning how to play the violin any age is wrong; for learning how make music by means of a violin any age will do. Recommendation: find a teacher who understands the violin just as one of the means to make good music and you have a high chance for success. Avoid all teachers who believe music has been written just to show what wonderful instrument a fiddle is. Most violinists not getting far enough compared to their ambitions ran into the same problem: They wanted to play the violin, as perfect as only possible and ... forgot about the music along this way. A cumbersome and lonesome way to get lost. FMF
  19. There is some common sense around supplementary training like Alexander technique: It is as useful or useless as any training without fishing rod for better fishing result or any training for painters not involving colors and brushes. There is also one inherent danger: This technique will not and cannot compensate for a wrong instrument-bow setup (position, form and material of chin and shoulder rest, position of the instrument versus your body etc.). With the exception of very few unusually gifted players, everybody needs a really good violin teacher for that. There are even specialist for this type of setup problem. Without fixing your setup for better health, intonation and endurance any training around your body might make your wrong setup more "bearable" and increase the likelihood of permanent damage and slow progress even further. FMF
  20. Brilliants must be amazing when playing them for two months 4-6 hours daily and they are still superb. It is the first time ever I heard about such an endurance. Means at the end they are really cheapies when lasting so long. FMF
  21. Does anyone have some comparative experience how fast (or slow) any of the Warchal strings settle for stable tuning? E.g. compared to Titanium Vision or Evah Pirazzi? Andh how about wearing out speed? FMF
  22. So why not start a big RPP "Raising Prodigy Parents" project then? FMF
  23. I am very skeptical about the "prodigy" concept. From all my teaching and watching experience I am convinced: over eighty percent of children could be become prodigies if parents would only change away from following their own wishes and desires towards discovering and supporting children's curiosity, interest and incredible endurance. So "prodigy" could easily become the normal way of development. However, how often did we hear the phrase "Don't worry, you will have this later in school, now let's play soccer."? FMF
  24. "to be a surgeon is not that difficult, certainly not as difficult as playing violin at high level. human tissues are very forgiving, but human ears are not." How does a human tissue forgive? Through death? If someone would ask me, which profession to pick when scared of too much responsibility in life? Clearly. "Become a musician!". Reasons: As musicians' most "mistakes" are debatable, only some are not (like hitting the wrong note). Musicians' mistakes do not kill people. Musicians' mistakes do not damage your health. Musicians' mistakes do not cause war and famine. If still not convinced: Would you rather take a flight run by pilot known for making mistakes from time time or undergo a surgery done by a surgeon known for making mistakes from time time or go to a concert to listen to a musician known for making mistakes from time time? The reason why musicians tend to have "trouble with nerves" a lot, is NOT because the extraordinary stress of this profession is so overwhelming. Generally people do not rush into being a musician because "I want responsibility" is on the top of their wish list, I guess. FMF
  25. About Gabi's "quality of the instrument" issue: We will never know whether a flood of excellent violinists will arrive if only enough quarter sized Strads and Guarneris would be available. But I find it hard to believe a young child will loose its motivation to play and practice because of its expectations towards a top instrument. Such ideas will most likely come from adults around the child who cannot keep their mouth shut when thinking about reasons for slow progress. FMF
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