crazy jane

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  1. Philip, Having been both teacher and student, I admire your wish to ensure your student’s future success. However, I think you need to pass the baton. His new teacher will know what is best for his future musical success at Yale and will likely know more than anyone here about what instrument (shop or maker) in the area will best serve his musical aspirations. Clearly you have served him well. Kudos.
  2. I contacted a respected maker, we talked about my preferences, and he said he would call me when he had a good sampling of bows (viola). After some time my husband (a good violinist) and I journeyed to his studio. First I played and my husband listened (blind), noting preferences. Then we mixed up the order and he played while I listened. We agreed on the top two. Today, 20 years later, I am completely happy with my bow. I think it is very important to strive for a more objective perspective and not be overly swayed by the materials and appearances. When it later came time for my husband to shop for a bow (different maker), we used the same process but ended up buying two: the ivory one he fell in love with and the ebony that sounded /played better to me. Guess which one which one he loves most now, fifteen years later? The ebony.
  3. We have identical pegs on an early 20th century Italian, fwiw.
  4. The only S&M bow I'm familiar with has a Parisian eye, for what that's worth.
  5. I have been looking for the Schlieps book fore years. Add me to the list. I knew him from 1978 until his death. We own three of the bows he made in his late period.
  6. That's how violas are. Mine's big and fugly (a Tertis), but like yours, she has a slender neck and does what I want. People always comment on her sound ("like Devonshire clotted cream")--of course, that's me--and wonder why, when they play on it, the instrument doesn't seem remarkable. I've had her for 26 years. I knew the maker, and we played a quartet of his instruments in the ICU as he lay dying on a respirtator. I could afford something fancy, and occasionally covet another player's instrument. I keep thinking about smaller instruments and own one that I practice on. But when it comes concert time, there is no substitute. She is my voice.
  7. I would presume.
  8. And here I always thought the only difference was that the violinist's head is bigger....
  9. When I was just beginning, in public schools, our teacher told us to practice vibrato using left hand on right wrist (as if it were the violin neck)--any time, while watching TV or listening to our parents go on or watching a ball game. Whenever. Today I realize that this encourages relaxation, as well as the sense that the fingerboard receives the impulse.
  10. I love my Michael Vann viola bow (Gabriola Island, BC).
  11. Elena, It probably won't make you feel any better, but....
  12. Don't refinish--but get an ebony chin rest and tailpiece.
  13. If you are speaking of professional orchestras, the players audition for a section and audition on the repertoire of that section. If it is a seat (associate concertmaster), they will audition for that seat--not for the section--and will likely be asked to prepare concertmaster solos for the audition. I recently played a Pergolisi Magnificat that had basically co-equal violin parts calling and answering each other (I'm no musicologist, but I guess you'd call it antiphonal writing) . For that piece only, the conductor switched the cellos to the traditional second violin position, and the seconds to the outside, opposite the firsts. It was an interesting effect. I imagine it would suit Corelli and others of the baroque era.
  14. An unequalled Arabian Dance