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Everything posted by HMC

  1. The upright piano has been in the store for 6~7 years. My friend tried a different one of the same model from the same batch just a few weeks ago and highly recommended that particular piano. The one I am looking at is unopened, still in the case. But taking into consideration that this piano was made in 2005, would it be reasonable if I ask for a discount?
  2. I was looking for a violin for my daughter who will soon turn 3 and will begin her first Suzuki violin lesson in a few weeks. I wanted something that could make a good sound and respond to her playing. Shar Music carries the Franz Hoffman line which looks reasonably priced. What made the line the most attractive to me was that those violins were made in Romania, whereas most fractional violins I could find were made in China. Just when I finally made up my mind to make the purchase (at USD 349 it is not nothing to the wallet), I learned from the store contact that those violins are now made in China. I understand that at this price I could not ask for too much. Does anyone has any experience with the Franz Hoffman violins? I did some more research and learned that Gliga violins carry quite a number of fractional violins made in Romania, while Scott Cao also has some from their China factory. Any suggestions? (I do not live in the U.S. so trying them out is unfortunately out of the option.) Thank you.
  3. Interesting! I took a look at the album that I have. Arthur Grumiaux, in D minor as well.
  4. Why should the fall in the dollar stimulate the US economy? The US no longer manufactures anything to sell abroad. Wait till the Chinese currency is no longer pegged to the dollar and can float up according to the growing strength of the Chinese economy, then you're really going to see some price increases in our everyday products (all made overseas). Agreed. That's exactly what I fear of, and is what I think the core of the problem is with the US. I grew up at a time of a strong dollar. A turn in the tide may take some time to adjust to. The Euro looks a little bit too high now, though, provided there are problems with the EU as well, left alone the effect the rising Euro has brought to the EU countries. Music should be universal. Why are we still bothered by the value of the currencies (Perhaps because we all live in countries that operate with monetary instruments )
  5. I've tried and liked the bows you mentioned, too. What a shame I didn't go ahead and bring them home in 2003. I should have. If I had done so, I would have had some fine bows to play with plus the spiritual joy from the appreication in the "relevent" value of them, considering my other Dollar assets are now depreciating (And of course, the former argument is a lot more important than the latter ) As lastchair mentioned the Grunke bow, I think it maybe a good time to go with the American-made bows, unless you have a strong preference of the French/Europe ones over the American ones. A side note: getting good instruments can be so challenging sometimes. They're very personal, at least in my case. I once got this trial bow from Shar that I really liked, but I decided to pass on that one to shop around more before I made a decision. I've never come across anything I like as much since. It wasn't even an expensive bow, but one under $1,000. I wish I'd taken that bow home, really. Speaking of the Dollar, the majority of the business community now holds that the Dollar will continue to fall through 2005. I sincerely hope the fall in the Dollar will help stimulate the US economy.
  6. A performance by adult stringed instrument beginners in Chicago. I played in the ensemble and was thrilled at the benefit I gained from the expereince. I'm happy to introduce the emsemble and the performance to the Maestronetters. Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic on December 14 at 3:45 in the Williford Room at the Chicago Hilton. The session - The Opportunity I Never Had, String Playing for Adults - features an ensemble named Silver Strings of adult beginners. The members of this group are an inspiration to all string players and teachers! Imagine the courage it takes to "begin" a stringed instrument as an adult and then to stick with it to be able to perform at the Midwest in an ensemble with members of the Chicago Symphony. That's right! Our grand finale of our session will be a performance of the Vivaldi Double Cello Concerto featuring Brant Taylor of the CSO and Lloyd Palmiter as soloist. The session will be centered around what the members of Silver Strings state as the reasons they have chosen to play a stringed instrument and what in the rehearsal process they find most beneficial. Please attend if you are able or, if not, send kind thoughts for these fantastic new string players. Cheers, HMC
  7. Quote: I don't think he's any good. That is why I only paid $85.00 per ticket and drove 200 miles round trip to hear him a few months ago. I'm really ashamed that the performance turned out to be one of the highlights of my life. Nobody goes to his performances because the place is so crowded you can't get in. Haha..very funny..Thanks for pointing this out (If I got this right you were talking about my last post?)
  8. I feel the same way...When I first listened to the CD, I had the feeling that the music was more "pleasing", or "easy-going", so to speak, than I'd expected. (But now I'm like, it's not bad this way, either )
  9. I bought his "Vavaldi's Cello." Have enjoyed it so far and liked the "Concerto In G Minor For Two Cellos" the best. How's his playing, in your opinion, in terms of his interpretation of the music as well as when compared with the playing of other cellists?
  10. I finally settled down - 6 months after my recent move. Over the past 6 months my apartment was a mess, plus I started a new job with a new firm, and so I let go of my addiction to playing the violin. The first practice after the long absence was a dissappointment. It took my fingers more efforts than I'd expected to press on the strings. My vibrato is back to zero. I know how continuous practice would improve all these. I'm just, sad, that I'm back to where I started out when I was 7, and 19, and 25. I miss Chicago.
  11. I'm only a novice at this, but with this picture, it's clear that the one on the left hand side is a Strad while the one on the right hand side is a del gesu. I judged from the f-holes and the C bouts. The more experienced people here maybe able to tell from other aspects, aside from my beginner-level points of view.
  12. I'm an amateur violin player who plays just okay, not anywhere close to professional or semi-professional. (To give a better picture of what my playing level is, I'm currently at Suzuki book 5, moving on to 6; I started with Suzuki book 1 last spring, after almost 10 years of keeping my violin stictly in the case with the exception of some occasional maintenance.) I am in Chicago. And when one lives in such a big city, it's hard to resist the desire to visit the local renowned violin shops. The shops I know are: Bein & Fushi, William Harris Lee, Michael Darnton's studio, and Kelvin Scott's studio. I'm playing on a commercial student model violin priced under 2000 right now. It is powerful, yet when comapred with some better violins I've played on, it seems to lack of the delicate texture in the tone. My bow is a Coda Conservatory. It serves me well to date, better than the coda classic and the J. Martin I owned before it. (I wanted to thank the J. Martin bow, though, for taking me through my first several months of re-beginging of practicing. I switched to the Coda because I decided I needed a stronger stick.) I'm no professional in violin or violin bows. I am looking for an upgrade, but am not actively looking. If I have the luck to come across the instrument that suites me while I go violin shopping, I'll take it home; if not, it's okay, too, since my student violin and concervatory bow is serving me quite well at this point anyway. Now that I've told a long story, I'd first like to thank you for reading my straggling self-introduction. My question being: For a nobody like me, how do I go violin shopping? I won't be able to demonstrate my violin skills by playing the Thaikovesky D Major or any other difficult pieces. As soon as I start to play, the staff at the shop would immediately be able to tell I'm only a young adult beginner. I don't have a whole lot of money to throw. However, I'm willing to shop as many local violin shops as possible to find the violin and violin bow that best suite me. And if I do find them, I'll buy them. What should I do? When trying out violins and violin bows, is there any scales or bowing that's recommended to best test the playability of the instrument? And, how do I let the staff at the violin shops know that I'm not there to waste their time, as un-knowedgable as I appear to be?
  13. The question may sound silly, but what does "not graduate well" mean? Thank you.
  14. Last week sometime during my lesson, when was asked of how she thought of my violin, my teacher said: "The sound is good; besides, it's not too heavy...normally student violins are a little bit heavy." I've always felt that my current violin is a little too heavy, especially when compared to the old one I have at my parent's house, but I haven't had a chance to compare the weight of the two side by side to confirm this. Is it a normal thing in the trade of violins that the student models tend to be heavy? And if so, why is that? Is there any good way to reduce the weight?
  15. Mine came with the poster, too, which is good. The poster is so fabulous it'd be a huge loss if you miss out this one. The magazine itself, on the other hand, didn't arrive in good condition: The edge of the magazine is somewhat ripped, all throughout the magazine, from cover to cover. It did arrive in the plastic envelop fine, so I suppose it's simply an accident in the process of cutting paper edges. I'm keeping the Strad magazines for future reference so the supposed-to-be-minor defect bothered me when I first saw it. I'm okay with it now. After all, I've learned to live with some imperfection anyways
  16. So it's not just mine...I've always wondered if I got a defective one, but the bow plays fairly well, and I've been busy, plus I don't really use the bow so often, so I haven't got a chance to ask the codabow company yet. It's a relief to know it's normal.
  17. Do those of you who use the coda conservatory bows find it hard to loosen tension for the bow? Mine arrived half tightened and stays this way no matter how much I turn the screw the other way around. Thanks.
  18. Carlo: How do you like your Lefin bow? I'm considering the model, too. I asked for four different models in my last shar bow trial and have narrowed down my preference to Lefin and Lothar Seifert. I guess I'll ask for two of each this time. But it'd be great if I can get some comments from you. Thank you.
  19. Does anyone have experiences with the bows from William Harris & Lee of Chicago? What do you think of them, compared to the bows from Shar and Johnson strings of the same price range? I'm looking for bows within the 1,000USD price range. Do you recommend their shop-made bows? Thank you.
  20. Do you want mine? I used to take it with me to the lessons but then I figured a short trip like this (a few blocks away from my place to the place I take lessons) doesn't necessarily need such perfect cushioning. My Bobelock violin case is really enough by itself. Mine is exactly the same one as the one Justen posted. PM me or email me if you're interested. I'm in Chicago.
  21. How do you know the stiffness level (in your case it's 7 if I got it right?) of your bow? Thank you.
  22. I wish I'd have chosen violin as my profession. I understand there's an ugly side in the industry; I understand how competitive the music world can be, and how unfair, how subjective, the people who decide your music career can be - both in terms of school enrollment and orchestra position hiring. From the previous replies, I further learned about things hidden behind the beautiful music. Nevertheless, still, I wish I'd have continued on as a music major. Playing the music is so enjoyable. It's a luxury. I wish I were a violin teacher who teaches young kids. I can't help but wonder how amazing it would be to witness my pupils grow, that is, if I were a violin teacher. Perhaps I'm saying this because I'm not in the profession. I only see the bright side of it. Okay, it's not so bad to be a finance, or accounting, or taxation major, but one thing is for sure: I wish I didn't quit violin for such a long time. Techniques are harder to build for grown-ups than for children/teenagers, IMHO. There are pieces I could play with no problem when I was 10 yet are killing me now because I lack the techniques. I have the music in my mind but I can't perform it anymore. It's a little frustrating.
  23. Try the J. Martin line that's often seen on ebay. Just search for "pernambuco, violin" and you'll see one or two of them on the list. It's constantly on ebay. From the auction page you may also click on the link to Martin's violin shop to know more about the J. Martin bows and the JE Martin ones. You may also ask Joe Martin some questions before you bid you so that you have a better idea what the bow you're looking at is like in terms of stiffness and other things you can't tell from the pictures. My personal comments on the J. Martin line: bow quality not bad but the craftmanship isn't decent (the silver winding wears out quite quickly); not a stiff/strong stick; balance good and stick straight, as described on the auction; overall, very good choice for the money.
  24. Same thing happens to me all the time. The times I appreciate my "gears" the most are those when I have a good time playing everything I wanted. Whenever I have a bad violin day, I start to blame the violin, or the bow, or the shoulder rest, anything that has anything, no matter how small it can be, to do with its "responsibility" toward my bad playing. The next day when everything's back to normal I'm usually glad I don't do any impulse buy the day before. That being said, I'm really in need of a better bow. I'm sure I need one because I notice how soft my current bow is, both in my good violin times and bad ones. This is very off the topic already...I'm just so glad I'm not the only one who acts this way when facing a bottle neck in the process of learning
  25. In a thread about several months ago a maestronetter mentioned using the 3M cloths, the ones you use to clean your computer screen and camera lenses, effective and non-harmful. I tried it and have found it helpful (I used to be one of the shiny-shiny look lover, too. But now I enjoy the antique look better. A woman changes her heart often; I'm no exception )
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