Stephen Fine

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About Stephen Fine

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    The Deep South

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  1. If the instrument is handmade by a single maker using good materials, $12,000 could be a good price for it if you love the sound. It will probably hold its value. However, at $12,000, you have so so so so so many options. That's a really nice price range to be in. Make sure you have some fun shopping around.
  2. The primary technical challenge in violin fugues: double stops and chords. First, intonation and voicing. Then, phrasing. Fugues are dense enough that you don't really need etudes... they are the etudes. But you could always work on your scales in 3rds and 8ves or pick out some double-stop etudes out of Kreutzer. Then, just go listen to Gould. He'll teach you how you want it in the end.
  3. The ONLY thing you can do is pay for early boarding. If you don't, you risk having a fight with a flight attendant. Honestly, I have faked a sprained ankle before to board first with those "needing assistance or extra time" when purchasing early boarding wasn't an option.
  4. What false allegations? You have misread this story... Somewhere in the realm of 2%-10% of sexual abuse/rape claims are false. It's a studied issue. Coin flips are 50/50... even if Levine were innocent (he's not) this isn't the other side of a coin.
  5. Perlman, in The Art of the Violin suggests that Heifetz insisted on the mic being much closer to his violin than recording engineers might recommend which is why recordings of Heifetz sound a bit dry and intense. And, in almost all of my Heifetz recordings, it does NOT sound like much of the room was recorded, it sounds quite like Perlman says, like the mic is inches away from Heifetz. There are plenty of his chamber music recordings that I think turned out mediocre for this reason. Good for recording a Concerto though. As for Rosand... back in the old days, we used to have a Rosand pupil who would post on the Fingerboard quite frequently. He got me listening to Rosand's Beethoven Sonatas at an early age, helped to knock me out of my hero worship phase, helped me to realize that just because everyone listens to the same 3 or 4 CDs doesn't mean that there's all there is.
  6. I dunno. I can slow down my sautillé pretty slow, and I can move it a good ways away from the balance point, but higher, towards the middle and upper half, not lower, towards the frog. As you take the sautillé higher up the bow, it bounces higher. I don't know how slow we're talkin' here. Just imagining it in my head (without testing myself with a metronome which I'll try later) I think my slow sautillé is playing eighth notes at about 84=quarter. Maybe a bit slower... What the heck would the point be of a slow sautillé anyway? This is a mental puzzle. I'm pretty sure "someone" is confused.
  7. I'd be interested to know. Standing room tickets have been a thing for a while.
  8. Depending on how dedicated Menuhin was to the project of recording the open rehearsal, maybe he would return back to the "sweet spot". Maybe he wouldn't care. Sorry, is it your opinion that turning the angle of the violin would have a negligible effect or that Menuhin would be careful to never do that? I'm pretty sure they're both wrong. More importantly, so what? This is evidence that two violins sound different from one another? You must be fascinated by all the blind and double-blind testing that been going on in recent years.
  9. I hear ya... but don't forget that Mozart and Bach were servants and spent plenty of time catering to and kowtowing to the rich an powerful. I don't know any composers who didn't spend some time educating children to pay the bills. Don't forget that the opera was a status symbol for a century more than it was for music appreciation. We romanticize the good ol' days a little more than we should, probably.
  10. Violinists were often mic-ed closer up than you describe. The direction I face has a HUGE impact on how loud I am. Are you being serious?
  11. So, let me get this straight... You don't think that a great player is more likely to be a great teacher than a mediocre player? No offense, but that's nuts, and that mindset is why we have so so many mediocre music teachers with jobs. If you want to teach young kids or basic skills, fine. That is a very important and difficult skill set to acquire. If you want to teach elite violinists elite technique, there is no substitute for being able to play it yourself with style. Of course, I was brought up as a student of Suzuki's Mother Tongue Method. It is my believe that what you hear and see as a child/student is internalized. Perhaps there are some music teachers who are mediocre players, but who exist at good schools. Their students are surrounded all day by great players, so they require less reinforcement in the lessons. But I would say that teacher is lucky, not necessarily a great teacher. This is not to say that I don't know plenty of great players who are terrible teachers... as you say, they are completely different skills. But they go hand-in-hand here. I feel like your opinion comes from a misunderstanding of the performance ability of people like Delay and Galamian. Dorothy Delay was a superb performer in her late teens and early 20s. Same with Galamian.
  12. One percent is plenty. No matter the decade or century, there is bound to be someone saying "no one is seeking out classical music." (Also, it's funny that you cite a guitarist performing for 400 as an example of "no one") Meanwhile, my audiences and students are as diverse and passionate as they've ever been in my lifetime. The economic forces aligned against my generation seem unrelated to any decline in Classical's market share.
  13. This is a gross generalization and not true in my experience. Some great musicians are highly analytical, were taught by great teachers, and have plenty to say on every technical and musical issue. The famous example of what you mention is young Menuhin. But older Menuhin was no slouch. Primrose didn't consider himself much of a teacher, he recognized Karen Tuttle as a great teacher, but she was also a great player. Heifetz could teach... I had a fascinating masterclass once playing for Roberto Diaz... I'm sure we could go on all day listing great performers who were also great teachers...
  14. Total Dollar has been great for me.