Stephen Fine

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    The Deep South

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  1. Unfortunately, the "regs" give final say to the flight crew. If a member of the crew doesn't like the look of your case, they can prevent you from boarding. I have had this happen to me. So far, I haven't had trouble if I purchase an upgraded (early boarding) ticket, but, before, I once had a ticket scanner grab my case out of my hands and demand that I board the plane without it. Her point was that "the plane is too small, it won't fit in the overhead." When I explained that I've flown dozens of times with it on every size of plane, she refused to believe me. I had another deny me boarding when she thought I was being over-dramatic about its value and the fact that I couldn't board without it. She thought I was just going to give in and let her gate-check it, but of course, instead, I ended up just having to take the next flight. In both cases, it clearly seemed like they were on power trips. I'm glad that other people haven't had bad experiences, but carrying "the regs" will just annoy them if you try to argue with them.
  2. At a rate of $3-$5 for every 1,000 views 10,000,000 views equates to...$30,000-$50,000. Not bad for a 1 year old video. Her total YouTube income is estimated at close to $1,000,000 per year. She has over 12 million subscribers with over 2.7 billion views! But she makes more money on tour, about $6,000,000 per tour. (If she's not the highest earning violinist in the world, I don't know who is.) These dudes have 30,000,000 views on their fantasia on this Christmas classic:
  3. OP mentioned already visiting Feller and Ifshin, so... Also, no one calls Santa Fe SF. I think Robertsons (in Albuquerque) was only mentioned because they have a huge inventory and you don't have to pay NYC, LA, or Chicago premium prices.
  4. If you want to be sure, you buy from an expert. One becomes an expert by carefully looking at and working with many examples. So... established shops staffed by luthiers who've spent decades in the business are your best bet. If you're looking for "real" bench made instruments from centuries past, they should have an inventory of such instruments priced accordingly. Expect to pay a premium for a premium product. If a deal seems too good to be true, in this industry, it probably is.
  5. I'm not sure if I would know more because I studied French music with Jean-Michel or because I live in a humid climate or because I know SF... In any case, I'll echo what the others have said. Play as many as you can from as many shops/makers as you can. You'll start finding exceptional instruments below $50,000, so play the whole price range to get a sense of your options. Remember that the room you're playing in will have a huge influence on the sound, so when you narrow it down to an instrument or two or three, visit a few different spaces to get a sense of tone/power. I disagree with many of the people telling you that your student should be shopping on their own. My students who have purchased instruments without my input, by and large, have made poor decisions. Of course, most of them are shopping in a much lower price range, so it's easier to buy a piece of junk. But the first time I was looking in the pro price range, I had my teacher with me, and her advice and influence was invaluable.
  6. What? I can't tell if you're joking.
  7. A lot of scholarship and detective work has gone on since 1911. And sometimes things that were "lost" weren't really lost at all. Casals gets a lot of credit for rediscovering the Suites, but... he bought them used in a book store. They weren't hiding. According to the Anhang section of the BWV, it looks like we're missing 5 dozen out of over 1,000. Pretty good, really. PS- matesic: the musicologist is Alfred Einstein, not Albert Einstein. He famously revised the Köchel catalogue and wrote Mozart: His Character, His Work. Thanks! I'll check it out if I spot the book somewhere.
  8. I'm not sure you should blame Bach for this. I think, by most accounts, his marriages were happy, and I'm not sure that women could hold property in any case. I certainly blame Anna Magdalena's sons and stepsons for not taking care of her for the 10 years after her husband's death, it was their responsibility. CPE provided some, but JC and JCF should've taken better care of their momma. It's quite sad considering how industrious she was, how important she was to the family business as a singer and copyist.
  9. I just read Schumann's 5 Stücke im Volkston. I bet they're a little tricky on cello, but I found them quite charming on violin. I've been playing Schubert's lieder on violin and viola for a few years. Dover sells a nice (cheap) complete edition. I read LeClair duos with some of my violin students. Those are lovely. PS- the nerve of any violinists or cellists complaining about lack of choices...
  10. If by "wrapped around trees" you mean, provided to Mendelssohn by his great-aunt, Sarah Levy (a J.S. fan who studied with W.F. Bach and sung in Fasch's and Zelter's Bach-admiring choir) , grandmother, Bella Salomon (who gifted young Felix his copy of St. Matthew's Passion), and father, Abraham (who collected dozens of manuscripts by J.S. Bach for preservation). The Brandenburg Concertos were "discovered" in the library at Brandenburg after 100 years. Most other manuscripts were preserved by the archives of the institutions for which Bach composed as well as by his children. I'm curious about your story about the trees though. Where did you hear it? Googling it turns up little except a piece in an 1889 edition of The Musical Courier which says that Rust found "many of Bach's greatest cantatas" being used in that way at a farm where Bach had left a chest of music. But it's in a letter to the editor from a person who is repeating a story, and I can't find mention of it anywhere else. It's a good legend.
  11. Carry it on. Buy early boarding so that flight attendants don't harass you. As far as I know, there are no completely safe cases. If you have a nice violin, don't even consider checking it... that's madness.
  12. You've been burglarized a half dozen times!?!?!?! That sounds like you're being targeted by an enemy. Violins are not the easiest to fence. Burglars seek out electronics, jewelry, and cash. I almost always travel with my instrument, but it's for work. My first time in Europe was for a music festival in Finland. After the festival, I went backpacking around France, Spain, Italy, and England. While I was out and about, my teacher at the festival agreed to store the instrument in his flat in London. That seemed much safer than traveling with the instrument. Who's to say that you won't be robbed while carrying the instrument instead of burglarized while you're not? The world is a dangerous place. Take normal precautions and relax. Never post on social media when you're leaving town. Get a dog or a security system. Strong locks. Insurance. As someone who has to travel with his instrument a lot, I regard it as the height of luxury not to have to stress about my instrument in the airport.
  13. Or at least we need to stop cutting down rainforest and replacing it with cow pastures. That's just about the worst possible thing we can do.
  14. You should read his article, it's been a number of years since I've reread it. But, basically, he imagines the solution could be achieved without the whole world necessarily pulling together. I think it's in that article where he offers the example of when in the late 19th Century people were convinced that the "experiment" of city-living was over. It was too dangerous and disgusting because of the mass of horse waste from horse-drawn carriages. Cities were over. Or... not, since the automobile was unknowably about to replace horses. We don't know what the future holds. Perhaps, what we imagine as the problem will not end up being the problem at all. We're quite off topic here, but it's a welcome diversion if you ask me. In William Gibson's great murder mystery, The Peripheral, he imagines an apocalypse where all the stuff humans are afraid of at the moment (climate change, genetically engineered plagues, anti-biotic resistant bacteria, quantum computers manipulating currency/investment etc...) comes to pass at the same time as nano-technology and solar-powered technologies reach their zenith. So, most humans on the planet die, but a shiny new society emerges on the other end of it. In other words, maybe Dyson is right, but maybe human ingenuity will triumph just a little too late for most people.