Andrew Victor

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  1. I have great respect for the Suzuki method. For 33 years of my adult life I lived in a small city in the California high desert that had an outstanding Suzuki school/program. The founder and leader of the school was the violist in my string quartet as well as a violinist, pianist and organist. Many excellent young violinists came out of that school, which had the good sense to sent the most promising of them 150 miles south to Los Angeles to more "historically conventional" teachers as that promise became evident. One of this youngsters was Anne Akiko Meyers. So I got to see her in solo perfor
  2. Steven, I do not make instruments, however a friend of mine took it up as a hobby in his 40s (about 45 years ago) and has since made 101 instruments 12 violas, 3 cellos and 86 violins) and sold all but his first and last (violins). I purchased 3 of his instruments made between 1990 and 2000. I have copies of his "notebook pages" for these and I could sent them to you. If you are interested message me.
  3. For those of a "mathematical" bent, the diopter number on prescription or "reader" glasses is the reciprocal of the lens focal length in meters. For those with good distance vision, a 1.0 diopter lens works well at a 1-meter cellist distance. 1.25 to 1.5 diopter works well for reading and laptop computer. It is true that for those who are near-sighted, the situation is more complicated and standard readers don't follow this rule. However, there are adjustable focal-length glasses (for those without serious astigmatism) that might work.
  4. Roy Sonne (check him out on the internet) is a Pittsburgh violinist (retired Pittsburgh Symphony 1st violinist and current teacher, etc.) I'm sure he could provide good advice.
  5. Out of about 255 auctioned Peccatte bows listed by Tarisio I could find only one viola bow sold in 1971 for $655. Record auction price for a Peccatte cello bow is around $225,000 in 2018.
  6. In my experience it can depend on a number of different factors. For a relatively unresponsive violin a viola bow might actually be easier to use. However a really good violin bow will engage better with the expected overtones of a violin whereas a viola bow might tend to play them down (i.e., de-emphasize them). But if the violin has more "bass" sound or for violinists who have lost high-frequency hearing, the viola bow might be more pleasing. Then too, the difference in response, one bow to another, might favor a specific viola bow over a specific violin bow. The typical viola bow weigh
  7. I know nothing about this topic. BUT if I were going to launch into it I would start with the book "Rockin' Out with Blues Fiddle" by Julie Lyonn Lieberman. I have her book "A Festival of Violin & Fiddle Styles for Violin" that has three pages about playing the blues and that is enough for me to recommend her as a good starting point.
  8. When I was teaching (violin and cello) I was very aware that I could see what student's muscles were doing under their skin and suggest corrections. Since I could also hear the results I felt I knew what to suggest. Since I had been playing from age 4 to 72 (when I quit teaching 14 years ago). So I think I have a sense of what can happen to a player's body with age. I still play - and even added some serious viola playing when I was 80 (you think it hurts to play violin? HA!). I still play all 3 instruments (even with other people). They haven't kicked my out yet! I had a neck injury when
  9. Do you have a teacher? A GOOD teacher can quickly evaluate the way you are using your muscles and help adjust the way you play to your "anatomy" and make sure your violin is set up the best way for it as well. If you don't want the commitment that regular lessons involve, perhaps you can find a teacher willing to act as a one-off or occasional consultant .
  10. Phillip KT: The cello was a Strad model made by Carl Sandner, Mittenwald. Its undated label matches the Carl Sandner repro label in Henley (1973 edition, 1997 printing) with signature and model. The sticker price was $500, but I got it in 1964 with 30% "teacher discount" for $350. For insurance purposes I had it evaluated by Henry Meissner in 1980 and he set a then current value of $2,500. I took it along when I visited Frank Passa in 2000 and He said it was Sandner's best model; it was certainly the equal of an antique cello Passa had me try. I have heard it played by others - so I have
  11. Bennings was my shop 56 years ago, when it was "Studio City Music" in North Hollywood in 1964 when I bought a cello there (still have it) and left a bow for rehairing. That old man in the photo is Hans Benning , who sold me the cello and was in his early 20's back then (married to the boss's daughter) and whose father-in-law owned the shop back then. I lived over 150 miles away so they returned my rehaired bow in a sturdy cardboard tube that I continued to use for decades to send my violin & cello bows for rehairing. I would definitely go there if I were still in Southern California.
  12. Top quality steel-core strings by Pirastro include Permanent and Flexocor for cello and viola and Flexocor-Permanent for violin. My experience has been that they are every bit the equal of "synthetic-core" strings on the right instrument. But they are not inexpensive strings.
  13. I attended a recital concert by Leonard Rose, it was billed as his first soloist season after leaving the New York Philharmonic so it was most likely the 1950-1951 concert season. He was great, but hearing and seeing him play I also grew to appreciate my own cello teacher even more than I already did. Some years later (maybe 50 years ago) I attended a recital concert by Raya Garbousova. I recall that she played Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations with piano accompaniment.
  14. You sound much more dedicated than I ever was, however my suggestion is this: Since we only have one brain and it has a lot of different things to do when playing violin --> if you find playing any of the bowings to be more difficult when playing specific scales, concentrate on those. (I have found for myself there is a definite connection between what my two hands are doing and if I have to concentrate more on one hand it steals concentration from the other.) You might divide your practice time into 2 or perhaps 3 segments: 1. Warmup, which includes scales and etudes. 2
  15. One approach is an Adjustrite Folding Musician's Chair Standard available at Amazon, among other dealers Another way to go is with a WENGER Cellist's Chair. Both of these have angled seats that do the job that a wedge does. I have both so I know what they doI always carry a wedge when I play away from home to have some control of the chair I will get to sit on. I also have a folding stool in my vehicle just in case a "proper" seat is not available. The Adjustfite chair weighs about as much as a full cello case. I was 15 years old and 6 feet tall when my cello lessons st