This a great example of great phrasing, and that TONE! I like it at this speed. Those who want to “show off” at 1.5X the printed speed can’t come up with the marvelous depth of this interpretation, which needs this tempo and much more. Zukerman gives it all here in this truly beautiful rendition of such a popular concerto.
By Rigo Murillo
General Advise On Choosing a Violin:
Young students’ sizes should be determined by the individual teacher. If you are shopping for a violin for a Suzuki student, my personal recommendation is to ALWAYS check with your teacher before you head out shopping for an instrument. Make sure the dealer will let you take it to the teacher for approval as conditional to continue your commitment to rent or buy. Show the violin to your child’s teacher to check on size and playability. Since violin makers don’t have a “standard” set of fractional sizes, there can be a 1/8 violin that is the same size, or even smaller than a 1/10 of another maker. You want your child to have the most ease of playing and a pleasant learning experience.
For the older student, the best option is to take time visiting the shops personally and try several instruments. The shop owners know it’s a crucial decision for the student and parent to get a good fit. They will let you try several models and price ranges, and usually explain the instrument’s origin, construction, and possible usability. The violins should be easy to play, have a well-round sound (they have different character), pleasant to the ear.
It may take more than one visit to a shop to come up with a satisfactory decision. Though all these shops carry good quality instruments, it will take some shopping around to get the best fit for the student.
Rigo Murillo, Suzuki Strings Specialist
Here is a list of the local violin/string shops in the Dallas/Plano/Richardson area that I personally know to have good quality instruments:
The Luthier Shop
2201 Moseley Road
Cross Roads, TX 76227-8017
SELL: YES (~$400 – $11,00)
RENT: YES ($30-40/Mo.)
This is the place I have been going for the last 9 years to have work on my violins. Stephen Cundall is a master violin maker and also works on repairs. He carries very good, professional-line instruments at reasonable prices. Highly honest and great reputation. Rentals are also available.
Rury Violin Shop
1251 S. Sherman St., Suite 105
Richardson, TX 75081
SELL: YES (~$300 – $11,00)
Jay Rury has been serving the Dallas are for quite some time. They have provided service and instruments for our school’s student families and many of the Dallas Symphony musicians. They now carry an array of good instruments in a wide price range. Very friendly and punctual work.
Kelin Violin Shop
3321 Premier Drive; Suite B
Plano, TX 75023
SELL: YES (~$300 – $11,00)
RENT: YES (~$28-35/Mo.)
I have have known Kelin Zhang, the owner and violin maker of the shop for quite some time. He makes high-end violins and has a variety of student instruments as well. Several of my young students rent or own instruments from this shop. Kelin usually has all small-size instruments in stock all the time. They have a renting program, as well.
By Rigo Murillo
I often see that successful music students and parents always manage to be well prepared for performances, auditions, and weekly lessons. They always have what they need when it comes to books, accessories, and all that’s needed to have a nice lesson time. But even the best well-intentioned student and parent may forget a thing or two that should be in their music tote bag. Even Yehudi Menuhin, the famous violinist of the twentieth century wrote in one of his books about what every violinist should have in his/her violin case.
For starters, here is a “musician’s tote bag kit” for you to think about:
- All music books needed, including Suzuki repertoire, etudes, scales, sight reading, music theory
- A metronome (or two) and extra replacement batteries if it’s electronic
- Pencil (to write notes on music)
- Pen (to take notes during lesson)
- Practice notebook
- Nail Clipper
- Music to listen to (iPod, CD player, etc.) – There will be time riding/waiting… why waste it?
String players, please add these:
- Extra Strings – I cannot over emphasize this. GET EXTRA STRINGS, They WILL brake some day!
- Shoulder rest (if applicable). Again… I have seen too many violin and viola players forgetting their shoulder rest that I have to write it again: Shoulder rest!
- Cleaning cloth
- Nail Clipper (yes, again, I know)
- Cello Pin Stop/Strap (if applicable)
- Cello Chair/Bench (if applicable)
- Peg compound
I am sure that getting all these applicable accessories and necessities will make your practicing more consistent, successful and pleasant. It will at least impless your music teacher when an emergency comes up.
NPR – January 23, 2010
Haitian-born violinist Romel Joseph had to rely on his sense of touch to determine that there was no way out of the rubble he was buried under; he was born blind.
“I was completely surrounded by concrete,” Joseph said. “So, in my head I knew I wasn’t going to get out.”
Trapped after the massive earthquake that struck Haiti, the Juilliard graduate realized he couldn’t escape on his own. He didn’t panic — instead, he kept himself to a strict schedule. He spent part of each hour in prayer. The rest of the time he filled by rehearsing his favorite classical music performances in his head, note by note.
“For example, if I perform the Franck sonata, which is 35 minutes long in my honors recital at Juilliard, then I would bring myself to that time,” Joseph told NPR’s Guy Raz. “That allows me not only to kill time, but also to mentally take myself out of the space where I was.”
Joseph played through concertos and symphonies in his mind for 18 hours until his friends were able to clear the debris that was crushing his leg. A dual citizen of Haiti and the United States, he was flown to Miami, where he is recovering from multiple surgeries.
The chunks of concrete that Joseph’s friends rescued him from were the remnants of the New Victorian School, the music school Joseph founded in 1991 in Port-au-Prince.
Joseph was on the third floor of the building when the force of the earthquake broke it to pieces. His pregnant wife was on the first floor. She did not survive.
Joseph’s left hand, the one he uses to hold the neck of his violin, was severely fractured as he fell into the rubble. Doctors performed surgery on it late Thursday night and are uncertain whether he will regain full use of it. Still, Joseph seems confident that he’ll be able to play the violin again at his school.
“When you teach, you have to be able to play for your students,” he said.
Remarkably, an accidental fire burned the New Victorian School to the ground 10 years to the day before the Jan. 12 earthquake. Joseph quickly rebuilt the school back then. Despite his injuries, he plans to return to Haiti and begin reconstruction as soon as possible.
“I need more than an earthquake to make me stop my work in Haiti,” he said.
Copyright 2010 National Public Radio
If you have seen one of those “deals” of shiny Stradivarius violins, two bows, “deluxe” case, etc. You might be in for an adventure.
I have had multiple people come up to me saying: “I just found this deal on ebay!” and they get really exited. My answer is almost always: How much? Then, the person tells the price… $80… $50… $40, $30, $20 !! And I say … NO !! Believe it or not, you may very well get ripped off with that deal.
I will tell you soon…