If you are a musician, a music educator, or a music student, you MUST see this video:
Did you know that, as part of his education, Thomas Jefferson played the violin? Read this interesting article:
Happy Spring, everybody!
Here is a link to a short article, published on the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology [上海理工大学] website, covering our closing concert (and a nice pic) at the end of our week-long residency with the UND Faculty Piano Trio:
Here are a couple of pics of mine:
Happy new year to all my colleagues, friends and students who have been following this blog and visiting this website. I am looking forward to an exciting year of new achivements in teaching, performing, conducting and arranging/composing. But more than anything else, let there be lots of enjoyment in the arts and in the company and interaction with intellingent, creative beings! I would like therefore to start this year's blog with a quotation from a poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson, "In Memoriam A.H.H"
Let knowledge grow from more to more,
But more of reverence in us dwell;
That mind and soul, according well,
May make one music as before,
Here is the link to the interview conducted at "Hear it Now" with host Merriel Piepkorn at Prairie Public Radio on October 26, 2011:
It is not very often that I take a public stance in political matters, but I just happened to stumble upon a article by Christopher Hitchens that summarizes brillantly my own arduous reflections, and the uneasy paths through them, in these last 10 years from September 11, 2001, as well as my own conclusions. I accept upon me the responsibility - one that befalls on every intellectual, including artists - of (I quote Hitchens) "never ever ignore the obvious." The obvious, thus, must be stated. Here is the article:
As some of my close ones know, we were expecting two additions to the family this year: a new violin and... a new baby girl :) Well, the first one happened first: let me introduce to you Robert Clemens' 2010 copy of the 'Wieniawski' Strad!
I was instantly captivated by the unique (in a non-Italian brand new instrument!) blend of freshness and depth of sound. I look forward to many years of beautiful playing and to witnessing the unleashing of this instrument's potential! If you feel curious about Mr. Clemens' work, please visit his website: http://www.clemensviolins.com/
Dear friends and colleagues, as some of you know, in a little more than a week I will be performing and lecturing in Nashville, TN, by invitation of the Vanderbilt University. This visit is all about tango performance practices. At this moment I am really up to my ears with the cello search at UND and getting the last two concerts of the season started (not to speak about tax preparation! ugh...), but I hope to post some outline of what these activities will be about during the weekend. Stay tuned!
A photo with some of my students at the 12th. Festival Music in the Mountains, in Pocos de Caldas, Minas Gerais, Brazil, Jan. 9 to 22, 2011. Courtesy of Tamiris Soler (PS: note my "Dracula" shirt - it's original from Transylvania!! :)
(post duplicated from the Strings@tached blog at www.stringsatund.org)
Dear students, friends, and colleagues:
I am back in Grand Forks, after another edition of the Pocos de Caldas Festival, directed by Prof. Jean Reis. Here's the website: www.festivalmusicanasmontanhas.com.br
This year the string and piano faculty enjoyed the valuable additions of Dr. Carmelo de los Santos (Violin, New Mexico State U.), Dr. Viktor Uzur (Cello, Weber State U.), Dr. Marcos Machado (Double Bass, U. of Southern Mississippi) and Prof. Guigla Katsarava (Piano, Ecole Normal de Paris, France.)
On a personal level, I am particularly pleased by the rising of the students level's baseline throughout the years (I startet teaching at Pocos in 2004.) Here is the list of the works performed in the 45+ lessons I thought this year (asterisks near a composition or movement mean that more than one student played that work):
- Sonata in A major for violin and basso continuo
J. S. Bach
- Concerto in A minor
- Partita no. 2 - Giga
- Partita no. 3 - Prelude
G. B. Viotti
- Concerto no. 22 *
- Concerto in G major, I mov.
W. A. Mozart
- 3rd. Concerto, I mov. * *
- 4th. Concerto, I mov.
- 5th. Concerto, I mov. *
L. v. Beethoven
- Sonata no. 5 "Spring" for violin and piano
J. H. Fiocco
- Etude no. 1
- Caprice no. 14
- Concerto in E minor op. 64, I mov. *
- Concerto no. 1 in G minor, I mov. *
- Polonaise Brillante no. 2 in A major
- Sicilienne and Rigaudon
- Praeludim und Allegro
- Sinfonie Spagnole, I and V mov.
- Sonata for violin and piano, II mov.
- Sonata no. 4 op. 27 for solo violin, I mov.
- Concerto, I mov.
- Concerto in D minor, I and II mov.
Each year has a little surprise. I remember one year teaching as many as 5 students with Haydn G major concerto, to the point that I arranged the lesson schedule to have them come in the same day. Kreisler's "Praeludim und Allegro" seems to permeate the festival with its presence since the begining - at least, I don't recall a single edition of the festival at which at least ONE students didn't play it; some years these students were as many as 5 or 6. I am pleased with the shift toward late 19th - early 20th century composers, but a little worried about the notorious decrease in solo Bach performances - are studio teachers emphasizing that enough in Brazil? I wonder if this is merely a local tendency or a spreading phenomenon.
Be as it may, I am happy to be back home and ready to tackle yet another semester at UND!
About music, about life...