The Week in Reviews, Op. 331: Philippe Quint; Handel and Haydn Society border=0 align=

The Week in Reviews, Op. 331: Philippe Quint; Handel and Haydn Society

December 1, 2021, 12:30 PM · In an effort to promote the coverage of live violin performance, each week presents links to reviews of notable concerts and recitals around the world.

Philippe Quint performed a recital called "Between Angels and Demons: A Musical Portrait" with pianist Jun Cho in collaboration with the North Shore Chamber Music Festival.

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Interview with Violist and Composer Nokuthula Ngwenyama: LA Phil Premiere of 'Primal Message'

November 30, 2021, 9:38 PM · In the viola world, people know the name Nokuthula Ngwenyama (or "Thula," pronounced "Toola"). Thula won the Primrose International Viola Competition when she was just 16. She went on to win the Young Concert Artists International Audition and then embarked on something rare for a violist: a solo career, starting with debuts at the Kennedy Center and the 92nd Street Y. A recipient of Avery Fisher Career Grant, by now Thula has soloed with orchestras and played recitals all over the world.

And she kept advocating for the viola -- she served on the board of the American Viola Society, as President for three years. She also served as Director of the Primrose Competition for eight years. (The next Primrose Competition actually takes place in mid-December at The Colburn School - click here for more info on that).

At the moment, though, Thula's star is rising in a different but related musical field: as a composer. This weekend the Los Angeles Philharmonic will give three performances of her piece "Primal Message" with conductor Xian Zhang. Click here for more information on the concert, which also includes the world premiere of Julia Adolphe's violin concerto, "Woven Loom, Silver Spindle" performed by Martin Chalifour; and Beethoven's Symphony No. 7.

Thula's path as a musician began in her native Los Angeles, when she was four years old. Thula wanted to learn to play the violin, but her mother advised that she start with the piano, and so she did.

"I started composing in those early Yamaha piano classes that I took," Thula said. The classes, taught by Ann Pittel ("Miss Annie"), also emphasized ear-training and solfege, and "each student received a kit. It had the grand staff on it, with magnetic notes. No rhythmic value, just little circle magnets. And we could move them around on the grand staff. We would have an assignment of arranging these notes, and then playing them."

"Being given those notes from the get-go made me feel like I had the freedom to put them wherever I wanted, and I could create a series of sounds," Thula said. "I think that everyone should start like that, being able to manipulate the notes and then see what happens." Keep reading...

Violinist Kristin Lee Hosts Free Online Event Honoring Dorothy DeLay, with Itzhak Perlman and Others

November 29, 2021, 12:44 PM · The legendary Juilliard violin pedagogue Dorothy DeLay is the subject of a special program Wednesday that will take place free online, hosted by violinist Kristin Lee and featuring a panel that includes Itzhak Perlman, Toby Perlman, Cho-Liang Lin, and Sandra Rivers.

Click here to register (for free) to see the program, which begins at 7:30 ET Wednesday. The presentation will include rarely-seen photos and videos, with a Q and A with the virtual audience to follow at the end.

"Dorothy DeLay (was) one of the most important, impactful, powerful, and revolutionary violin pedagogues who touched hundreds, if not thousands, of violinists, including myself," Lee said. "I feel the weight on my shoulders to be giving this talk as one of her very late students, but I am extremely excited to be joined by guests who exemplify the different generations that Ms. DeLay touched, including Itzhak Perlman and Cho-Liang Lin." Keep reading... weekend vote: How old is your current cake of rosin?

November 28, 2021, 4:38 PM · Rosin, derived from tree resin, is that stuff we rub onto the hair of the bow to make it sticky enough to make a sound. How long can it last? Pretty long, actually - at least more than a decade if you are careful with it! But it can also fall and shatter like glass, and it just takes on drop on the floor to wreck it.

How long have you had the rosin that you are currently using? Do you tend to be able to keep your rosin intact for a long time, or does it tend to crack up? What kind of rosin are you currently using? Is it round or rectangular? On a piece of cloth, or wood? Is it actually currently broken? Does yours have a groove in it? And beyond the rosin you use every day, how old is your longest-surviving (i.e. unbroken) cake of rosin, if you have several?

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