Printer-friendly version
Laurie Niles

Violin Community News 2011, Op. 5

September 21, 2011 at 8:31 PM

Congratulations to Rachel Barton Pine and her husband, Greg, on the arrival of their daughter, Sylvia Michelle, who was born on September 16. "Sylvia means 'of the woods' - for the child of a violinist and a Pine," Rachel said in an announcement on Facebook and Twitter.

In the next few weeks on we'll have an interview with Rachel about her new edition of the Wohlfahrt etudes, and we'll also be giving out her latest album of solo violin works, Capricho Latino.

* * *

Keith Conant Keith Abbott Conant, 49, principal violist with the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra, died unexpectedly of a heart attack last Thursday. Here is an obituary from the Chicago Tribune. He had been playing with the Lyric Opera Orchestra since 1987 and had served as principal violist since 1997. He also was a founding member of the Rembrandt Chamber Players Conant was a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, and an adjunct professor at Valparaiso University.

* * *

And I thought class sizes were getting a little too big in the United States…on Sept. 17, 4,645 violinists, ages three to 18, broke a world record by playing simultaneously (along with a rather loud synthesizer) in Taiwan. Actually they were from 172 schools, according to the Taiwan Today, and you can hear them here. They played three tunes, one of them being "Ode to Changhua." Though a number of sources said this was a purely an educational endeavor, not a ploy to break the world record, this account reports that Daves Gareth, an executive from the Britain-based Guinness World Records, attended the event and that all the kids will get a Guinness World Record certificate for participating. Apparently the previous record was 4,000 violinists playing together in London in 1925.

Could it be true that Shinichi Suzuki never assembled more kids than this? This concert looks pretty big, and so does this one!

* * *

I enjoyed the teacher training seminar that I took in spring 2010 for the Mark O'Connor Method (here were my impressions), so I wanted to let you know that there are a number of these seminars coming up around the U.S. this fall. The new O'Connor Method uses American music in much the same way as the Suzuki method books use German folk music to introduce students to the violin. Longtime Suzuki teacher Pam Wiley, who helped in the conception of Mark's books, will be the instructor, and Mark O'Connor will make a presentations at each seminar.

For teachers in the Seattle area: O'Connor Method Teacher Training for Books 1 and 2 will take place starting tomorrow through Sunday at Music Works Northwest in Bellevue. Contact Scott Ketron at if you'd like to register.

In the Fairfield County area in Connecticut: O'Connor Method Teacher Training will take place Oct 14-16 at the Talent Education Suzuki School in Norwalk, Connecticut. To register, contact Becki Christopherson, or 203-956-6708.

In Tennessee: Nov. 4-6 at th eFold School of Chattanooga in Chattanooga. To register, contact Christie Burns, or 423-779-6581.

I came away from Mark and Pamela's course with a lot of great ideas about working with kids and incorporating American music and music history in my teaching -- as well as positive energy, a commodity I'm always seeking!

From Margaret Lee
Posted on September 22, 2011 at 5:43 AM

Way to go, Taiwan! Thanks for the post, Laurie.

Posted on September 22, 2011 at 8:02 AM

Maybe not the biggest, but here is the longest orchestra in the world....

From Laurie Niles
Posted on September 22, 2011 at 5:00 PM

 Wow, Carla! Where is that?

From Alice Johnson
Posted on September 25, 2011 at 10:45 PM

Will MArk Oconnor do a workshop in Texas anytime?

This entry has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Facebook YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Anne Cole Violin Maker
Anne Cole Violin Maker

The Soraya
The Soraya

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles Philharmonic

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Classic Violin Olympus

Coltman Chamber Music Competition

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Jargar Strings


Violin Lab



Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine