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Laurie Niles

The 2012 Tournament

March 5, 2012 at 10:45 PM

If the rest of the world is going to go "mad" over a basketball tournament, I think we can go crazy with a violin concerto tournament!

And this is exactly what we are going to do over the next weeks. We're even going to give a cool prize to the person who most correctly guesses the outcome!

So here's how it works: Based on your suggestions, I've seeded 16 popular violin concertos into a single-elimination tournament. (I did this with the help of Robert, my statistical genius husband and also techie for This was not easy -- readers suggested 92 concertos for this, and I had to narrow it down to 16! So if this list doesn't have all your favorites, please be a good sport. Also, keep in mind that this is all just a big excuse to talk about violin concertos -- to share stories, clips, favorite recordings, favorite editions, playing tips, etc.

We'll put one tournament contest up for a vote each weekday between March 12 and March 30. Each vote will be open for 24 hours, and the winning concerto in each vote will advance to the next round, until we crown a winner on Friday, March 30.

For your convenience, Robert's created a PDF print-out of the tournament bracket so you can see the match-ups.

Now let's have some additional fun with this - how about that tournament contest? music bag
Cool new music bags!

We'll give away a brand new music bag -- hot off the presses! -- to the reader who does the best job of predicting the tournament winners. Here's how it will work: Email me your prediction for the eight winners in round one, the four winners in round two, the two semifinalists and the tournament champion, using the tournament bracket.

We'll award one point for each correct prediction in round one, two points for each correct pick in round two, four points for round three, and six points for predicting the champion. The reader with the most points wins the bag. In case of a tie, we'll go to a random draw. Entries are due by 11pm, Pacific Time, Sunday, March 11.

Have fun!

From John Dukes
Posted on March 6, 2012 at 1:46 AM
Hi Mrs. Niles,

Is there a way/format you would prefer our predictions to be Emailed/submitted to you?

Thanks, John

From Francesca Rizzardi
Posted on March 6, 2012 at 6:51 AM
Totally cool bag. How can I buy one?
From Paul Deck
Posted on March 6, 2012 at 4:09 PM
I agree the bag is very cool. I would offer the opinion that the only way to make it even cooler would be for it to be made entirely from hemp.
From Laurie Niles
Posted on March 6, 2012 at 4:15 PM
Here's what to e-mail to me (just do it as lists, all in one e-mail):

Round 1 (8 winners)

Round 2 (4 winners)

Finalists (2 winner)

Champion (1 winner)

That's all based on this chart (, which you can print out to fill out.

Find my e-mail right here:

From Laurie Niles
Posted on March 6, 2012 at 4:20 PM
I'm glad you like the bags! We're going to offer them as awards for the tournament and also for some social media stuff, and then they will be for sale, along with t-shirts with the same design, in April.
From Laurie Niles
Posted on March 6, 2012 at 6:54 PM
About the Kokopelli, who has long been our logo on, he came from the Native American Hopi tribe and Anasazi people, and he's usually seen playing the flute. He's associated with music and dance, but also with fertility and mischief. :) Having lived in the American Southwest for most of my life, it was inevitable that we would cross paths. I made this drawing of him with a violin on his shoulder in the mid-1990s, before, actually. He enjoys playing the fiddle immensely, so I understand. The viola, too.
From Raphael Klayman
Posted on March 6, 2012 at 10:10 PM
Hmmm...I think the viola part plays into the mischief aspect! OK, there I go again! For penance I prescibe myself 3 Sevcick exercises and the G# minor scale in fingered octaves.
From sharelle taylor
Posted on March 9, 2012 at 10:39 AM
Good grief, voting was like picking a number and a colour on those folded paper cootie catchers - the winner was not what I expected. I request a redraw!

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