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Can't Say Enough about the Violin, in Cincinnati

Laurie Niles

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Published: July 19, 2014 at 3:25 PM [UTC]

"Can you please show me the chapter where the lady cut off her finger?" asked a very polite eight-year-old boy, after a book signing recital that I gave in Cincinnati last week.

I'd just read three excerpts from Interviews, Vol. 1, which has 27 interviews that I've done over the years with some of today's best-known violinists. My small friend wanted to go back home and read the whole chapter on that very interesting lady, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and her remarkable recovery and career. As I leafed through his copy to find the chapter and bookmark it, he added, "I'm going to start playing the violin next school year."


I'm in Cincinnati for the next week or so, visiting my parents and sister's family, and I was thrilled at the opportunity to play some short pieces and read from my book at Christ Church Cathedral's Music Live at Lunch series downtown. (This is my sister's church, and long ago I played in their fantastic Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival, a very unique musical pageant that I just love. My sister, Katie McGuire, a marketing and communications consultant, organized the event!)

The concert was sponsored by The Baroque Violin Shop, which I hope to visit next week (they have a Stradivarius, the Lady Harmsworth -- gotta check that out! I will tell you all about it when I do.)

Laurie reading

Besides reading about Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, I also read about Sarah Chang, David Garrett, Anne Akiko Meyers and Philippe Quint. I also took questions: Did my book represent violinists of an older generation as well? Yes, you can read about Ruggiero Ricci, Elmar Oliveira and Stanley Ritchie. Who was that guy who played on the subway? It's Joshua Bell, and it was in Washington D. C., and he might be ready to talk about other things, after all he's a fine violinist! What makes those million-dollar violins so expensive? Their antique value and their state of preservation...

Laurie performing

For the performing part of this event, I had a wonderful partner in pianist Brianna Matzke, a sensitive collaborator who took a fun ride with me through the Heifetz arrangement of "It Ain't Necessarily So" (first time I'd played this one, very fun!), the "Blues" movement of the Ravel Sonata, and Meditation from "Thais."

I also met longtime member Donald Hurd, who teaches in Cincinnati, as well some other teaching colleagues who teach with the Wyoming Fine Arts Center (that would be Wyoming, Ohio!)

As usual, I can't say enough about the violin; get me going and I'll talk all day long! I enjoyed the opportunity to play and read aloud at such a beautiful place and for such an appreciative audience.

"The Interviews: Volume 1" is available in paperback, for Kindle and Kindle apps, and for iBooks.

From Tom Holzman
Posted on July 20, 2014 at 2:48 PM
Laurie - you are clearly an excellent ambassador for us violinists! Keep up the good work.

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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