Getting to the spot in a new piece of music where I can play it through without stopping is always a thrill.  After yesterday’s lesson I am much closer on this newest piece – we worked through the remaining section of the Third Movement of Seitz’s Fifth Concerto, a flowing stretch of slurred sixteenth notes […]

Teacher holds my hand and wiggles it – the vibrato project progresses.  Looser, looser, looser.  The instrument still wiggles too, a little bit.  But not like it used to.  “Pinkies are the worst,” Teacher says.  I don’t need to agree verbally – the tiny appendage really doesn’t wiggle at all for me.  Well, it might […]

I’ve been wading through this exceptionally difficult series of double stops (playing notes on different strings simultaneously, creating chords) in Seitz 5’s Third Movement for weeks now.  I just counted – the uninterrupted series of double stops goes on for 25 measures!  The past couple of days I do feel like I’ve broken through a […]

I am no student of Carmen, the classic French 1875 Georges Bizet opera, nor of opera in general, but I very much enjoyed my first excursion to Chicago’s Lyric Opera House on Friday night to see the current production. The title role is undoubtedly both a burden and a feather in the cap – living […]

This coming Friday we’re off to the opera with some friends – the renowned Lyric of Chicago’s current production of the Bizet classic Carmen.  Though I’ve never been to the Lyric before, and I have seen very little opera otherwise, I do know that it’s best to learn plenty before going.  So this morning I’ve […]

I just downloaded Alison Krauss’s new album – Windy City, the Bluegrass Queen’s first release in six years and the first one I’ve purchased (though we do have the Oh Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack).  Nostalgia flared as I read Jewly Hight’s New York Times review of Krauss’s new collection of country and bluegrass covers […]

Ed Simons has conducted the Rockland Symphony since he founded it – in 1952.  He turned 100 on February 1 and is considered the oldest living conductor.  His career in music began as a young child when his father exposed him to classical greats.  He took up the violin at age 9, and has been […]