Today I made it to 44.  Happy birthday to me! Yesterday I played the violin for three hours.  Perlman says nobody needs to practice more than that.  Quarantine times are strange – you might imagine I’d play for hours everyday, but in truth I go days without playing, then I play marathons. You might also […]

There’s a rare genius in the playing of Daniil Trifonov – he becomes the music, fusing himself to the instrument and the works, forging unified art with the tools of a keyboard and masterful compositions.  The almost 29-year-old’s matinee performance last Sunday at Chicago’s Symphony Center marked the second time I’ve had the privilege of […]

I discovered the Beethoven Sonatas for Violin and Piano via Youtube recordings – Anne-Sophie Mutter and renowned pianist Lambert Orkis recorded the cycle of 10 works back in 1998 at a series of live concerts in Paris.  The album that resulted won a Grammy in 2000, and somehow, about 8 years ago, the whole series […]

In this past week’s lesson, as we have for months, Teacher and I played the Bach Concerto for Two Violins, the final piece in Suzuki Book Four, together.  Happily, I did better than ever, despite having a rather lackluster practice record the week before. When we finished, she said, “I know you’ll keep working on […]

During its current 2019-2020 season, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is commemorating Beethoven’s 250th birthday (which is technically in December 2020, which will be in the CSO’s 2020-2021 season, but who’s quibbling) by programming a staggering number of the composer’s works.  I wish I could see them all, but I’m pleased to be off to a […]

Violin music is often annotated with fingerings that, amongst other things, indicate when position shifting is necessary.  Suzuki books do a lot of marking fingerings for beginners, but other scores do it too.  As I’ve progressed, I’ve gained more and more ability to do shifting on the fly – while it’s been slow going, as […]

There’s a list of legendary violinists, and then there’s a list of the best violinists right now – on that second list, Hilary Hahn is at the very top.  I was thrilled to get to see her play alongside the Chicago Symphony last night under the baton of Marin Alsop, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra conductor […]

The striking musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra settled their contract just in time for last night’s Symphony Center Presents concert featuring the legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman, who shared the stage with piano virtuoso Evgeny Kissin. We’ve had tickets for a long time, but as the strike continued and our ticketed but canceled shows piled […]

I ended up free yesterday afternoon since Midori’s matinee at Symphony Center was cancelled due to the striking Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  Happily, I was able instead to take in a new production of The New Colony, a local theatre company that focuses on new works.  Small World is currently playing at The Den, a storefront […]