Monthly Archives: December 2016

A Perlman Pearl

Regular readers know that Itzhak Perlman, the 71-year-old violin virtuoso, is one of my favorites.   He has been for a long time; I was privileged to get to see him when I was a teenager in the early 1990s, and I’ve got tickets to see him again in April at the Lyric Opera House.  This […]

Christmas 2016

We’re just back from our annual trek to Kansas to visit my family for Christmas – we were fortunate to have had excellent weather for the duration – some years, including last, weather has sidelined us into roadside motels as we make our way to and fro’.  The rental Explorer performed great and our hotel […]

Late Night Tune-Up

My violin case fell from the seat to the floor of our rental SUV as we made our long annual holiday drive down to Wichita from Chicago yesterday.  At our next stop, I opened the case to find two of the strings had loosened, a not-uncommon occurrence for the instrument – in fact it’s possible […]

Christmas Lesson

Due to Teacher being quite busy this time of year, we had my lesson on Monday this week.  The week before, I showed Teacher that I had downloaded some simple Christmas tunes, and she suggested that we could spend a good chunk of this week’s lesson playing duets, so after playing my concerto through once […]

Minors, Movement, and Mutes

I’m working on a new etude, a largo piece from the Wohlfahrt book in A minor.  In addition to being my first A minor piece, Teacher brought it out because it will help me practice my bowing angles, which have been giving me fits.  Long, slow bows are what the piece is about, and that’s […]

Spymonkey’s Deaths

A four-piece band – bass and tenor sax, trumpet, and drum – struck up a New Orleans procession-style dirge “Just a Closer Walk with Thee,” the tone at once celebratory and sad. A graveside marker, faux floral in cheap white nylon, descended from the rafters and bore the name of the departed, “Fly.”  The insect’s […]

Composing While Female

Recently I went to a performance of the Chicago Sinfonietta, an organization that was created in the 1980s to inject some diversity into the classical music scene in Chicago.  While I’ve long wished that the world of the music I love best were more representative of the breadth of humanity and applaud intentional efforts to […]

Time and Angles

When I started playing over three years ago, my practice sessions wouldn’t last more than 45 minutes, but as the months went by I started to increase my practice time.  I worked up to days when I kept it up for over two hours.  But then in July of 2015, I had a pretty significant […]