Author Archives: Ryan Libel

Reading Music and Shifting

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 […]

Hilary Hahn with the CSO

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 […]

On with the Show: Perlman and Kissin

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 […]

Small World at Chicago’s Den Theatre

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 […]

Striking Midori

Well the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is still on strike and another casualty, among many, is the concert with superstar violinist Midori Goto and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet that was set for this coming Sunday.  Michael and I have had tickets for a long time and have looked forward to the program.  This is the second event […]

Tall fingers.  Vibrato.

In our lesson yesterday we worked on left hand positioning – it’s a common point of focus, but I worked specifically on keeping my fingers better facing the violin, which allows me to keep them tall.  An ever-so-slight rotation of the forearm/wrist from my habitual position seems to be in order.  Once my hand is […]

New Stuff: Ringtone, Shoulder Rest

Jenny Yun is a violinist and Youtube video maker who creates nicely (not overly) produced recordings of the Suzuki repertoire. She dresses well, stages her videos in well-appointed rooms, employs a professional accompanist, and even does some of them in a recording studio.  She can also really play the violin.  On top of that, I […]