Author Archives: Ryan Libel

Turning the Page

Seven months in I am turning the page on the first movement of Vivaldi’s Concerto in A Minor.  Not only do I feel ready enough, but my copy of Suzuki Book Four itself compelled me to move on when, during my practice session on Monday, as I flipped to the first movement’s third and final […]

Art and Science

Lately, Teacher has been working with me on dynamics.  Loudness is, of course, one of our universe’s seemingly infinite continuums.  The loudest loud can always be shouted down by something else; the softest soft can be softer.  An infinity stretches between.  Within the oeuvre of just one man, dynamics help create the delicate dance of […]

Four Years/Life Uncomplicated

Not a day goes by that I don’t consider my gratitude for my musical pursuit.  Even on days I don’t practice, I see the violin case out of the corner of my eye and smile.  Nearly always, I’ve got one of the pieces in my repertoire playing on repeat in my head.  And, though not […]

A Vivaldi Duet

Every once in a blue moon, Teacher brings the duet parts for the Suzuki pieces so she can play along with me; this past Tuesday was one of them.  It’s always fulfilling for me to play like that, making real music, and this Vivaldi concerto movement was the most fun I’ve had with chamber music […]

Keeping the Bow in Good Rehair

I played yesterday for the first time since last Monday.  Two reasons – 1) I was out of town for a karate tournament weekend in New York, and, most significantly, 2) when I went to practice last Monday I turned the screw on my bow as far as it would go and the hair was […]

Practice Small

Vivaldi remains my challenge; I confessed to Teacher last week that I feel a bit bogged down.  My complaint is that I haven’t been making as much progress on the piece as I think I should.  I’ve been playing it for months, and the things that were originally challenging feel only more so as time […]

Alexandra Switala at the Cultural Center

A week ago tomorrow was the latest free concert put on by the Musicians Club of Women at the Chicago Cultural Center.  The Club featured violinist Alexandra Switala, with collaborative piano by Inah Chiu.  The fact that Switala plays my instrument and the repertoire she chose made hers my favorite of the concerts in this […]