Author Archives: Ryan Libel


Three months into playing it, I’ve now worked all the way through the third movement of this Vivaldi concerto.  It’s been a lot of fun, and remains challenging.  I don’t think I’ll spend quite as long polishing this one before moving onto the next piece as I did the first movement – Teacher and I […]

Aspiring to Vivaldi

The third movement of the Vivaldi Concerto is coming along.  While my progress is not as slow as it was as I learned the first movement, which was a huge level up from previous pieces, it too presents exceptional challenges.  There’s work in second position, third position, and even a shift in between third and […]

CSO’s Upcoming Season

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s 2018-2019 catalog arrived, along with a letter suggesting that due to my attendance habits I would benefit financially from a subscription.  When I received the same catalogue last year, I considered subscribing for this current season, but in the end didn’t.  That reluctance caused me to miss out on this past […]

Mitsuko Uchida’s Schubert Sonatas

Sunday matinees at Symphony Center are becoming a bit of a weakness of mine.  This past weekend’s event was a recital by the legendary pianist Mitsuko Uchida.  Recently, I’ve been investigating classical Viennese composer Franz Schubert, and coincidentally Dame Uchida was doing an all-Schubert program – three sonatas for solo piano.  It was the combination […]

Violin Grasshopper

I’m acquainted with a seven-year-old who has been playing the violin for a few months.  I’ve talked about my passion for the violin with him and his dad on several occasions – once I even helped them through a broken string crisis.  So we’re kind of violin buddies. On Thursday, his dad asked me if […]

Transcendent Etudes

Daniil Trifonov won the Grammy in the best classical solo album category this year for his two-disc recording of some of Liszt’s magnificent etudes for piano entitled Transcendental.  I was fortunate enough to see the young Russian play at Symphony Center last year, and, knowing nothing about him, instantly became a fan – his technique […]

The Minnesota Orchestra at Symphony Center

The first time I became aware of the Minnesota Orchestra and its long-time conductor Osmo Vanska was upon receiving its 2006 Grammy-nominated recording of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony as a birthday gift from my father-in-law a few years ago.  The Minneapolis-based Orchestra’s recordings of Beethoven’s symphonies are considered extraordinary.   Indeed, the group has numerous Grammy nominations […]