Author Archives: Ryan Libel

Bach via Trifonov

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 […]

Coronavirus Coping

Mutter and Orkis play Beethoven

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 […]

From Bach to The Boy Paganini

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 […]

Rudolph Buchbinder and Beethoven

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 […]

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 […]