Author Archives: Ryan Libel

Great 8 with Anne Sophie

The New York Times has a weekly feature that presents a nicely curated set of eight classical music videos (usually YouTube) freely available online.  I don’t know how old the feature is, but I’ve noticed sets the last three weeks.  Last night, I was exploring this week’s and became enamored of a Brahms Double Concerto […]

Bailey on Bassoon at the Cultural Center

  Vivaldi wrote 39 concertos for bassoon, a veritable treasure trove for aficionados of the instrument, according to Sandra Bailey, accomplished soloist.  One of them, the Concerto in A Minor for Bassoon, was the second of three selections Bailey played yesterday in one of Chicago’s most magnificent venues – the Cultural Center’s Preston Bradley hall.  […]

Christmas in July

While making great progress on my Suzuki lessons and my current Book Four Vivaldi Concerto movement, I do practice other things most days.  For a while now, my primary side-pursuit has been Ashokan Farewell, the Jay Ungar composed tune that found ubiquity with its inclusion in the Ken Burns documentary The Civil War.  I continue […]

New String and Muscling Through

I opened my violin case to practice yesterday and encountered a broken A string.  The good news is I’ve long known to keep extras on hand, so I replaced it in short order.  The bad news is new strings always take a while to break in – they slip slowly flat as they stretch out.  […]

Las Mañanitas

In school, I studied Spanish from the third grade through college.  My high school Spanish teacher is the person I credit with being my best teacher ever – I had four years of Spanish with him, and proctored for him as well.  He helmed the National Spanish Honors Society, of which I was a member, […]

Shifting Away

If the final Seitz concerto movement exists in the Suzuki repertoire to help students conquer double stops, the Vivaldi concerto’s job must be to ensure that shifting to third position and back becomes old hat.  I have a whole book of position shifting exercises that I’ve dabbled with – I daresay more focus there would […]

Oklahoma!

Earlier this year, two of my nieces had lead roles in their high school production of Oklahoma! – while I couldn’t be there in person, one of the performances was filmed, and I was able to watch it last night.  Prior to that, I’d never seen the show and really knew nothing about it except […]