Category Musical Passion

Proficiency Means Different Things to Different People

Lovera’s Chaconne

My Mondays off afford me the opportunity to take in free concerts at the Chicago Cultural Center from time to time.  I gravitate toward the recitals sponsored by the Musicians Club of Women – they present “award winners in concert” and start at 12:15 (on the dot).  Last Monday, November 26, the award winner was […]

Musical Me: Five Years of Practice

This month marks the five-year anniversary of Musical Me.  I conceived of beginning to play the violin and of chronicling my musical pursuit via this blog whole-cloth on a dreary Monday afternoon in October 2013 as I mourned a dead cat and too much wasted time in my life.  The writing and my playing were […]

Stradivarius News

The latest chapter in the story of the Ames/Totenberg Stradivarius has just begun.  The Totenberg family sold the instrument after it was recovered from the wife of the man who stole it in 1980 when she had it appraised upon his death in 2015.  The instrument was returned to the Totenberg family, who then sold […]

Program Music and the Human Male

The Archduke Rudolph of Austria was one of Beethoven’s closest friends and patrons.  A younger man than the composer, Beethoven began tutoring Rudolph when he was in his thirties and the Archduke was in his mid-teens.  Beethoven developed a strong bond with Rudolph – since he had no children himself, it seems likely that his […]

Beethoven: Touching Enlightenment and the Work

I’m reading a big Beethoven biography, which is providing great context for his work.  Significantly, Beethoven was born and raised in Bonn, a place where enlightenment thinking took root and blossomed.  Beethoven’s intellectual milieu holds a great interest to me, since his music seems to me to tap into something universal about humanity.  The biographer, […]

Studying Beethoven

Beethoven’s Sonatas for Piano and Violin were some of my early favorites as I embarked on a journey of discovery about my new instrument five years ago.  The Kreutzer and Spring Sonatas in particular – numbers nine and five respectively – have become some of my favorite music for the instrument.  I’ve been able to […]