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Well, at least they’re advanced

Speaking of second violin



A noble profession

Q. What do you call a violist with a college degree? Continue reading

Concert Roundup Garcia

  • The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has finished their 2012 – 2013 season. Hang tight for summer concerts!
  • The National Symphony Orchestra hightails it over to Wolf Trap for some ice cream. No, wait, that’s not right. Y’know, I never much cared for Cherry Garcia, nor do I know much about Jerry Garcia, but if you’re all about him you’ll want to catch this tribute concert with singer/guitarist Warren HaynesJune 26. [ See it! ]
  • Or! The NSO is also doing a concert performance of Frozen Planet from the BBC’s Earth miniseries, conducted by composer George Fenton. The picture promises orcas. June 28. [ See it! ]
  • This week at Strathmore: Free summer outdoor concerts begin! [ See the calendar! ]

If you’d like your concert included in next week’s roundup, leave a comment or drop me a line.

Composer Cagematch! Round 2: Schubert vs. Ives

So… you guys aren’t into the Italian fashion, I take it? I mean, Respighi barely even bothered to take down Puccini. That was a cat-smacks-doped-up-mouse-and-goes-back-to-napping match if every there was one. But results are results, and Respighi heads off to round three.

Which is coming up shortly, because it’s time for the final match of round 2! And so in this corner, he mastered the seasons! It’s



And in this corner, he keeps his tempos quick! It’s



I trust this will be interesting…

The philosophy of the second fiddle

This clip, a little segment of the movie A Late Quartet that explains the importance of each individual instrument in a string quartet, is great and vaguely philosophical and stabs at the heart of truth and all that good stuff. But I still can’t shake the urge to apologize for being unable to find anything where Christopher Walken talks about Beethoven.

Further explanation required

I’m unclear – are those pieces of clarinet, or sheet music?

IMPORTANT! Addendum to yesterday’s contest post

Hi guys! So, I’m afraid I’m going to have to make a tweak to my contest from Tuesday (check it out here). Turns out that a lot of you are subscribing via the RSS feed, and I’m having trouble getting access to the list. Therefore, I’m going to have to make this change, which I’m going to render in large type so that you don’t miss it:

In order to be entered in the contest, you MUST reply with your email address or WordPress ID to either this post or Tuesday’s contest post. This applies to EVERYONE.

Because of this issue, I’m extending the double-entry option to tomorrow, Friday, at midnight. Subscribe and post before then and you’ll be entered twice! After that, you’ll be entered once, but regardless, you MUST comment on either this post or Tuesday’s contest post. I know I’m getting redundant, but I just want everyone to be absolutely clear. Remember, the contest closes on June 21 EXTENDED! JUNE 24 at midnight, so subscribe and comment before then to enter to win an adorable prize!

Sorry about that list minute addition, guys! But you’re all subscribers, so I’m sure you’ll see this. 😉

Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check out the contest here.

The Concert Roundup Will Be Represented by the Flute

  • No Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concert this week.
  • But never fear – the National Symphony Orchestra is offering two! Remember our boy Jean-Yves Thibaudet, who is always hanging in my apartment? Well, he’s hitting the piano for some MacMillan (June 20) or, if you prefer, Saint-Saens (June 21 & 22). Plus Lutoslawski and – SQUEE! – Grieg‘s Peer Gynt! Yay! June 20 – 22. [ See it! ]
  • Alternatively, the NSO is offering this as a kid’s concert, but DEFY LABELS, I say, because: PROKOFIEV‘S PETER AND THE WOLF! I think I speak for all of us when I say “Peter, don’t just stand that way!June 22. [ See it! ]
  • This week at Strathmore: Singer-songwriter and bassist Owen Danoff. [ See the calendar! ]

If you’d like your concert included in next week’s roundup, leave a comment or drop me a line.

All right! Who’s ready to win something?

It’s about time we had a contest around these parts, don’t you think?

A few weeks ago I noticed that I was nearing 100 blog followers; I originally conceived this as a push to make that number. But, uh, I already got to 101. So we’re going to do things just a bit differently.

But first! What exquisite prize is up for grabs? Oh, just an ORIGINAL, SIGNED ARTWORK:

EroicatClick to enlarge

This is not a print. This is a hand-drawn, hand-painted piece entitled – wait for it – Eroicat! Why wander around merely saying you love Beethoven when this beautiful, clever bit of art can do it for you? (Yes, that’s a real snippet of Eroica up top.) Suitable for framing, it would look smashing in your music room or studio.

Bone up on your Symphony No. 3, then lean in, because I’m going to tell you how you can lay claim to the crown this amazing painting:

  1. Subscribe to this blog.
  2. ?????
  3. PROFIT!

Okay, that’s not QUITE everything. Here are some additional notes:

  • You have until TOMORROW NIGHT (JUNE 19) AT MIDNIGHT to subscribe to the blog and be eligible for TWO entries (see below).
  • You have until MIDNIGHT ON FRIDAY, JUNE 21 to subscribe to the blog and be eligible for ONE entry.
  • How can you be eligible for two entries? Simple! I think it’s unfair when a contest is only open to new subscribers; if you’ve been a loyal reader for awhile, why should you be punished for being ahead of the game? However, there might be subscribers out there who, for whatever reason, don’t, y’know, actually read the blog. So, if you’re a current subscriber or subscribe by the June 19 midnight deadline above, you can garner TWO contest entries simply by replying to this entry with your email address or WordPress ID for confirmation (so make sure you use the one you’re subscribed under).

Got it? Okay! Don’t have it? Feel free to ask me questions! Contest is open to everyone, everywhere, but any winner outside of the continental U.S. may be asked to pay their own shipping (sorry, guys, but that sucker’s a bit pricey). There’s no age minimum – or maximum, for that matter – but if you’re under 18 make sure you check with your parents that it’s okay to enter and such. All usual additional contest rules apply.

Incidentally, if you’re in love with that kitty image (and why wouldn’t you be?), the artist does sell additional works, both pre-made and commissioned. Check out her tumblr for more info. You can also contact her via email here.

A dance with a broom that is not Fantasia

I don’t know if your violin instructor ever told you to sweep your bow arm, but this… isn’t what he meant.

My favorite bit is when the vacuum interrupts the Massanet. I played that piece way too many times not to be sick of it now, let me tell you.