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This tag is associated with 28 posts

Real life is funnier

The truth is stranger than fiction, or at least more amusing – as demonstrated by this true story told by my mother.

I think I told you Scotty [my brother] got into a summer orchestra festival in the Napa Valley of CA. We asked Mr. Field about getting his viola on the plane as carry on. [BSO principle violist and his Peabody professor] Field said that you have to just say it’s an expensive violin. If you say it’s a viola, you’ll have to explain what it is and they might give you trouble. They are used to letting violins in the overhead compartments. TSA will make Scotty open the case to make sure it’s not a mafia machine gun, but what are the odds that one of those agents is going to say “Aha! You lied to me. It’s a viola, not a violin!”

Speed is relative

Q. Did you hear about the violist who claimed he could play thirty-second notes? Continue reading

Concert Roundup for Three

  • This week at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, awesome violin-violin-bass trio Time for Three swoops in to perform the piece Jennifer Higdon wrote for them, Concerto Four-Three; I caught the premiere of that and it was pretty fantastic if I do say so myself! Notes of bluegrass in classical, plus they always bust out a killer encore. Add John Adams and Prokofiev and how can you go wrong? May 2 at Strathmore; May 4 at the Meyerhoff. [ See it! ]
  • Meanwhile, the National Symphony Orchestra brings in cellist Alisa Weilerstein for an Elgar piano concerto (are we in heaven?) followed by Shostakovich‘s fifth symphony. May 2 – 4. [ See it! ]
  • Or if you prefer to take your Shostakovich without the side of Elgar, the NSO graciously offers the same symphony with the alternative sides of Shchedrin and a viola concerto by Schnittke. Ha, viola concerto. May 3. [ See it! ]
  • This week at Strathmore: Gypsy jazz; classical guitar; jazz with the great Bela Fleck with The Marcus Roberts Trio. [ See the calendar! ]

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

Can’t go wrong with a classic

Q. What do you call a violist with two brain cells? Continue reading

Dynamic changes

Q. How can you tell if a violist is playing fortissimo? Continue reading

Holy music

Q. What makes the viola a divine instrument? Continue reading

Quick! To the bass signal!

Notice that, meanwhile, the violists are wearing the masks of super-villian henchmen.

You mean it’s not just a really big violin?

Q. How many violists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Continue reading

Emergency preparedness

Q. Who’s better off in a snowstorm: a violinist or a violist? Continue reading

The drawbacks of child locks

Q. Did you hear about the time the string quartet went to a gig and the violinist accidentally locked his keys in his car? Continue reading