Fiddle News

June 12, 2007

Stefan-Peter Greiner Studies the Masters

Filed under: Interview,Music — tmyers2002 @ 7:30 pm

stefan peter greinerStefan-Peter Greiner is very picky about who gets to play his violins. Christian Tetzlaff plays one, but Greiner turns down about 50% of the customers seeking a spot on his waiting list. Jutta Wasserab of talked to the acclaimed violin maker and in this interview Greiner gives some insights into how he makes his violins, and why he turns down so many violinists who would like to own one of his rare creations.


June 6, 2007

Quick Hit – Eileen Ivers

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 8:45 pm

eileen iversAmerican born Irish fiddler Eileen Ivers was in Columbus Ohio last month, and Gary Budzak of the Columbus Dispatch sat down with her for this quick interview. Ivers briefly talks about her background and her music. The article also includes a couple of audio samples of Ivers’ fiddling. The Dispatch’s Barbara Zuck reviewed the concert and wrote that “Ivers has perfected a kind of musical multitasking that only a few are interested in attempting and even fewer can master.”

June 5, 2007

Itzhak Perlman in Albany

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 8:12 pm

itzhak perlmanItzhak Perlman recently spoke with Joseph Dalton of the Albany Times Union. In this interview, he discusses playing for the Queen, keeping Beethoven fresh, and his approach to teaching and conducting. Joseph Dalton also reviewed Perlman’s concert with the Albany Symphony Orchestra under David Allen Miller, calling the performance fluid and natural, but somewhat lacking in spontaneity and nuance.

May 22, 2007

Leila Josefowicz Visits D.C.

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 8:11 pm

leila josefowiczLot’s of Leila Josefowicz news going around. First, an interview with Joel D. Amos of the North County Times in which she talks about Beethoven, new music, and what she learned growing up. Next, a review by Tim Smith of the Baltimore Sun of her performance of John Adam’s The Dharma at Big Sur. He says Josefowicz played with “exceptional technical aplomb and nuance.” Another review of the same program by Tim Page of the Washington Post said Josefowicz “wailed and moaned with meticulously controlled abandon.” Finally, this post by Charles T. Downey over at Ionarts. He called her concert at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington a wonderful Mother’s Day gift.

April 26, 2007

Sayaka Shoji to be Featured in Tokyo

Filed under: Interview,Music — tmyers2002 @ 7:24 pm

sayaka shojiAbout 700,000 classical music fans are expected for the “La Folle Journee au Japon” festival in Tokyo. Violinist Sayaka Shoji will be a featured artist, and she talks briefly to Mariko Kato in this feature published by the Japan Times. Among other things, Shoji discusses how she prepares for her performances and her expectations for the year ahead.


April 23, 2007

Maxim Vengerov in Toronto

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 6:58 pm

maxim vengerov In this interview with John Keillor posted at, Maxim Vengerov talks about Shostakovich, Mozart and playing and conducting with the UBS Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra. “I’ve been gradually maturing toward Mozart”, he says. “It took a long time to really grasp his music.”

Reviewing the concert for the Toronto Star, John Terauds said that “this particular assignment shows Vengerov’s humbler side.”

April 15, 2007

Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg Plays Brahms

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 4:22 pm

nadja salerno-sonnenbergThe Brahms violin sonatas, her record label, and other upcoming projects are some of the topics that Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg discusses in this interview with Rosemary Ponnekanti of the News-Tribune. At age 46, she also talks about how she looks differently at music now as opposed to when she was just starting out. In this review posted at the SlipperyKeys blog, the author is delighted by Salerno-Sonnenberg’s playfulness while performing the Tchaikovsky violin concerto.

April 12, 2007

Jean-Luc Ponty in Ankara

Filed under: Interview,Music — tmyers2002 @ 8:04 pm

jean luc pontyJean-Luc Ponty has been making records since the seventies, and will be releasing a new album called “The Acatama Experience” in May of 2007.  He talks to Izgi Güngör in this interview published in the Turkish Daily News about how he became and jazz violinst, and how the death of Ahmet Ertegün has changed the music business.


April 10, 2007

Nicola Benedetti at the Gardner Museum

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 6:59 pm

Nicola BenedettiNicola Benedetti leads all other nominees at this years Classical Brits Awards, with nominations for Instrumentalist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Young British Classical Performer. But is the young Scottish violinist for real, or is she just the latest  in a series of over-hyped classical music sensations. David Weininger of the Boston Globe talked to Benedetti recently, and in this interview he found her to be a “serious, down-to-earth musician”.

Reviewing her Boston recital, The Globe’s Jeremy Eichler found her performance did not quite live up to the fanfare, perhaps because of nerves or perhaps because she just needs more time to grow and mature.

April 9, 2007

Sarah Chang At Work and Play

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 7:30 pm

sarah changWhat does Sarah Chang do when she’s not making music? Find out in this interview with Laura Stewart of the Daytona Beach News-Journal. Speaking of Chang, she was in the Bay Area recently for a pair of recitals. On the program were the Beethoven, Danielpour and Prokofiev pieces she’s been touring with lately. In his review, Richard Scheinin thought she played a memorable, if not perfect Kreutzer. Scheinin was even more impressed with the “clear-eyed lyricism” which she gave to the Danielpour, and the “clarity and shape…rhythmic keenness” and “burnished perfection” with which she played the Prokofiev Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 2. Columbine C. Greyscott (is that her real name?) saw the Berkeley recital and made this post. She found the Beethoven a little boring, but really liked the 2nd half of the show.

The Art (and Science) of the Violin

Filed under: Interview,Music — tmyers2002 @ 6:48 pm

sam gmuntowiczHe’s made violins for Isaac Stern, Joshua Bell, and the Emerson Quartet. Now Sam Zygmuntowicz sits down with Newsweek’s Susan Szeliga for this interview about how he became a violin maker and what goes into the making of these prized instruments. A video is also included that shows some of the modern technology available to the modern instrument maker.


April 4, 2007

Sergiu Schwartz – Performer and Teacher

Filed under: Interview,Music — tmyers2002 @ 6:37 pm

sergiu schwartzFamed Israeli violinist and professor of violin Sergiu Schwartz talks about selling his violin and establishing roots in this interview with Sandra Okamoto of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. He also talks about why he chose to teach at Columbus State University,  finding balance in his life, and the toughness needed to make a life as a musician.

April 1, 2007

Leila Josefowicz and John Adams

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 7:21 pm

Leila JosefowiczComposer John Adams talks to Mark Stryker in this interview published by the Detroit Free Press. Among other things, he takes special note of violinist Leila Josefowicz who performed Adams’ Violin Concerto (1993). How does Adams feel about the Josefowicz? He rates her very highly, and praises her “Olympian majesty of expression.” Says Adams, “she’s an incredibly serious and painstaking performer.”

The critics seem to agree. Lawrence B. Johnson reviewed the performance for the Detroit News and said Josefowicz gave the concerto “a glittering turn”.  In his review for the Detroit Free Press, Mark Stryker called Josefowicz “a force of nature”. Finally Mark Freier, writing in his blog, wrote that watching Josefowicz “you could see and feel raw talent and sheer passion”.

Joshua Bell Directs The Academy

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 6:59 pm

joshua bellIn this interview with Cathalena E. Burch of the Arizona Daily Star, Joshua Bell talks about life on the road and how he feels about being guest director with the Academy of Saint Martins in the Fields. Says Bell, “it’s probably the most fun thing I do all year.” Reviewing Bell’s performance of Vivaldi and Tchaikovsky at the Tilles Center in Long Island, Justin Davidson of Newsday writes that the his performance was “elegant, assured, and impeccable”, while James Hennerty of the Time Union reviewed his Troy, NY performance and called the Vivaldi “solid”, but it was the Tchaikovsky that was truly “delightful”.

Quick Hit – Janine Jansen

Filed under: Interview,Music — tmyers2002 @ 6:06 pm

janine jansenJanine Jansen will be in the U.S. in April and sat down to talk with John Clare of WITF radio. In this audio interview she talks about live versus studio recordings, playing the viola, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, and what’s coming up next for the Dutch violinist.


Ilya Gringolts Down Under

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 3:26 pm

ilya gringoltsRussian violinist Ilya Gringolts talks to William Dart about playing underplayed works, revisiting previously performed works, and making mistakes in this interview published in the New Zealand Herald. In an earlier concert in Perth Australia, Mark Coughlan of The Australian reviews Grigolts’ performance of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto and finds it “disappointingly bland”.

March 29, 2007

Chloë Hanslip Making her Mark

Filed under: Interview,Music — tmyers2002 @ 8:18 pm

Chloe HanslipIf you haven’t heard of Chloë Hanslip, you will. Check out this feature article written by Inge Kjemtrup of Strings Magazine. It has all the background you need on this talented young violinist. They just keep coming, don’t they.


Vadim Gluzman in Concert

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 8:03 pm

Vadim GluzmanVadim Gluzman feels that it’s important to give modern composers a chance. In this interview with Mary Ellyn Hutton of the Cincinnati Post he talks about the Bernstein Serenade, his affinity for modern music, and his studies with Arkady Fomin. Speaking of Bernstein’s Seranade, Gluzman performed it with the Pavo Jaarvi and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and in her review for the Enquirer Janelle Gelfand called Gluzman’s sound “sweet and beatifully shaped, with a long effortless line”, and Mary Ellyn Hutton reviewing it for the Post said Gluzman played with “elegance, precision, and extreme tonal beauty.”

An earlier performance in Seattle of Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4 with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra under guest conductor Vasilly Sinaisky also earned a strong review from Melinda Bargreen of the Seattle Times, describing Gluzman as “all patrician elegance” with “well-rounded tone and beautiful legato lines.” R.M. Campbell of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer simply stated that Gluzman’s playing was “breathtaking in its effortlessness.”

Finally, performing Sofia Gubaidulina’s Offertorium for Violin and Orchestra with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra under Bramwell Tovey caused reviewer Alexander Varty of to lead the audience in a standing ovation, while this blogger over at called it horrifying, but in a good way.

March 22, 2007

Joshua Bell Wins Avery Fisher Prize

Filed under: Interview,Music — tmyers2002 @ 8:25 pm

Joshua BellJoshua Bell is the latest recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize. Some background on the prize can be found at Playbill. Bell recently talked to Martin Steinberg of The Associated Press. In the interview he talks about his plans for the $75,000 prize, and his future as a violinist and conductor.

March 19, 2007

Regina Carter Plays Chicago

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 7:32 pm

Regina CarterIn his blog post Peter Margasak wonders if violinist Regina Carter’s live performance will be better than what she’s shown on her recordings. According to John Litweiler of the Chicago Sun-Times, he must have been pleased. In his review of her performance at Symphony Hall he calls Carter a delight. While we’re talking about her, be sure to check out this audio interview at

March 15, 2007

Midori Goes to Michigan

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 7:50 pm

MidoriMidori plays Ann Arbor, and according to this review by Susan Isaacs Nisbett of the Ann Arbor News things got off to a slow start, but really picked up after the intermission with her performance of Hindemith and Strauss. Prior to the concert, Midori gives an email interview to Nisbett and talks about the program and her interest in school music programs.

March 8, 2007

Bonnie Rideout on the Scottish Fiddle

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 8:39 pm

Bonnie RideoutIn a pair of interviews, fiddler Bonnie Rideout first talks to Jim Newsom of Portfolio Weekly about the Celtic music’s new found popularity, her past, and her current show “Caledonia”. She covers similar ground in this interview with Bill Craig of the The Richmond Times-Dispatch, but also discusses her upcoming two-CD set of slow airs and pibroch. Reviewing a recent Rideout concert, Pauline Lerner of said she came home in “a Scottish Glow.”

March 7, 2007

Hilary Hahn – All Sibelius, All The Time

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 10:06 pm

Hilary HahnHilary Hahn talks briefly about the Siblelius Violin Concerto with Edward Reichel of the Deseret News. She’ll be performing it with the Utah Symphony this weekend, but Matthew Stevenson expresses his doubts about her Indianapolis performance in his concert review. Well, you can’t please all the people all the time, and Cathalena E. Burch of the Arizona Daily Star had nothing but raves for her “flawless performance” in Tuscon on Tuesday night. Hahn will feature the Sibelius on her next CD.

March 5, 2007

Mark O’Connor – For The Heroes

Filed under: Interview,Music — tmyers2002 @ 9:30 pm

Mark O'ConnorComposer and Fiddler Mark O’Connor recently talked with John Pitcher of Nashville Scene about his Double Concerto for Violin and Cello (For the Heroes) which he performed with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. An audio interview also accompanies the article. Hear O’Connor talk extensively about his varied approach to composition and music.

March 4, 2007

Anne Akiko Meyers is a Citizen of the World

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 5:03 pm

Anne Akiko MeyersIn this interview with Ted Alvarez of the Vail Daily News, Anne Akiko Meyers talks about cultural and musical diversity, Led Zeppelin, and her interest in lesser known composers. Her performance of Corigliano’s music for the Red Violin with the Colorado Symphony got a thumbs-up from Marc Shulgold of the Rocky Mountain News, and another thumbs-up from Kyle MacMillan of the Denver Post.

Jennifer Koh Finds Music in Poetry

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 4:15 pm

Jennifer KohThirty year old American violinist Jennifer Koh talks extensively about literature and contemporary music in this recent interview with Strings Magazine. You can also hear Koh talk about her recital program of Janacek, Schubert, Higdon, Kurtag and Schumann in this audio clip from the 92 Y Blog. The recital with pianist Reiko Uchida got a great review from Allan Koznin of the New York Times, as did an earlier San Francisco recital reviewed by Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle. Finally, a short interview with Barbara Zuck of the The Columbus Dispatch.

Natalie MacMaster Was Born To Run

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 2:52 pm

Natalie MacMasterIn this interview, famed Canadian fiddler Natalie MacMaster talks with Anne Neville of The Buffalo News and discusses her past, motherhood, and the performing life. She also describes meeting the late Peter Jennings, and the reasons behind the tribute song “Farewell To Peter” on her new “Yours Truly” CD. Speaking of the new CD,  Geoffrey Himes of the Washington Post gives it his review, and doesn’t find it as good as her previous “Blueprint” CD.

Vadim Gluzman Comes In Peace

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 3:07 am

Audrey Roncigli of sat down for an interview with Vadim Gluzman last month. Just the usual “who are your influences” and “what are you playing”, but the Israeli violinist gives a pretty thorough rundown of what’s on his agenda. (Note: Translated from the original French by Google language tools, so expect some interesting results). Speaking with Michael Granberry of the Dallas Morning News, Gluzman also offers his opinion on the violin as it relates to world peace. Hmmm…bows, not bullets – an interesting idea. Perhaps Gluzman was just feeling a little giddy after reading Olin Chism’s review of his performance with the Dallas Symphony under guest conductor Louis Langree.

Maxim Vengerov Dances the Tango

Filed under: Interview,Music — tmyers2002 @ 12:55 am

Maxim VengerovFrom the London Times comes this interview with Maxim Vengerov. Maxim talks about growing up in Siberia, his first violin, and practice, practice, practice. He also comments on his work for UNICEF and on new musical directions, including the electric violin, rock ‘n roll, and dancing the tango. Should make for an interesting evening.

Salerno-Sonnenberg plays Bach/Assad

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 12:35 am

Salerno-Sonnenberg In an interview published in the Vancouver Sun, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg talks about the Clarice Assad Violin Concerto which she debuted back in 2004. She also talks about her new venture – NSS records. For Salerno-Sonnenberg it’s all about taking chances. The Milwaukee Journal’s Tom Strini loved her recent recital with the Assad brothers, but her recital in Arizona failed to garner much excitement from Arizona Republic critic Richard Nilsen.

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