No. 128, April 2005


Embracing Beethoven
A burgeoning string quartet prepares for a lifelong recording project By Laura Schiller

The Young Bloods
Emerging quartets find a place to excel at the Lincoln Center's Chamber Music Society Two program By Laurence Vittes

Focus on Instrument & Bow Making

13 Steps to Cello Bliss
How to shop for an instrument priced under $5,000 By Heather K. Scott

Lap of Luxury
Black German velvet? Custom inlay or gold fittings? Tough enough to survive a car crash? Buying an instrument case--when money is no object By Erin Shrader

Modern Times
Innovator and acoustic engineer Fan Tao and the quest for the enjoyable string By Laura Schiller

Pernambuco Update
New efforts may help to regulate the supply of endangered bow wood By Erin Shrader

News & Notes 

Bold Print Alfred Publishing purchases Warner Bros. Publications 

EOS Disbands The EOS Orchestra, champion of cutting-edge programming, disbands due to insurmountable financial problems 

Flight of Fancy Kurt Sassmannshaus creates the Violin Master Class website, after four years of planning. The site launches with a variety of lessons, downloadable instructions, and news on competitions and auditions, as well as an online forum 

Takács Tap Walther The Takács Quartet says goodbye to violist Roger Tapping, and hello to Geraldine Walther

The Unstoppable Joshua Bell Bell celebrates a variety of current projects, including playing on movie soundtracks, recording the Tchaikovsky concerto with MTT, and acting as "artistic planner" with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra By James Reel 

A Blast from the Past Massimo Quarta talks about the Cannon, Nicolo Paganini's famous 1743 Guarnari del Gesu By Erin Shrader 

New Launch and New Digs Bassist Dave Holland launches his own label: Dare2 Records. The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra christens its new home at the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center. The Montreal Symphony Orchestra adds 500 seats to the Theatre Maisonneuve at Place des Arts  

Cellist Among Missing At press time, the 29-year-old cellist, Markus Sandlund, was still missing in the wake of the Asian tsunami disaster 

Helping Hand The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra dontates $136,000 to the World Health Organization to help provide drinking water to the Asian tsunami disaster victims

On the (Post) War Path Billy Bang, jazz violinist, composes part two of a three-part piece on his experiences as a Vietnam veteran By David Templeton


Bow Care. Two helpful pointers for readers to better care for their bows, submitted by Don Reinfeld, with a response by Erin Shrader. Advice on dealing with variences in weather and hair, as well as purchasing insurance

Cello Challenge Mary Ann Jackson asks if anyone else has published études on the Beethoven Quartets besides Marcelo Sanges (Master Class, February 2005). Masatoshi Mitsumoto answers that William Van den Burg did, in fact he wrote 67 all together

Errata The January 2005 issue contained no caption for a Yamaha SV-Bag (page 78). A correction to where VSA winner Roy G. Quade resides (Alberta, Canada, not Winder, Georgia). Also, Paul Zinman was the photographer of the Paul Zukofsky photo on page 90

Strings 101 

Birds of a Feather Bluegrass and classical string styles are closer than you may think. Richard Greene discusses how the violin is the nexus of classical and bluegrass playing. Including music to play and how to achieve a trademark sound By James Reel

Express Yourself Improv made easy. Or 30 days to making music your own. Easy ways to begin improvising, including information from Bob Phillips as well as specific tips on where to begin, and how to work with an interactive CD or DVD (with a list of suggested titles). With music to play By James Reel

Play It! 

An Affinity for Cello A sound encounter with composer Augusta Read Thomas. One of the most celebrated composers of our time, Thomas speaks about how the cello has been a beacon in her musical process By Scott Kluksdahl

Master Class 

Speaking with Strings Recitativo and Scherzo, Op. 6, is a true thank-you note á la Fritz Kreisler. Kreisler was not only one the most beloved musicians of the early 20th century, he also was one of the last performers who also was a composer. Find out here how best to attack his works By Axel Strauss

Letter From 

Hurry Up and Wait The Niziol String Quartet meets Kafka on a rail ride through Russia. Whiting shares his experiences while on tour, including run-ins with the police, strange hotel policy, and great performances and audience members By Christopher Whiting

On Record 

True Believers New CD set considers Aaron Copland's chamber works Copland: Chamber Works. Music for Copland House, Borromeo String Quartet; Jennifer Frautschi, Curis Macomber, violin; Hsin-Yun Huang and Cynthia Phelps, violas (Arabesque, Z6794-2) By James Reel 

String Quartets by Brahms & Contemporaries, Vol. 1 Johanes Brahms: String Quartet Op. 51, No. 1; Friedrich Gernsheim: String Quartet Op. 31. Mandelring Quartet. (Audite, 97-503) By Edith Eisler

Mendelssohn Trios Op. 49 and 66 Claremont Trio (Emily Bruskin, violin; Julia Bruskin, cello; Donna Kwong, piano). (Arabesque, Z6786) By Laurence Vittes

Peter Maxwell Davies: Naxos Quartets Nos. 1 and 2 Maggini Quartet (Laurence Johson, David Angel, violins; Martin Outram, viola; Michael Kaznowski, cello). (Naxos, 8.557396) By Edith Eisler

Mendelssohn: Complete String Quartets The Talich Quartet (Jan Talich and Petr Macecek, violins; Vladimir Bukac, viola; Petr Prause, cello). (Callipoe, 3311/3) By Laurence Vittes

Prokofiev: Violin Concertos No. 1 & 2 Jennifer Frautschi, violin; with Gerard Schwarz conducting the Seattle Symphony. (Artek, 0020-2) By Edith Eisler

Schubert: "Trout" Quintet; "Trockne Blumen" Variations. "Litanei auf das Fest Aller Seelen" Renaud Capuçon, violin; Gérard Caussé, viola; Gautier Capuçon, cello; Alois Posch, bass; Frank Braley, piano. (Virgin, 5455632) By James Reel

Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto; Korngold: Violin Concerto Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin; André Previn conducting the Vienna Philharmonic (Tchaikovsky) and the London Symphony Orchestra (Korngold). (Deutsche Grammophon, B0003526-02) By James Reel

You Can Go Home Again Tan Dun's The Map: A Multimedia Event in Rural China (Deutsche Grammophone; 20/21) By Greg Cahill

Israel Trios & Duos Works by Daniel Shalit, Sergiu Natra, Mordecai Seter, Oedoen Partos, Franz Crzellitzer. The Yuval Trio with Uri Pianka, violin; Simca Heled, cello; and Jonathan Zak, piano. (Roméo, 7231) By Edith Eisler

Patrick Zimmerli: Piano Trios Scott Yoo, violin; Michael Mermagen, cello; and John Novacek, piano. (Arabesque, Z6785) By Edith Eisler

Music of Wieniawski, Paganini, Kreisler, Rachmaninov, Saraste, Williams, and Ysayë Maxim Vengerov, violin; Ian Brown, piano. (EMI, 5 57916-2) By James Reel

Raw Fiddle Robert "Georgia Slim" Rutland, fiddle. (Triangle Far Records, PO Box 4112, Dayton, OH 45401) By Stacy Phillips

In Print 

Strings of Life: Conversations with Old Time Musicians from Virginia and North Carolina By Kevin Donleavy. Pocahantas Press, (540) 951-0467, $30 By Stacy Phillips

Time for Telemann Rediscovering an old friend in a new urtext edition. Georg Phillip Telemann violin Concertos (Urtext Editions): C major, €12.95; A minor, €12.95; B minor, €10.95; G major, €13.95. Bärenreiter, By Bettina Mussmeli

Viola Sonata, Op. 40. by Dmitri Shostakovich. Boosey & Hawkes,, £17.50 By Mary Nemet

Your Instrument 

Look Ma, No Hands! The Pacifica Quartet road tests the new FreeHand MusicPad Pro. This $1,199 product proves to be a plus for the Pacifica Quartet. The foursome takes the gadget on the road and puts it through its paces, concluding that it is an important development in the music world By Masumi Per Rostad

Auction Highlights 

Luck be a "Lady": Golden-period Strad ascends the auction block Preview of the upcoming spring sales. The star of the show at Christie's April auction will undoubtedly be The Lady Tennant, carrying an estimate of $800,000 to $1,200,00 By Erin Shrader

New Products 

Sight Lines Thomastik-Infeld extends its Vision violin string line. Thomastik-Infeld adds the Vision Titanium Orchestra to its Vision line of violin strings. The Band Piezo Contact Violin Pickup from Meisel Stringed Instruments promises to be a valuable accessory By Erin Shrader 


Bring on the Noise Composer Annie Gosfield coaxes machinery while creating fascinating string music. Gosfield, who started writing for stings in college, has ascended to lofty heights with her unusual recordings of various sounds, both musical and nonmusical By Greg Cahill

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