Rescued Violins Bring back Holocaust ‘Escape’ Tales

I read this article and it reminds me of the thoughts I had while I was playing my German made violin dated during the holocaust. (I have kept it in storage now as it has a more mellow and dark tone that is not my preference)  I often wondered how and when it could have been made during the precarious war times in Germany and who commissioned him to do so; the first tunes (perhaps haunting tunes?!) and audience it was played to.  If opportunity permits, it would certainly be interesting to be able to trace its origins. A reminder that when we own an antique instrument it is not just a violin but a piece of history.

Click here for the full article

Congratulations to 6 year old Olivia for winning Silver Medal at the 2016 Hong Kong International music competition 

Then 5 year old Olivia had only been learning the violin for a couple of months when she embarked on taking her ABRSM violin grade 3 Examinations.

(Us rehearsing an exam piece: Pagnini’s Theme from “Witches’ Dance”.)

Her recent performance at the competition in Hong Kong. Very proud of her. These competitions certainly help with getting rid of nerves. The more you perform the more practise you get! A big thank you to her mom for sharing with us this recording footage. 

The secrets of Teaching – Dorothy DeLay

Here is a very useful article on teaching the violin – Dorothy DeLay is one of the most renowned teachers of the Juilliard School. She is responsible for the successes of well known recording violinists out there like Gil Shaham, Midori, Sarah Chang, Shlomo Mintz just to name a few. 

I have read her biography “Teaching Genius” written by Barbara Sand, actually twice as I was trying to decide whether or not to do my enrollment in a music conservatory and be a musician for real.  It was an insightful read to discover life in a music conservatory, though I was a little disappointed that there weren’t many pointers on actually learning the violin, which it isn’t such a book I suppose! 

She has a unique way of teaching which makes a student work hard at getting good while enjoying the process of becoming successful. She also understood clearly the business of being a professional musician and was good at it. One of my heroes for sure. 

Click here for the full article from The Strad Magazine