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ENTERTAINMENT
September 1, 1989 | By Jack Lloyd, Inquirer Staff Writer
John Blake figures that one of the most important points he can make when talking to youngsters is: Don't give in to peer pressure. Establish your goals as early as possible, he says, and go for it. Blake knows something about such matters. At age 12, residing in a tough part of South Philadelphia, Blake took up the violin and the study of classical music. Is this a cool move for a kid to make? In Blake's case, it certainly was. "I guess in a lot of neighborhoods - and I don't think it makes any difference if you're black or white - the violin is looked on as a, well, sissy thing," said Blake, who will appear tonight in the final concert of the free summer jazz series at Penn's Landing.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 27, 1989 | By Jack Lloyd, Inquirer Staff Writer
Consider the violin as an instrument of jazz, and pretty soon you will have little doubt that it adds quite a dimension to this form of music. Although several musicians play jazz violin - including local favorite John Blake - it is still a relatively rare sound in jazz circles. One is more inclined to think of the saxophone, piano or trumpet as a lead instrument. But the violin can be a potent tool. This is once again being made clear by Billy Bang, one of the newer violin virtuosos to take a jazz stance.
NEWS
March 14, 1991 | By Daniel Webster, Inquirer Music Critic
When Anne-Sophie Mutter played with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1984, she was a teenager in jeans and baggy sweater, reserved, guarded in her contact with anything but her violin - a butterfly just emerging from her cocoon. She returns tonight - one of the highest fliers in the music world, all trace of the cocoon lost amid the brilliance of this moment in her life - to play the Tchaikovsky Concerto with the orchestra at the Academy of Music. Now 27, and playing a tour marking the 10th anniversary of her American debut, she embodies the rewards of a world career.
NEWS
May 20, 2010 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
The lower-pressure circumstances of Delaware County Community College agreed with the Philadelphia Classical Symphony in a Tuesday tryout concert showcasing the newly composed Wissahickon Scenes , in which Maurice Wright shows how Lenape-tribe melodies and the traditional violin concerto can mix. A rehearsal or two from now, the piece will be heard in a larger program at 8 p.m. Friday at Church of the Holy Trinity. As of Tuesday, though, it was well on its way, thanks partly to violin soloist Hirono Oka, in an intermissionless all-American evening with the relaxed sense of fun that music director Karl Middleman strives for but sometimes loses in his more sprawling programs.
NEWS
December 23, 2011 | By Mike Newall, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
MuChen Hsieh was praying for a miracle to find the $170,000 violin she left on a bus, and with the help of the Philadelphia Police, she got one. The 19-year-old music student left her prized violin - made in 1835 in Naples - on a Megabus she had taken from Boston on Tuesday. Hsieh, a native of Taiwan, is a student at the New England Conservatory of Music and attended high school in Philadelphia. She reported the loss to police, who called the bus company repeatedly.
NEWS
August 31, 2002 | By Linda K. Harris INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Walter Kozowski, 79, a master violin maker who crafted more than 150 violins and 50 violas in the front bedroom of his rowhouse in Feltonville, died yesterday at Parkview Hospital. Mr. Kozowski suffered a brain aneurysm a week ago, and succumbed to the effects of the stroke. Born in Ukraine, Mr. Kozowski as a child loved music. He learned to play the mandolin, guitar and violin while living in the village of Rudnyki. To support himself, he learned the trade of cabinet-maker.
NEWS
October 11, 1986 | By Charles McCurdy, Special to the Inquirer
From the start of the Bach Chamber Music Concert by the Chamber Music Consort of Philadelphia last night, it was obvious the amount of time that performers Davyd Booth and Elizabeth Boggs had put into practicing together. Booth, on violin, and Boggs, on harpsichord, performed Bach's G major, B minor and A major violin sonatas. The concert, the first of five in the Bach series, was held at Christ Church, Second and Market Streets. Booth has a lyrical style, and his bow changes are liquid and seamless.
NEWS
November 23, 1995 | By Valerie Reed, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
The baroque ensemble Philomel opens its 20th anniversary season with a program highlighted by concertos for four violins from a Vivaldi collection titled L'Estro Armonico. Joining the ensemble for these rarely performed works will be guest violinists Elizabeth Blumenstock and Lisa Weiss from San Francisco's Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Philomel violinists Nancy Wilson and David Myford will join Blumenstock and Weiss for the concertos. Also on the program will be Franz Benda's The Flute Concerto in E minor with Philomel's co-artistic director Elissa Berardi as soloist.
NEWS
February 21, 1990 | By Daniel Webster, Inquirer Music Critic
Franz Schubert's violin music sounds like a run of transcriptions - of songs, of piano music, even orchestral moments. It is at once idiomatic and foreign to the violin, and can be seen - and heard - as piano music with violin accompaniment. With all those contradictions, it is plain why the music doesn't often make its way into recitals. It takes a special occasion and setting to make the music possible, the setting that faculty recitals at Curtis Institute of Music offer.
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NEWS
June 11, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
J. Marvin Bloom, 81, of Blue Bell, an optometrist in Center City for 40 years, died Saturday, May 24, of cancer at his home. Before retiring in 2000, Dr. Bloom practiced optometry and fitted patients with contact lenses from an office at 12th and Market Streets. He was much beloved by his many patients, his family said. "We are hearing from hundreds of people who knew him. It is unbelievable," said his wife, Dene Samitz Bloom. Born in Chester, Dr. Bloom graduated from Chester High School in 1950 and the Pennsylvania College of Optometry with a doctor of optometry degree in 1955.
NEWS
April 25, 2014 | BY JONATHAN TAKIFF, Daily News Staff Writer takiffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5960
DAVID BROMBERG is a study in contradictions. The seasoned musician has a star on the Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame "right in front of the Academy of Music - even though I left town as an infant," he chortles. Adding insult to injury: When D.B. decided to relocate East from Chicago in 2002 with his artist/musician wife, Nancy Josephson, they picked Wilmington, Del., as their new home base, rather than Philly, because, um, the mayor (James Baker) was a fan, offered Bromberg a sweetheart deal to be an urban pioneer and later anointed him the city's "Cultural Ambassador.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 16, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
A string quartet on a diet? A violin sonata on steroids? However you heard Monday's Philadelphia Chamber Music Society concert of music for two violins, it wasn't anything typical. What looked like an enterprising but oddball program of Leclair, Milhaud, and Kreisler at the American Philosophical Society turned out to be something that really needed to be heard. With their intensive, ongoing professional association, David Kim and Juliette Kang (respectively, the concertmaster and first associate concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra)
ENTERTAINMENT
November 20, 2013 | By Alexandra Jaffe, Inquirer Staff Writer
When he plays with his youth orchestra in front of more than 300 people, 13-year-old Max Chambers of Berwyn isn't nervous. He's done this a lot, he says, looking every bit the professional despite his age, in a white button-down and black dress pants. Max sits in the first chair of the second violin section of the Musicopia String Orchestra, which played on Sunday at the Benjamin Britten Festival Concert at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul. Since he was 9, Max has known that he wants to spend his life playing the violin.
NEWS
October 27, 2013 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
PRINCETON - The image of Chris Thile playing Bach, alone on the Richardson Auditorium stage on Thursday, won't go away anytime soon. Here was a lanky, slightly crooked, fashionably rumpled 32-year-old guy with all his physicality funneled into a relatively small mandolin, negotiating the considerable intricacies of Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for unaccompanied violin . A tour de force, obviously. But Thile also brought an element of loneliness to Bach seldom heard behind all the music's compositional exuberance.
NEWS
June 3, 2013 | By Daniel Webster, For The Inquirer
If there is a mystique about baroque music performance, Camerata Ama Deus answers with a good laugh. Music director Valentin Radu, introducing violin soloists Thomas DiSarlo and Thomas Jackson at the ensemble's concert Friday, noted that they had doffed their jackets in the warmth of Chestnut Hill's St. Martin-in-the-Fields. He said he had asked them "to play topless. " In concertos of Bach, Telemann, and Benedetto Marcello, Radu produced an evening of baroque pops, works for oboe, trumpet, and violins.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 16, 2013 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
Often lost amid all the exactitude issuing from conservatories today is the reason we make music in the first place. It's not about being able to play all the notes or play them in tune. Interpretation has to mean something if it is to be worth the trouble, especially since the trouble is considerable. How fortunate, then, must be the students of Miriam Fried, the violin pedagogue who teaches at the New England Conservatory. On Sunday night, for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, she came to the Perelman Theater with one of her progeny - in fact, her prime progeny, pianist Jonathan Biss, who happens to be her son. Whatever their offstage dynamics may be, in terms of musical substance it was a performance of equals - if very different ones.
NEWS
February 14, 2013
By Seymour I. "Spence" Toll After my 48 years of blessed marriage to Jean Barth Toll, pancreatic cancer swept her away in 1999. For all those years, and ever since, I have been a one-woman man. At the core of it was the appeal of her warm, gentle, and unpretentious spirit, with its unfailing kindness, deep friendships, and boundless capacity for our singular love. She had another delightful self. Although she could dress as tastefully as a conservatively clad fashion model, she enjoyed clothing that was not only old but beat up. She often wore a sweater in which her elbows poked out of holes in the sleeves.
NEWS
July 27, 2012 | By John F. Morrison and Daily News Staff Writer
JOSEPH SGRO, a South Philly guitar virtuoso who played for some of the most prominent band leaders and entertainment figures of past decades and who taught many local guitarists who went on to successful careers, died July 15. He was 94 and was living in a nursing home, but had lived most of his life in South Philadelphia. Joe Sgro taught mostly in his South Philadelphia basement, treating his neighbors to a steady stream of musicians eager to pick his brains, as well as their guitars.
NEWS
May 5, 2012 | By Sam Adams, FOR THE INQUIRER
Union Transfer boasts some of the best sight lines in the city, but even with the stage at Thursday's Andrew Bird concert in full view, you might have been tempted to crane your neck to see where he was hiding his orchestra. Even when he was alone at the microphone — or rather, microphones — with only a violin in his hands, Bird used loop pedals to layer swooping solos on top of sprightly pizzicato, seamlessly integrating snatches of styles ranging from the Wild West to the Middle East.
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