December 22, 2011 |
A 19-YEAR-OLD music student from Taiwan is frantically searching for a rare violin valued at $172,000 that she left on a bus from Boston to Philadelphia, police said Thursday night. The Megabus on which MuChen Hsieh was riding pulled into the bus area behind 30th Street Station around 11 p.m. Tuesday. "She forgot that she had the violin in the upper overhead compartment," said Lt. John Walker, of the Southwest Detective Division. After she was picked up by a Devon family hosting her while she is in the Philly area, she realized in the car that she was missing a very important - and very expensive - piece of luggage.
September 8, 2011 |
ESSEN, Germany - It wasn't the heat at the Grafenegg Festival or the stress or anything else: Janine Jansen, the Philadelphia Orchestra's missing-in-action star violin soloist, simply had the flu. After missing two dates on the European festivals tour, she returned in high style to play the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto Wednesday at the Essen Philharmonie and will appear at the all-important London Proms on Thursday. Both critics and orchestra members missed her on the earlier dates.
February 21, 2011 |
Wilbur E. Wamsley, 57, an expert craftsman who restored rare violins, violas, and cellos in his Haddonfield shop, died of cancer Saturday, Feb. 12, at his home in Cherry Hill. He started his business in his basement in 1991 and developed a reputation for skillfully patching splits, cracks, and gouges and mixing pigments and resins to create a varnish that looked centuries old. Mr. Wamsley, who had a black belt in karate, told The Inquirer in 1991 that in violin repair - as in the martial arts - concentration and contemplation are essential.
February 16, 2011 |
Lucky for Philadelphia that Kimmel Center audiences aren't as exuberantly destructive as sports fans after a World Series victory. Otherwise, Verizon Hall might have been trashed Monday night after a similarly prestigious victory, when locally based Grammy Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon took her bows for her Violin Concerto after its Philadelphia premiere by the Curtis Symphony Orchestra and Hilary Hahn. Mayhem was under control. No briefcases or cough drops were flung.
February 4, 2011 |
The musicians of the Musicopia String Orchestra range in age from 8 to 14 but play with the focus and fervor of instrumentalists twice their age. With bows at the ready during a recent practice, members stared intently at the sheet music for "Arlington Sketches" and began to play their stringed instruments. The 47-member ensemble strung, stroked and plucked, stopping occasionally to receive instruction and praise from music director Daniela Pierson as they played the Elliot del Borgo composition with a youthful charm.
September 12, 2010 |
Clifford Roberts, 57, a master craftsman who created beautiful violins, violas, and cellos, died Monday, Sept. 6, at his home in Bella Vista from a rare neuromuscular disorder. Mr. Roberts' instruments are owned by members of the Juilliard and Mendelssohn String Quartets, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and several other ensembles. Soon after he joined the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1990, John Koen bought a cello from Mr. Roberts. When Koen played it for a former teacher of his at the Curtis Institute of Music, David Soyer, "he approved because it was loud, and David liked loud," Koen said.
July 9, 2010 |
Behind a locked door in Shanghai, Shu Sheng Kot heard a phonograph recording of a piece of music that Chinese authorities had banned as poison: a violin concerto by the Philadelphia Orchestra. It was 1971, more than midway through the repressive decade of China's Cultural Revolution, and the 19-year-old was enraptured. He decided to teach himself to replicate those tones and bought a $14 factory-made instrument that did little but frustrate him as his skills improved. He could do better, he figured.
June 2, 2010 |
Give a 6-year-old a violin. Or ballet shoes. Or a chance to act on stage. And what happens? At Philadelphia's Performing Arts Charter School, all the kindergartners get to perform. In fact, they have to - with weekly violin, ballet, and singing lessons. It's the beginning of their voyage to discover their strengths. "Parents tell their kids they can do anything," said Angela Corosanite, the school's founder and chief executive officer. "We give them the tools to actually do it. " Whether engaging in the arts early on fosters achievement in more academic areas is a point of study and debate.
May 20, 2010 |
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.