By Robert D. Thomas
Pasadena Star-News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Whittier Daily News
• News from USC Thornton School of Music
Well-known concertmaster and conductor Joseph Silverstein is in the midst of a weeklong residency at the USC Thornton School of Music that will include workshops, lectures and concerts. Silverstein — who turned age 80 on March 21 and is best known as concertmaster of the Boston Symphony from 1962-1984 and music director of the Utah Symphony from 1983-1998 — will participate in a panel discussion tonight at 7 p.m. with Los Angeles Philharmonic Principal Concertmaster Martin Chalifour and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Concertmaster Margaret Batjer on — what else? — the life of the concertmaster. INFO
The school also announced a $6 million grant from philanthropists Alfred and Claudia Mann that will be used to fund the Robert Mann Endowed Chairs in viola and violin. Robert Mann was a founder of the Juilliard String Quartet where he played for 52 years. The Mann Chairs will join others named for Jascha Heifetz, Gregor Piatigorsky and Alice and Elenore Schoenfield.
• The Colburn School to screen new Heifetz film
Speaking of Heiftez, The Colburn School will screen the first performance of Jascha Heifetz: God’s Fiddler, a feature length documentary by Peter Rosen, on April 16th at 5 p.m. in school’s Zipper Hall in downtown Los Angeles.
Although Heifetz taught at USC, The Colburn School was chosen for the premiere because of the school’s commitment to his legacy. When slated for destruction after Heifetz’s death, his Lloyd Wright-designed teaching studio was moved piece by piece to its current home at The Colburn School, where it is now the teaching home of Robert Lipsett, who himself studied with Heifetz as a young man. The School also houses a collection of Heifetz’s personal items. Portions of the film were shot at the studio at The Colburn School during summer 2010.
The April 16th world premiere will be followed by a panel discussion with Heifetz’s former student, accompanist and creative collaborator Ayke Agus, plus scholars Dario Sarlo and Arthur Vered, in addition to Lipsett.
Tickets: $10 general admission but owing to Zipper’s relatively small seating capacity, they may go fast. Info: www.colburnschool.edu
• Van Cliburn, Tchaikovsky Competitions set
The 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition will be held May 24-June 9, 2013 in Ft. Worth. Leonard Slatkin will conduct the Ft. Worth Symphony in the final round, in which the finalists will each play two concertos. One of the unusual aspects of the competition is that each semifinalist must play with a chamber ensemble; in 2013 it will be the Brentano String Quartet. Details and an entry form will be posted online in advance of the October 2012 deadline (the 2009 competition information is online to use as a guideline). Info: www.cliburn.org
Meanwhile, the 14th Tchaikovsky Internal Competition — still arguably the world’s most prestigious — will take place from June 14 to July 2, 2011 in Moscow and St. Petersburg. A total of 30 pianists, 27 violinists, 25 cellists, 20 female singers and 20 male singers will compete in this year’s contest, which will be under the chairmanship of Valery Gergiev. Cliburn won the inaugural piano competition in 1958, which catapulted him to international stardom. MORE
• News from the L.A. Philharmonic
— The orchestra is filling (or is that Philling) out its violin section with two additions by way of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Andrew Patner reports in the Chicago Sun-Times (and the Phil concurs) that Nathan Cole has been appointed the L.A. Phil’s first associate concertmaster, effective July 4. Concurrently, his wife, Akiko Tarumoto (who also plays with the CSO) won a LAPO violin section audition and will returned to the orchestra where she played from 2000-2004. “Cole,” writes Patner, “a gifted soloist, chamber musician, teacher, and writer, will continue to lead the summer UBS Chamber Music Festival that he founded in his native Lexington, Ky.” MORE
In other news, Violinist Jessie Chen and cellist Edvard Pogossian have won the inaugural L.A. Philharmonic Young Artists Competition. The two high school students will perform with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, led by Music Director Thomas Wilkins, in a private performance on June 9 at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Seven violinists and six cellists in grades 9 through 12 competed in a preliminary round where they were asked to perform an unaccompanied classical selection of their choice. In the final round, three violinists performed the final movement of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64, and three cellists performed the Saint-Saëns Allegro Appassionato for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 43. The two winners will perform works by Mendelssohn and Saint-Saëns at the June 9 concert.
The judges were LA Phil musicians violinists Mark Kashper, Mitchell Newman, and Bing Wang and cellists Jason Lippman, Gloria Lum, and Daniel Rothmuller. Fidelity Investments sponsored the competition.
(c) Copyright 2011, Robert D. Thomas. All rights reserved. Portions may be quoted with attribution.
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