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Andrea Bocelli re-do.

Go listen to this again. I am. I am just into lusciousness these days. What can I say?


A notable birthday today, October 7. Yo Yo Ma.


Ma plays the cello during the "Presentation of the Crystal Award" at the Annual Meeting 2008 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 25, 2008.


Yo-Yo Ma was born in Paris on October 7, 1955, to Chinese parents. His mother, Marina Lu, was a singer, and his father, Hiao-Tsiun Ma, was a violinist and professor of music. His family moved to New York when he was five years old. Ma began his musical career on the violin and viola before mastering the cello. He studied music at Julliard School in New York, and later completed his studies at Harvard University.

So many wonderful recordings. Just go to YouTube and enter Yo Yo Ma. You won’t run out of choices for a very long time.

This is still my favorite though.

Calling all violists. William Primrose was born today – August 23 – in 1903.

William Primrose  CBE (23 August 1904 – 1 May 1982) was a Scottish violist and teacher.

Primrose was born in Glasgow and studied violin initially. In 1919 he moved to study at the then Guildhall School of Music in London.[1] From there he moved to Belgium to study under Eugène Ysaÿe who encouraged him to take up the viola instead. In 1930, he joined Warwick Evans, John Pennington, and Thomas Petre as the violist in the London String Quartet. The group dissolved in 1935. In 1937, he began playing in the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini. When it was rumored that Toscanini would leave the Symphony in 1941, Primrose resigned. His career as a soloist took off when he started touring with Richard Crooks. He later signed with Arthur Judson, an influential concert manager. In 1946, he was the soloist in the first recording of Berlioz’s Harold in Italy.

Later in his life, Primrose became a noted teacher, writing several books on viola playing and teaching widely in Japan, Australia (where Richard Tognetti was one of his students)[3] and the USA, occasionally at the University of Southern California (with Jascha Heifetz), the Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and the Curtis Institute of Music. One of his notable students was Canadian violinist Albert Pratz. In 1972, he published his memoirs, A Walk on the North Side.

The Primrose International Viola Competition, created in 1979 in honor of William Primrose, was the first international music competition for viola players.

Musician born July 6: Bill Haley of Bill Haley and His Comets

Bill Haley was born July 6, 1925 in Highland Park, Michigan, USA. He was an American musician who first started out inBorn William John Clifton Haley various bands such as ‘Down Homers’ and the ‘Four Aces’ but is best known as a member and founder of the group ‘Bill Haley & His Comets’. His well-known song is ‘Rock Around the Clock’. He died February 9, 1981 age 55.

Birth name William John Clifton Haley
Also known as Jack Haley, Johnny Clifton

Freedom of the artist.

“There are only two kinds of freedom in the world; the freedom of the rich and powerful, and the freedom of the artist and the monk who renounces possessions.”
—Anais Nin

I don’t seem to be able to acquire the former any more and I don’t want to be the last one, so I think I need to concentrate on the one in the middle. The artist. This includes not only a painter, or sculptor , etc. but a writer, a composer, etc.  A creator.  If artists gets rich, they are are often looked down on as commercial. And their power is not usually – at least universally -recognized until after their death. But the title does come with a certain amount of freedom.

Musician born July 5th. Janos Starker. Cellist.

Have you figured out by now that I like cellists? Here’s another one.

Janos Starker was born [July 5, 1924] in Budapest to a father of Polish descent and a mother who had immigrated from Ukraine. His two older brothers were violinists, and the young János (named for the hospital in which he was born) was given a cello before his sixth birthday. A child prodigy, Starker made his first public performances at ages six and seven. He entered the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest to study with Adolf Schiffer and made his debut there at age 11. Starker began teaching other children at age eight, and by the time he was 12 he had five pupils. Starker counts among his strongest influences Leo Weiner, a composer who taught chamber music. Zoltán Kodály, Béla Bartók and Ernő Dohnányi were also members of the Liszt Academy faculty.

Starker emigrated to the United States in 1948 to become principal cellist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under Antal Doráti. In 1949 he moved to New York to become principal cellist of the Metropolitan Opera under Fritz Reiner.

In 1951, he became a founding member of the Suk Trio with Josef Suk and Julius Katchen.

In 1952, Starker became principal cellist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra when Fritz Reiner became the music director. In 1958, Starker moved to Indiana University and resumed his solo career, giving hundreds of concerts on every continent.

Since 2001, Starker has limited his activities to teaching, master classes and occasional performances with his long time partner, the pianist Shigeo Neriki, and his son-in-law, daughter and granddaughter, violinists William, Gwen, and Alexandra Preucil. He still actively teaches and views teaching as his responsibility to the next generation of cellists.

Read more

Musician of the day – June 29. Anne-Sophie Mutter

Anne-Sophie Mutter plays Brahms’ Violin Sonata


Just watch.