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By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | November 12, 1998
The music world owes 19th-century violinist Joseph Joachim a tremendous debt of gratitude.This great fiddler was a musical purist who stayed true to the highest callings of his art in an age of virtuosic excess. It was Joachim who, at midcentury, went against the grain to champion Beethoven's celestial but unflashy Violin Concerto. He played it everywhere, composed a cadenza for the first movement that most violinists still play, and saw to it that Beethoven's handiwork would forever be seen as one of the supreme musical accomplishments.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | July 6, 1999
One of the interesting things about growing older is watching people develop.In my business that means keeping track of promising musicians. It's usually (and sadly) the case that great talents do not necessarily mature into great artists. A celebrated example is pianist Van Cliburn, whose playing began to decline precipitously before he was 30.At least Cliburn had some genuinely great years. For every Martha Argerich, Maurizio Pollini, Lynn Harrell, Nathan Milstein or David Oistrakh who continues to develop artistically as he or she grows older, I can probably name four to five musicians -- each of whom was comparably talented -- whose name you've never heard or probably forgotten.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | July 6, 1999
One of the interesting things about growing older is watching people develop.In my business that means keeping track of promising musicians. It's usually (and sadly) the case that great talents do not necessarily mature into great artists. A celebrated example is pianist Van Cliburn, whose playing began to decline precipitously before he was 30.At least Cliburn had some genuinely great years. For every Martha Argerich, Maurizio Pollini, Lynn Harrell, Nathan Milstein or David Oistrakh who continues to develop artistically as he or she grows older, I can probably name four to five musicians -- each of whom was comparably talented -- whose name you've never heard or probably forgotten.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | November 12, 1998
The music world owes 19th-century violinist Joseph Joachim a tremendous debt of gratitude.This great fiddler was a musical purist who stayed true to the highest callings of his art in an age of virtuosic excess. It was Joachim who, at midcentury, went against the grain to champion Beethoven's celestial but unflashy Violin Concerto. He played it everywhere, composed a cadenza for the first movement that most violinists still play, and saw to it that Beethoven's handiwork would forever be seen as one of the supreme musical accomplishments.
NEWS
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | August 18, 1996
Sibelius, Violin Concerto, Tchaikovsky, Violin Concerto, performed by Leila Josefowicz and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Neville Marriner conducting (Philips 446 131)Sibelius, Violin Concerto, Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, performed by Vadim Repin and the London Symphony Orchestra, Emmanuel Krivine conducting (Erato 4509-98537); Sibelius Violin Concerto and Symphony No. 2, performed by Vladimir Spivakov (in the concerto) and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Yuri Temirkanov conducting (BMG Classics 09026-61701)
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | November 20, 1992
Rumor has it that when Maxim Vengerov came to the United States last year, Midori began to wish she had learned how to type.The Siberian-born violinist, who makes his local debut tonight performing the Mendelssohn Concerto with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, is the most highly touted fiddle player to ++ come to these shores in a long, long time. Although the 18-year-old Vengerov is still a newcomer here, he's become a household word in Western Europe and Japan where he's been appearing since he was a 13-year-old Wunderkind.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | August 3, 1997
If Jascha Heifetz was the greatest violinist of the century, then David Oistrakh (1908-1974) may have been the most beloved.No violinist ever cut a more unprepossessing figure. Oistrakh walked out on stage like a plump, kindly, Jewish tailor who was about to do nothing more than take measurements for a suit. But his presence was every bit as formidable in its modest way as that of the patrician Heifetz. Why this was the case is something I still don't understand. I can only report that Oistrakh made you love him even before he began to play.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | September 24, 1998
The Vice Admiral Elliot Bryant and Miriam Bryant Distinguished Artist Series has brought performers of international stature to the Naval Academy in Annapolis for seven years, and this year's series is no exception.Russia's St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, which has attracted high-quality talent since its inception, opens the series Nov. 12 on the Alumni Hall stage.hTC Conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Kiril Kondrashin, Gennady Rozhdestvensky and Simon Rattle have taken the podium with the orchestra since its founding in 1967, and soloists of the magnitude of pianist Murray Perahia and cellist Mstislav Rostropovich have dotted the ranks of its collaborating artists.
NEWS
September 3, 1994
Artur Balsam, 88, a pianist best known as a chamber player and as an elegant accompanist for violinists and cellists, died yesterday of pneumonia in New York. From the 1940s to the 1970s, he was heard regularly in collaboration with some of the great musicians of the century. He was a regular collaborator with Nathan Milstein, David Oistrakh, Joseph and Lillian Fuchs, Leonid Kogan, Zino Francescatti, Pierre Fournier and Mstislav Rostropovich. He also performed frequently with the Kroll, Budapest and Juilliard String Quartets and other chamber groups and in piano duos with Beveridge Webster, Gina Raps and Murray Perahia.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 17, 1995
Midori must be having nightmares.The reason is Sarah Chang, a 14-year-old violinist, who played Edouard Lalo's "Symphonie Espagnole" last night in Meyerhoff Hall with David Zinman and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.In an era characterized by violinists with brilliant techniques, Sarah's can be called extraordinary. She also has an enormous sound, rich in warmth and varied in color. And though Lalo's showpiece is scarcely a profound piece, Chang demonstrated tenderness of feeling and musical imagination.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | August 3, 1997
If Jascha Heifetz was the greatest violinist of the century, then David Oistrakh (1908-1974) may have been the most beloved.No violinist ever cut a more unprepossessing figure. Oistrakh walked out on stage like a plump, kindly, Jewish tailor who was about to do nothing more than take measurements for a suit. But his presence was every bit as formidable in its modest way as that of the patrician Heifetz. Why this was the case is something I still don't understand. I can only report that Oistrakh made you love him even before he began to play.
NEWS
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | August 18, 1996
Sibelius, Violin Concerto, Tchaikovsky, Violin Concerto, performed by Leila Josefowicz and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Neville Marriner conducting (Philips 446 131)Sibelius, Violin Concerto, Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, performed by Vadim Repin and the London Symphony Orchestra, Emmanuel Krivine conducting (Erato 4509-98537); Sibelius Violin Concerto and Symphony No. 2, performed by Vladimir Spivakov (in the concerto) and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Yuri Temirkanov conducting (BMG Classics 09026-61701)
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | November 20, 1992
Rumor has it that when Maxim Vengerov came to the United States last year, Midori began to wish she had learned how to type.The Siberian-born violinist, who makes his local debut tonight performing the Mendelssohn Concerto with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, is the most highly touted fiddle player to ++ come to these shores in a long, long time. Although the 18-year-old Vengerov is still a newcomer here, he's become a household word in Western Europe and Japan where he's been appearing since he was a 13-year-old Wunderkind.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | June 18, 1995
Kogan and Kagan are almost identical names, and Leonid Kogan and Oleg Kagan had a great deal -- superficially, at least -- in common. They were among the finest Russian violinists of their respective generations, both died prematurely (Kogan of a heart attack at the age of 58 in 1982 and Kagan of cancer at the age of 44 in 1990), and neither was as well-known in this country as he deserved to be.Kogan and Kagan, however, are the subjects of extensive retrospectives from two enterprising European labels.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | October 28, 1994
Taipei, Taiwan -- Anne Akiko Meyers' presence in a restaurant proves more interesting than the food.Some people stare at her. Others introduce themselves, saying they've met her on occasions that Meyers politely struggles to recall. Still others say hello to her luncheon companion as a pretext for being introduced to her.Meyers attracts such attention partly because she is, as one writer put it, an "almost hopelessly beautiful young woman." But most admire her for being what one young man stammered in awe upon hearing her name -- "the famous violinist?"
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