Beethoven Violin Concerto – March 13, 2016

With great pleasure, I would like to invite you to my performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Merrimack Valley Philharmonic, George Monseur conducting, on March 13, 2016, at 2:30 PM.  Here are links to concert information and directions to the venue.

Here is  a preview pic, taken at our rehearsal earlier this week!

Merrimack Valley Beethoven Rehearsal

The Merrimack Valley Philharmonic holds a special place in my heart, as it was one of the first orchestras to give me the opportunity to perform as soloist.  Back when I was only 13 years old, Continue reading

Practice, Practice, Practice!

Every violinist knows that practice, practice, practice – followed by more practice – is essential to making solid progress.

My own teacher, Michael Frischenschlager, often said, “It all begins with practicing.”  The daily ritual of taking the instrument out of its case, warming the fingers, finding one’s beautiful sound, spending time with the gorgeous repertoire – this is like an incubator for the musician’s soul.  Whatever wonderful ideas we have – whether how to hear the intonation in the exposition of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, an idea for an interesting performance project, or a new concept of inner pulse in unaccompanied Bach – these ideas only flourish in our minds if we spend daily quality time with the music and our instruments.

For the sake of this post, we will allow practicing to include not only the time consuming work of analyzing and overcoming technical obstacles in the repertoire, but also Continue reading

Dont Op 37 No 5

The fifth etude in Jakob Dont’s Op 37 deals with a particular type of left hand stability and finger preparation.  It is very useful for developing secure and accurate intonation, especially in passages with awkward fingerings and unusual keys or accidentals which, without training, may destabilize a player’s concept of pitch.  Because of this, it is essential to prepare both the left hand technique and the ear while studying this etude.

Finger Preparation, a Special Example

In the very first measure, we encounter an example of finger preparation which will return many times in this etude.  With the hand securely in second position, Continue reading

New England Bach Festival

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Every fall, a collection of musicians from Vermont, New York, and Boston gathers in Marlborough, Vermont, to play Bach.  I have been blessed to play in the New England Bach Festival for the last four years, and would like to tell you something about these concerts, which have been among the most powerful musical and personal experiences of my life.

Blanche Moyse, who passed away in 2011 at the age of 101, was the beloved founder of this tradition.  A respected European violinist and interpreter of Bach’s music, she moved from Paris to Brattleboro, VT in 1949.  She then spent the next six decades Continue reading

Invitation to Bach and Ysaye

Please accept a warm invitation to a series of informal lecture recitals I will be presenting this season, featuring solo violin music by Bach and Ysaye.

The first performance, on the “Back to Back Concert Series” of the Winchester Music School (October 18, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Winchester), featured Bach’s E Major Partita and Ysaye’s Ballade.

A lovely and enthusiastic audience of music lovers, concert goers, and community members filled the venue, and it was exciting and refreshing to interact directly with an audience, tell some of my favorite stories about this music, and of course to perform such masterworks live!

There is something intimate and powerful in talking with an audience and playing solo works in a recital venue, where the audience and performer are usually relatively close to one another.  Through stories and proximity, both player and listener start to see each other as real people – something that is easily lost in our day of digital recordings, celebrities, and gigantic concert halls.  Add to that the sound of the solo violin, which is so stunning and captivating when heard close-up and live!

DSC_0626 Continue reading

Dont Op 37 No 3

The third etude in Dont’s Op 37 poses its primary challenge to the bow arm: long, sweeping bow strokes that flow from the E-string, back to the G-string, and up to the E-string again, all under one stroke, with many string crossings along the way.  To play this etude smoothly and with a good Allegretto feeling, it is necessary to combine the intricacies of sting crossing at the various parts of the bow with an overall feeling of freedom and forward motion in the long bow stroke.

First, however, as with most etudes, it is necessary to secure a comfortable left hand position and solid intonation.  This will be a foundation upon which to gradually build up the tempo and apply the bow techniques.

Left Hand and Intonation – A Solid Foundation

According to Galamian’s Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching, Continue reading

Welcome to Joshua’s New Blog!

Here you’ll find information about upcoming concerts and new projects, news from the teaching studio and advice about practicing, and travel reports from performances on the road.  I hope it may be interesting for audience members, as well as a valuable resource for students.

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