Jean Sibelius (Finnish, 1865-1957): Violin Concerto, first movement
Sergiu Luca was a Romanian violinist, one of the most influential musicians in the last half century. He was the first to record Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas on “period instruments” (instruments and bows which have not been altered since Bach’s time, or reproductions of these), a groundbreaking accomplishment which helped to launch the “historical performance” movement, which continues to increase in prominence to this day. On the other end of history, he personally commissioned and premiered several violin concertos by contemporary composers. I somehow was lucky enough to study with this fascinating and utterly ingenious man for 7 years…which means all of you study with him too! He is with me every day, in every note, and still forms my musical/artistic sensibility.
Here he is, before all of that, just an incredibly gutsy 20-year-old (long before I knew him!), whom Leonard Bernstein had personally invited to participate in his renowned “Young People’s Concerts” series. If you must, skip the middle, but don’t miss the last minute and a half of this performance—talk about edge-of-the-seat excitement!
(I highly recommend looking at ANY of the Young People’s Concerts on YouTube. What a treasure they were, and not just for young people. I learn a lot from these every time I watch.)
I highly recommend the book "Helping Parents Practice." In the future I am considering requiring all parents to read the first half of it before starting lessons, so we have a common reference point. It outlines important general principles as well as specific suggestions. The book states that it does not need to be read cover-to-cover, and this is true, but I am actually in the process of doing just that! The first half is particularly invaluable.
At Johnson String
At Shar Music
In May 2017 I challenged my students to practice every day for 30 days in a row. In addition, I asked them to listen to 30 bite-sized musical selections I emailed daily. I collected my picks in this blog for posterity. So these are works I find particularly fun, interesting, or important, including a handful by composers who were born or who died in May. Please enjoy!