Jack Benny and the Violin

Here are a few of Jack Benny’s classic comedy routines featuring the violin. In his performances, Benny was know for his “bad” violin playing. In reality, he was a competent violinist and the owner of a Stradivarius. Through the years, Jack Benny’s guests included Isaac Stern and Jascha Heifetz. His show broke racial barriers in the United States with its human portrayal of the African-American butler, Rochester, as well as with guests such …

Read moreJack Benny and the Violin

Music on the Tarmac

Last week, musicians from the Philadelphia Orchestra made news when they turned a three hour delay on the tarmac at the Beijing airport into an impromptu concert. You can watch the now viral video of their performance of the last movement of Antonin Dvorak’s “American” String Quartet. Let’s listen to the Cleveland Quartet perform all four movements of this amazing piece. Pay attention to the way the four voices interact and trade around …

Read moreMusic on the Tarmac

Voices from Bulgaria

If you haven’t heard the extraordinary and unique sound of the Bulgarian State Television Female Choir, take a moment and listen. This ensemble, made up of singers from villages across Bulgaria, keeps alive a distinctive style of singing which is centuries-old. What’s particularly striking are the rich, vibrant overtones of the voices. The chords ring and glow with perfect intonation and balance. Listening to this clip, it’s easy to lose yourself in the …

Read moreVoices from Bulgaria

Josef Gingold on Violin Playing and Teaching

Recently, I found a few interesting links relating to Josef Gingold, the legendary violinist and teacher who died in 1995. If you’re not familiar with Gingold’s legacy, this short video offers insights into his life, distinguished career and great humanity. Having studied with the nineteenth century Belgian violinist Eugene Ysaye, Gingold was one of the last links to an elegant earlier style of violin playing. Here is an excerpt from his 1976 recording …

Read moreJosef Gingold on Violin Playing and Teaching

Send this to a friend