violin

Deceptive Cadence
10:01 am
Sat December 6, 2014

In The Italian Alps, Stradivari's Trees Live On

Marcello Mazzucchi, a retired forest ranger, stands in the Fiemme Valley in the Italian Alps. Renaissance luthiers such as Antonio Stradivari came here to handpick trees that would be crafted into the world's finest instruments.
Graziano Panfili for NPR

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 10:51 am

Antonio Stradivari, the master violin maker whose instruments sell for millions of dollars today, has been dead for nearly three centuries. Only 650 of his instruments are estimated to survive.

But the forest where the luthier got his lumber is alive and well. And thanks to the surprising teamwork of modern instrument makers and forest rangers, Stradivari's trees are doing better than ever.

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Music News
4:41 am
Sun November 16, 2014

'Twinkle' Sparks Fireworks As Fiddler Guts Violin Method

Shinichi Suzuki makes a rare visit to Britain in 1980 to demonstrate the method he developed for learning to play the violin.
Ian Tyas Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 4:37 pm

If you're a parent, the sound of a small child sawing away at the strains of the "Twinkle Variations" may be all too familiar.

It's Song One, of Book One, of the Suzuki method, a musical pedagogy developed by Shin'ichi Suzuki in the 1960s.

But lately there has been discord among music educators, a feud over methods and credentials and accusations of fraud.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:01 pm
Sun October 12, 2014

The Case Of The Stolen Stradivarius

The Lipinski Stradivarius is worth between $5 million and $6 million. Only about 650 Strads, made by master luthier Antonio Stradivari, survive today.
Courtesy of Frank Almond

Originally published on Sun October 12, 2014 5:52 pm

Stradivarius violins are so important that they come with their own biographies. Several hundred of them survive today, and they're so prized, you can trace their lineages through the musicians who played them over the centuries.

The instruments have been valued at prices ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to several million. That kind of money attracts a lot of nonmusicians, like investors — and thieves.

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Classical Music
11:40 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Meet The San Antonio Symphony's New Assistant Concertmaster

Assistant Concertmaster, Sarah Silver

Each season, the San Antonio Symphony welcomes a handful of new musicians to its ranks…and this season, the orchestra welcomes a new assistant concertmaster. Violinist Sarah Silver is a Pittsburgh native whose father is a long time violist in the Pittsburgh Symphony. Her mother is a music teacher and orchestra director in the public school system. It’s not too surprising that Sarah ended up falling in love with music at a very young age.

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KPAC Blog
2:23 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

No Offseason Fiddling Around For Symphony Player Aimee Toomes

Aimee Toomes with Skype violin lesson.
Janet Toomes

The San Antonio Symphony’s season is done and won’t start until September. So what are all those musicians doing with their time?  I found out at least one of them isn't exactly kicking back for the summer. Aimee Toomes, who plays violin in the symphony, was one of those kids who picked up an instrument early.

“I started playing violin when I was a fourth grader in public school, and 20 something years later I’m a violinist with the San Antonio Symphony,” she said.

She’s no slouch when it comes to how she learned her trade.

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Planet Money
4:52 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Episode 538: Is A Stradivarius Just A Violin?

PATRICK KOVARIK AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 3:40 pm

A trumpet is more or less a trumpet. A clarinet is a clarinet. But violin or a viola... they are different. More like living breathing things. Hand crafted from wood, from a tree. Every one is different. And, you know the story. Antonio Stradivari, was the master. Some say the greatest violin maker to ever live. The Stradivarius is one of the most powerful and expensive brands in the world.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
12:37 pm
Sat March 29, 2014

Violinist Itzhak Perlman Gets Quizzed On Ron Perlman

Dr. Scott M. Lieberman AP

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 10:25 am

Violinist Itzhak Perlman has played for presidents and the Queen of England, but the high point of his career is obviously for him to be right here, playing the NPR news quiz.

We've invited him to play a game called "You're no Hellboy." Three questions for Izhak Perlman about actor Ron Perlman from Hellboy, Beauty and the Beast and Sons of Anarchy.

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Classical Music
1:33 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

The Menuhin Competition Comes to Austin

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 1:27 pm

The Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists is kind of a big deal. It's been called "the Olympics of violin," which is apt, as it's a worldwide competition that brings together the best young talent in its field.

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Music News
4:53 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Violin Worth $5 Million Makes A Safe Return Home

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 6:55 pm

Police in Milwaukee have recovered a Stradivarius violin and arrested three suspects in its theft. The instrument, said to be worth approximately $5 million, was stolen in a brazen armed robbery from the concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra late last month. Mitch Teich of WUWM in Milwaukee reports on the violin's recovery.

The Two-Way
10:25 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Stolen Stradivarius Found By Milwaukee Police

A Stradivarius violin is pictured in December 2009 at the restoration and research laboratory of the Musee de la Musique in Paris.
Patrick Kovarik AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 10:26 am

Police in Milwaukee have recovered "Lipinski" – a 300-year-old Stradivarius stolen last month from a concertmaster as he was walking to his car with the rare violin.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, quoting law enforcement officials, says the instrument has been found:

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