Friday, August 29, 2008

Hip-Hop Violin: Nuttin but Stringz

Meet Damien and Tourie Escobar. They call themselves as Nuttin' But Stringz. They are brothers and both studied at the Juliard School of Music and Bloomingdale School of Music. They play an intense blend of classical music, jazz, R&B and hip-hop. They can rap too!

These guys are amazing! They've put the violin into a different genre. Do not imitate their bow hand though. haha!

They were discovered on America's Got Talent June 2008.

Then later created an album, music videos and I saw them on Step Up 1.


They're ain't nuttin' for me!

Check out their website:

Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman

They belong to my list of The best of the best violinists ever existed.
Perlman and Zukerman Duo is just great!

Watch the two of them as they play the Handel-Halvorsen: Passacaglia.
Perlman is playing the violin while Pinky is playing the viola on this one.
The video is quite old though but you should watch it. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

violinjunkie on friendfeed

I have created a room for you violin junkies!
Just go to this link and click JOIN.

See you all there and share your violin love. :D

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Paganini Avatar

I got this avatar making site from a multiply post and I tried to create one for our long lost friend Niccolo Paganini. After a few minutes of work, here it is. I've included a Paganini picture for reference.

Haha! Are they look-alike? :D

Do you want your own Avatar? Click here!
It does'nt look like manga though.

Violinist/Composer: Niccolò Paganini

Niccolò Paganini (born Genoa, October 27, 1782, died Nice, May 27, 1840) was an Italian violinist, violist, guitarist, and composer. He was one of the most celebrated violin virtuosi of his time, and left his mark as one of the pillars of modern violin technique. His 24 caprices is among his best known compositions, and serves as inspiration for other prominent artists from Johannes Brahms to Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Paganini's signature violin, Il Cannone fabricated in 1742 by Giuseppe Antonio Guarnieri del Gesù, was his favourite. He named it "The Cannon" because of the powerful and explosive resonance he was able to produce from it. Its strings are nearly on the same plane, as opposed to most violins, the strings of which are distinctly arched to prevent accidentally bowing extra strings. The stringing of Il Cannone may have allowed Paganini to play on three or even four strings at once. Il Cannone is now in the hands of the City of Genoa, where it is exhibited in the town hall. It is taken out and played by its curator once monthly, and periodically loaned out to virtuosi of today.

I enjoy watching violinists on Youtube playing Paganini's Caprices. Here is Jascha Heifetz , one of my favorite violinist (I will feature him soon here) playing the Paganini Caprice #24. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dr. Shinichi Suzuki and "The Suzuki Method"

The Suzuki method (スズキ・メソード), also called Talent Education, mother-tongue method, or Suzuki movement) is an educational philosophy which strives to create "high ability" and beautiful character in its students through a nurturing environment. Its primary vehicle for achieving this is music education on a specific instrument. The 'nurture' involved in the movement is modeled on a concept of early childhood education that focused on factors thought then to be present in native language acquisition, such as immersion, encouragement, small steps, and an unforced timetable for learning material based on each person's developmental readiness to imitate examples, internalize principles, and contribute novel ideas.

The term "Suzuki method" is also sometimes used to refer solely to the Suzuki repertoire of sheet music books and/or audio recordings which have been published as part of its music education method.

Shinichi Suzuki

"I want to make good citizens. If a child hears fine music from the day of his birth and learns to play it himself, he develops sensitivity, discipline and endurance. He gets a beautiful heart."
-Shinichi Suzuki

Shinichi Suzuki, the man who developed the Suzuki Method, died on January 26, 1998, at his home in Matsumoto, Japan. Though he lived to be 99 years old, Dr. Suzuki always seemed young. He was full of energy, and was cheerful and loving to everyone he met.

Shinichi Suzuki was born on October 17, 1898, in Nagoya, Japan. He was one of twelve children and his father owned a violin factory. Shinichi and his brothers and sisters played near the factory and saw instruments being made, but the children never realized what beautiful sounds could come from a violin. When he was seventeen, Shinichi heard a recording of Schubert’s Ave Maria, played by a famous violinist named Mischa Elman. He was amazed that a violin could make such a beautiful tone because he had thought it was just a toy!

After this, Shinichi brought a violin home from the factory and taught himself to play. He would listen to a recording and try to imitate what he heard. A few years later he took violin lessons from a teacher in Tokyo. Then, when he was 22 years old, he went to Germany and studied with a famous teacher named Karl Klingler. Shinichi also met his wife Waltraud in Germany. They married and moved back to Japan, where he began to teach violin and play string quartet concerts with his brothers.

Shinichi had always loved children and became very interested in teaching them. He thought that children could learn music just as they learned to speak—starting when they were very young and hearing music all around them. He believed that all children have the talent to learn if they are taught well by loving parents and teachers. These were very unusual ideas at that time. If children did play an instrument, they started learning when they were ten or eleven. Also, most people thought that musical talent was a special thing that only a few people had.

Dr. Suzuki’s young students learned to play very well and everyone was amazed when they performed. No one had ever seen so many young children playing music so beautifully. At first people thought all the students were musical geniuses. They did not understand Suzuki’s idea that all children can learn if they are taught in the right way.

For many years Dr. Suzuki continued to work on his teaching method. He chose music that would help children learn to play. He even wrote some pieces himself (like the Twinkle Variations, Allegro, Perpetual Motion, and Etude). Teachers from many countries came to Japan to learn about his method of teaching, and Dr. Suzuki and his students traveled to play in other countries. Over the years, more and more teachers and parents became interested in Suzuki’s ideas and began to teach children with his method. Now there are thousands of children around the world who have learned to play instruments through the Suzuki Method.

Through his teaching, Dr. Suzuki showed teachers and parents everywhere what children could do. He also believed that hearing and playing great music helped children become good people with beautiful, peaceful hearts. Dr. Suzuki hoped that these children would help bring peace and understanding to the world.


Violinist Around The World

Are you now inspired up by those Itzhak Perlman videos? Or do you now want to break that David Garret world record as the fastest violinist someday?

If you are still trying to find who your favorite violinist is going to be, here's a link for some of the famous violinist around the globe. The lists includes those legendary violinist or those people that you will not be able to see in person because they are long gone.

Go to these links:

The second link includes personal website/s of the violinist.

The Red Violin

The Red Violin is a beautiful award-winning film of great drama and emotion, with a stunning soundtrack from major contemporary composer John Corigliano that features a brilliant performance from violinist Joshua Bell. The film was released by Lion's Gate Films on June 11, 1999 in New York and Los Angeles, and opened in wide release in the following weeks.

A tale filled with passion, pageantry, tragedy, romance, adventure and intrigue, The Red Violin centers around a contemporary auction in which a priceless violin with an infamous past is placed on the block. As the bidding mounts, the story flashes back to signature chapters in the violin's history and the inevitable impact it had on all those who possessed it. From its creation in 17th-century Italy, to the court of imperial Vienna in the 1790s, to Victorian England in the late 1800s, to the People's Republic of China in the mid-1960s, the dramatic story spans continents and sweeps centuries. At the center of the story is a dark secret that is only revealed at the film's suspenseful and sensational finale.

Directed by François Girard and with an original screenplay by Girard and Don McKellar (the creative team behind the award-winning film Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould), The Red Violin boasts a stellar international cast including Samuel L. Jackson, Greta Scacchi, Colm Feore, Don McKellar, Jason Flemyng and Sylvia Chang.

In addition to the film's score, the soundtrack features the premiere recording of Corigliano's "The Red Violin -- Chaconne for Violin and Orchestra", a concert work the composer created with themes from the film. Corigliano is best known as the composer of the opera The Ghosts of Versailles as well as the Symphony No.1 "Of Rage and Remembrance". He received an Academy Award® nomination in 1980 for his first film score, for Ken Russell's Altered States.

For more details about this movie:

Friday, August 22, 2008

Itzhak Perlman: Evolution Videos Of A Virtuoso Violinist

Itzhak Perlman (born August 31, 1945) is an Israeli-American violinist, conductor, and pedagogue. He is one of the most distinguished violinists of the late 20th century and one of my favorites!

Itzhak Perlman 13 years old Mendelssohn Violin Concerto

Wieniaswky Concerto no2 - Young Itzhak Perlman

Itzhak Perlman (Schindler's List)

David Garrett - Czardas

Another David Garrett video (with orchestra):He is playing Czardas (The Gypsy Dance) composed by Victorio Monti.
Great Playing! One of my favorite piece.

David Garrett Sets World Record For “Flight of the Bumblebee” on Violin

David Garrett Sets World Record For “Flight of the Bumblebee” on Violin

Probably best (infamously) known for being the violinist to fall down the stairs and break his $1 million Guadagnini Violin (often mistakingly reported as a Stradivarius), David Garrett plays some familiar tunes and then goes on to break the world record for playing the popular piece, “The Flight of the Bumblebee.” The piece normally takes approximately 80 seconds to perform at tempo, David performs it in just 66 seconds! As a warm-up he also performs bits of Madonna’s Four Minute, Mika’s Grace Kelly, and Estelle’s American Boy.

David Garrett is the fastest violinist as of this day.

Violin Playing: How to get started?

Ok, so you want to start as a beginner? Let me list all of the stuffs you need to acquire before you or your children becomes a violin student.

1. You must have a teacher
It is the very first requirement. I suggest you contact a music school or a local orchestra to find one. Try to search the web for available teachers near you. I found my current teacher on the web. She's a member of an orchestra but still studying her Bachelor's degree.

2. Violin (of course!)
You need to have a violin. There's a lot of music stores out there where you can find student violins. Seek for a "violin outfit". A violin outfit is a complete package mostly for beginners. The outfit includes the violin, case, violin bow, and a rosin. It is enough to get you started.
I suggest you go with your teacher when you buy your outfit. Teachers knows best what's the right size for you and they can test the sound of the violin if it's good or unacceptable. Find a violin according to your budget.

3. Time
Be dedicated. Once you start to study the violin you should be dedicated to practice and practice and practice some more.

So that's about it, off you go! Good luck!

Welcome to!

At last! I have a blog site for my violin addiction. It is obvious on the blog name that I became a violin junkie. haha! I only started to play the violin a few weeks ago when my friends and I decided to enroll in a group violin lessons at MPO (Manila Philharmonic Orchestra).

I am very happy to be a violin beginner. It is my life long dream to play the violin. Violin playing is very addicting, I got hit by OCVD (Obssessive Compulsive Violin Disorder) and I can't get enough of it. LOL!

This site will be full of violin stuff, blogs about different violin virtuosos, review of recordings, conciertos, favorite violin stuffs, and many others related to the violin and music in general.

You can visit my site every now and then for updates and new posts. Thank You!

Violin Junkie