Heifetz

My First Lessons with Gregor Piatigorsky — by Paul Katz

In 1961, Jascha Heifetz, Gregor Piatigorsky and William Primrose joined the faculty of the University of Southern California where I was a cello student studying with the highly inspiring Gabor Rejto. As fate would have it, Rejto was leaving on sabbatical that year and so I auditioned for Piatigorsky and was admitted to his first class at USC. Two amazing years with him followed—he was truly a creative genius, a great psychologist, and a supportive father figure that cared deeply about everyone that he taught. We were a new class of students, however, and  as we entered the room that first day, none of us knew what to expect: Excited that I was going to be studying with the 'Great Grisha,'  I bought a new short-sleeved, bright orange shirt for this special occasion. Made from [...]

By |2018-07-18T05:50:04+00:00January 24th, 2018|Categories: Interpersonal Relationships, CelloFun|Tags: , , , |

LA Story: A Recital of New & Unusual Works for Cello & Piano from Hollywood’s Golden Age — by Brinton Averil Smith

Like many string players I grew up loving the Heifetz recording of the Korngold Violin Concerto, and a general obsession with Heifetz led to an interest in the composers he championed, in particular composers like Korngold, Rózsa, Castelnuovo-Tedesco and others who lived in Los Angeles during the mid-20th century. This inspired a project last April to revive the Castelnuovo-Tedesco cello concerto for its first performance since its 1930s debut performances with Piatigorsky and Toscanini. The recording of our 'reboot' will be released this June on Naxos, but reading and studying about Castelnuovo-Tedesco's relationships with the film studios, Heifetz, Piatigorsky, and the other musicians and composers living in LA gave me a new appreciation for the incredible depth of musical talent that existed in Los Angeles in the middle of the [...]

The View from Both Sides — by Robert Battey

  Critic. n.: one who walks out onto the field after a battle to shoot the wounded.   As a still-occasionally-performing cellist as well as a regular music critic for the Washington Post and STRINGS magazine, I feel exquisitely the sentiment expressed by the wag above.  There are few things more discouraging than to give a concert of which one is proud, only to later read that you “had an off night, with wayward intonation and a pinched sound.” On the other side, to judge from the press quotes sprinkled in concert flyers and musicians’ bios, one might think that everyone is incredible. In such a subjective realm as the performing arts, these anomalies and injustices will always be with us. No two people hear the same thing at a [...]

The Eyes Have It (Part 1) — by Selma Gokcen

One of the most valuable indicators of well-functioning coordination is eye movement.  I have noticed for a long time now that there are different types of gaze in musicians. The "well-trained" musician of today often exhibits what I call blinkered attention, the result of years of too much effortful practice. The strain around the eyes is visible and often accompanied by laboured breathing. Caught by inward feelings and sensations, this musician is "concentrating." In the words of my Alexander teacher, the original meaning of concentration used to be: to relate a set of factors to a central point. It has been increasingly misused in our educational system to encourage the shutting out of everything else out to focus on a single thing. Concentration therefore as a useful aim has been [...]