Friday, September 18, 2020

Stradivari 1714 "Jackson" Exceptional Violins Series

 Rent Here on Vimeo!

Say hello to a whole new way of experiencing and enjoying violin music! This streaming project is the result of my dream of recording on one of the top violins in the world, an exquisite golden age period Stradivari violin from 1714 also know as the “Jackson” Strad. 

It’s nice to be able to make a living doing something you care about especially these days when Concert Halls are closed and there are so few opportunities to share our music with live audiences. The selections you will hear are my favorite pieces from the violin solo repertoire.

We live in the age of great technological achievements. So great in fact, that a large majority of the releases we see and hear these days are spliced, edited, digitally manipulated to such a degree that often times it resembles very little of the original track. It’s really the standard of the day and it shouldn’t surprise anyone. 

I decided to do the opposite and what you’ll hear on these recordings are straight out of the microphone takes, with no sound editing on our part. Flying without a net, as close to a live performance as it gets. It’s not a  technically perfect recording and at times you might see on my face the anxiety of having to surf between the noise coming from the construction site next door, and other unexpected noises that came up particularly at the end of important or difficult takes that could have been a keeper. 

Making this recording has been a memorable journey of discovery and I’m so thankful to Dr. William & Judy Sloan for allowing me to visit for many weeks and borrow the wonderful violins and bows.

Join us in couple weeks on October 3 for the release of the second episode of the Exceptional Violins Series featuring another great violin, the 1742 Guarneri Del Gesu “Sloan”

Repertoire List:

Fritz Kreisler - Recitativo and Scherzo Caprice

Eugène Ysaÿe - Sonata No. 3 "Ballade"

J. S. Bach - Chaccone, Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004

J.S. Bach - Sarabande, Partita No.1 in B minor, BWV 1002

George Enescu - Impressions D'enfance, Le Ménétrier 

Niccolò Paganini - Caprices Nos. 1, 5, 9, 14, 21 & 24

Astor Piazzola - Tango Etude #3

Ion Voicu - The Morning After the Wedding

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Exceptional Violins Series - Stradivari 1714 "Jackson"

Please join us Saturday 9/19 for the launch of the first episode of the Exceptional Violins Series stream featuring selections of solo violin repertoire by Bach, Paganini, Ysaÿe, Kreisler, Enescu & Piazzola performed on the 1714 "Jackson" Stradivari violin kindly on loan from Dr. William Sloan.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Romanian Cultural Institute New York Recital

Very excited to have been invited to present a recital in the prestigious Enescu Soirees Online Recital Series!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Advice on Having a Successful VSA Competition

Strings Magazine asked me to share few thoughts about my experience as a tone judge for the 2018 Violin Society of America International Instrument and Bow Making Competition.

Here is an article with some useful information for violin and bow makers which appeared in the May 2019 issue.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Stradivari & Guarneri del Gesu

I am fascinated by sound, I have always been. For me a violin or a bow doesn’t just have to work, it also has to inspire, to invite me and my imagination into a sonic world in its own right. For this reason I try to stay close to talented living makers or to the work of past masters. 

Recently I had the chance to visit yet again a friend who’s generosity of sharing his treasures is beyond words and got to step into a marvelous musical world. Basically I created and attended a private little party between my hands, my imagination, a wonderful Golden Period Stradivari violin, a wonderful late Guarneri Del Gesu violin, a Tourte and a Voirin... 

I know you all wonder which is the best, which is the greatest, which I’m in love with… and the answer is that they’re all good and great. I feel fortunate to have been able to play them and you can make your own thoughts and opinions on which you find the best and greatest.

Violin selection is matter of personal preference, technical level, the colors and textures one feels or hears in his mind. Among other things I look for quick and easy response, a certain sensitivity under my fingers. We should also pay attention to the right hand since it offers such important feedback. The bow is what makes a violin sound. Without it there is pizzicato or silence. The idea is to achieve expressivity and fluidity with the greatest ease. Each string should have its own character, building blocks of one’s own private musical world. I’m drawn to recordings of masters from the past with their warm personal sound which is in stark contrast with the sound of contemporary artists. Being able to play soft is maybe more important than playing loud. I think one needs to achieve contrasts effortlessly, quickly and beautifully. 

I hope these sounds peaked your interest as much as they did mine. There is a gem in every violin out there and with the right approach (technique, strings, tonal adjustments and the right bow) one can find great joy in creating and exploring his own personal musical world…

Bach - Sonata for Violin Solo No. 2, Grave played on a Stradivari violin

Tchaikovsky - Violin Concerto solo Excerpt played on a Stradivari violin 

Paganini - Caprice No.21 played on a Guarneri del Gesu violin 

Enescu - Impressions D'enfance, Le Menetrier played on a Guarneri del Gesu violin 

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Love is... at Capitol Records!

December 2019 brings the release of Sophie's first professional album singing some of her favorite songs of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and others. This superb album was recorded at the historic Capitol Records, same exact spot where Frank and Dean recorded. I feel so fortunate to have been involved in this project alongside some amazing professionals and to support my little girl as she's reaching to the stars. 
Stay tuned for all the updates on Sophie's upcoming first album here: