Sunday, October 18, 2015

Emmy Verhey

Emmy Verhey is a Dutch violinist born (in Amsterdam) on March 13, 1949.  She is known for having placed very highly in the 1966 Tchaikovsky Competition.  She was only 17 years old.  Although she also began concertizing at a very young age, she kept studying with various teachers.  Her first teacher (at age 7) was her father (Gerard Verhey) but she soon (one year later) began her lessons with one of the top Hungarian violin pedagogues – Oskar Back.  She later studied with Herman Krebbers, Wolfgang Schneiderhan, and David Oistrakh.  She made her debut on December 7, 1961, playing the Havanaise by Saint Saens.  She was 12 years old.  On September 3, 1962, she played the Tchaikovsky concerto.  She was 13 years old.  Her career has mostly been spent in Europe, particularly the Netherlands.  Verhey has an extensive discography (more than 55 CDs) and has collaborated with some of the world’s top artists; Yehudi Menuhin, David Oistrakh, Mariss Jansons, Bernard Haitink, Neville Marriner, and Janos Starker are among them.  She began teaching at the Conservatory in Ultrecht in 1983 and retired from there in 2002.  According to one source, Verhey was also the concertmaster of the Ultrecht Symphony Orchestra for 8 years – possibly from 1977 to 1985.  (Ultrecht is about 20 miles southeast of Amsterdam.)  Verhey has also performed chamber music extensively with a variety of artists.  She has frequently brought attention to little-known composers such as Arthur Laurie, Othmar Schoek, Alphonse Diepenbrock, Charles Avison, Theo Loevendie, and Chris Duindam.  In 1991, she co-founded the Camerata Antonio Lucio with whom she made several recordings.   Among the violins she has played are the Earl Spencer Stradivarius from 1723 (or 1712 – accounts vary - now being played by Nicola Benedetti) and an Andrea Guarneri from 1676.  Verhey will play a final public concert (after which she is retiring from concertizing) on November 29, 2015.  The program includes Schubert’s Trout Quintet, Schubert’s String trio (the one in B flat), a violin sonata by Tristan Keuris, and another violin sonata by Theo Loevendie.  YouTube has many videos of her playing.  Here is one featuring the well-known Rondo Capriccioso.  

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Boris Brovtsyn

Boris Brovtsyn is a Russian violinist and teacher born (in Moscow) in 1977.  He is known for his amazing technique and the use of rubato – in the style of many virtuoso violinists of another generation – violinists such as Mischa Elman, Fritz Kreisler, Jacques Thibaud, Ida Haendel, Nathan Milstein, and Ivry Gitlis.  He began playing the violin at age 4.  At age 6, he made his public debut at the famous Bolshoi Theatre.  His grandfather, a pupil of the famous pedagogue, Abram Yampolski (teacher of Leonid Kogan) was his first teacher.  At age 7 (1984), Brovtsyn entered the Central Music School in Moscow and graduated ten years later.  Then he entered the Tchaikovsky (Moscow) Conservatory where he studied with Maya Glezarova.  From there he graduated in 1999.  He had already made his U.S. debut in 1995 and his U.K debut in 1998.  He had already played for the Pope in 1993.  He studied further at the Guildhall School of Music in London where he won the Gold Medal in 2004.  His main teacher there was David Takeno.  His career has taken him to places all over the world, but especially Europe.  As do practically all concert violinists, he plays at music festivals all over the world.  Brovtsyn plays an 1862 Vuillaume violin.  Here is a performance of his on YouTube – the Mendelssohn concerto in e minor with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.  He gets a tremendous ovation and is obliged to play a very nice encore by Ysaye.