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Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) composed music in a turbulent political climate where Soviet authorities alternately praised and condemned his work. He kept his first violin concerto in a drawer for seven years until the time was right for its performance in 1955. 

September 16, 2019. Jazz trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis writes about reconnecting with the Anglo-Celtic roots of Afro-American music in his Violin Concerto in D, written for Scottish violin virtuoso Nicola Benedetti, and recorded with The Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Cristian Măcelaru. The celebration of community and joining of different musical traditions also enriches his Fiddle Dance Suite for solo violin. 

Greenwich Entertainment

The film looks beyond the 16-time Grammy-winning musician to see the polio survivor whose parents emigrated from Poland to Israel, and the young man who struggled to be taken seriously as a music student when schools saw only his disability.

Peter Miller

Hilary Hahn's love for J.S. Bach goes way back. She began learning solo sonatas and partitas when she was nine years old. And thanks to her teacher Jascha Brodsky at the Curtis Institute of Music, some solo Bach was at every lesson. 

November 5, 2018: Celebrated violinist Hilary Hahn is out with a new album of solo works by J.S. Bach.  It completes a cycle she started at age 17, when she chose for her debut album two of Bach's three partitias and one of his three sonatas. Now, in Hilary Hahn Plays Bach, she's recorded the remaining one partita and two sonatas. 

October 22, 2018. Violinist Rachel Barton Pine, called "striking and charasmatic" with "bravura technique and soulful musicianship" ("The New York Times") has recorded violin concertos by Elgar and Bruch on one CD with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. It's our pick for classical album of the week.

Acclaimed as a brilliant and soulful fiddler and composer—combining bluegrass, folk, jazz, and classical—violinist Mark O’Connor played LIVE on WRTI 90.1 on May 18, 2018, accompanied by pianist Debra Lew Harder and hosted by WRTI’s Susan Lewis.

Symphonies and concertos are composed to be performed in their entirety, but sometimes individual movements take on lives of their own. WRTI’s Susan Lewis considers the slow movement of Robert Schumann’s Violin Concerto with violinist Joshua Bell.

The Second Violins Are Not Second Fiddle!

May 30, 2017
Jessica Griffin/Philadelphia Orchestra

A large orchestra usually has 30 to 40 violinists, divided into two sections. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talks with violinist Paul Arnold about the critical, but often unsung role of the second violins.

In music, a coda is a passage that brings a musical composition to an end. This is the coda to a musical saga — the story of the Stradivarius violin that was stolen 37 years ago from my late father, violinist Roman Totenberg, and recovered in 2015.

That violin, made by Antonio Stradivari in 1734, was my father's "musical partner" for 38 years as he toured the world.