A Violin’s Life inspires UWO

Holly Koenitzer

“The UW Oshkosh music department presented a guest concert, A Violin’s Life, in the Arts and Communications Center Music Hall on March 13 to celebrate classical music.

A Violin’s Life featured works and composers associated with the Lipinski Stradivarius, a type of violin, and other music connected with the overall history of the instrument in commemoration of the violin’s 300th birthday.

Frank Almond was the guest violinist at the show ,playing the Lipinski Stradivarius. Almond holds two degrees from Juilliard along with being first chair in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

According to Almond, the Lipinski Stradivarius had been stolen a year ago in an armed robbery after a concert, but was recovered nine days later.

The concert included music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Giuseppe Tartini, Maurice Ravel and Robert Schumann, played by both Almond and Eli Kalman, an Oshkosh piano professor.

“Ravel and Schumann are all-time favorites of mine,” Kalman said. “With a great partner such as Mr. Almond, they became very, very special.”

Many attendees had not heard the Lipinski Stradivarius played before, and were intrigued.

“The concert was amazing,” Oshkosh student Sophie Willer said. “I have never seen a solo performance of the calibre before. It was interesting to hear how beautiful a 300-year-old violin sounds.”

Oshkosh student Erin Liston said classical music is important because it is the first music to be organized and written down. She was also impressed with the precision of Almond.

“It was beautiful and I don’t know how Frank Almond plays without frets,” Liston said. “Violins are hard to play since they’re fretless, so you have to figure out where to put your hand, unlike guitars, which have frets. The piano music was beautiful and the concert was very lovely.”

Willer said she doesn’t normally enjoy classical music, but she was interested in hearing new and unique music.”