Beginner Mentality: Thank you, friends

These last two weeks have been a long train of emotions. First, was the disbelief that our college experience would be cut short. Decisively short. Shortly after President Monaco released the decision that Tufts’ campus was closing, friends were already making plans to return after break, imagining some sort of online-class paradise. We now know […]

Beginner Mentality: Beethoven at 250

“Roll over Beethoven / Dig to these rhythm and blues” Chuck Berry sang these lyrics in 1956 in his hit single “Roll Over Beethoven” (1956), only to be covered and further popularized by The Beatles in 1963. The song’s premise is that Beethoven would be ‘rolling in his grave’ if he had heard the new […]

Beginner Mentality: Folk music

The first piece I ever learned on the violin was a Romanian Hora — no “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and no Bach minuets. In fact, no sheet music at all! For many violinists this would be a strange way to start. Yet, this unorthodox start has made such a difference to my development as a […]

Beginner Mentality: Advice from masters

There is a photo of Eugene Ysaÿe where he looks at his violin, face to face, as though asking it: “what are you and what do you want with me?” This image, telling of the love affair between the performer and his instrument, has always stuck with me. Indeed, the question with playing is always: […]

Beginner Mentality: Improvisation

The orchestra stops and silence fills the air for one, maybe two seconds. The musicians now join the audience and all eyes gaze at the lone figure about to play. The spotlight is on her. Daring and poised, she clothes the themes in a brilliant new dress. This is how I imagine the grand scene […]

Beginner Mentality: Starting (and finishing)

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way!” I can hear this resounding in my head as I dive into my next project (Beethoven’s “Spring Sonata”). It is a misleading statement, however. I really do have the desire to be good at Beethoven, believe me, but something is keeping me back from practicing today. With the […]

Beginner Mentality: Opening

“You’re really starting now?” As of this month, I have been playing the violin for two years. Beginning as (almost) an adult, I have often been asked this question by all types of people. Playing the violin is not a remarkable thing in itself for me to do — many people, after all, play musical […]

Lozakovich hits the lows, stops a bit short of the highs in ‘None but the Lonely Heart’

In the classical music world, new albums rarely make a huge splash. The core repertoire is anywhere from 400 to 100 years old, and in that time the most famous works have accrued decades of different interpretative traditions. For a new album to be big, it must provide something genuinely new to the canon. For […]