Monday, April 26, 2010


Charles Noble posted this video of the 14-year-old Midori playing the Bernstein Serenade at Tanglewood, and I thought I would share it here. We can all enjoy the fact that video cameras were there to mark the occasion of her debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Slide past the commentary (unless you understand Japanese), and at about a minute in you will notice that when Midori breaks a string, she immediately hands her 3/4 sized violin to the concertmaster and continues playing on his full-sized instrument. We can't see the fiddle being handed down the line to a person in front of the seconds who has a set of strings ready for a quick change (and I assume that he or she had a set of 3/4 sized strings especially for this soloist). Midori breaks a string on the concertmaster's instrument, and gets another fiddle from the assistant concertmaster. Then, like a well-oiled assembly line, the fiddlers hand back the restrung little fiddle, and Midori finishes the piece on her own instrument. She knew what to expect, and they knew how to deliver.

My father looks particularly unimpressed, but he does get to stand up for a solo bow. It's all in a day's work.

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