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Yesterday, 4-Way began our education program! After a quick snack, we started playing. Led by our amazing violin teacher, Trista Emmons, by the end of the afternoon we had the kids playing simple duets together, and had some pretty impressive bowholds to show off, too! We ended the afternoon with some “body percussion”, led by Woodford’s awesome music teacher, Angela Carota – here’s a snippet:   It was a great way …

Today, part 2 of my new video series on the Bach solo cello suites, featuring the G major Allemande. After Bach’s relentless use of one motif in the famous Prelude, he shifts gears completely and uses several different ideas, going from one to the next very quickly. There’s something of Bach the family man in all his pieces, and this one’s no exception – you’ll see what I mean. Bach also …

  For a long time, I’ve wanted to share my take on the Bach cello suites with a wider audience, so I’ve decided to make a series of videos – each one will cover one movement.  No better place to start than the beginning, with the most famous of Bach’s pieces for solo cello, the Prelude to the G major Suite. I hope you like the video and that the music …

Roger screws up. As many of you know, my quartet, 4-Way, has been teaching this year at Woodford Paideia Elementary School – we’re helping out the 5th and 6th grade orchestra classes, and giving some private lessons. We’re also getting to know some of the kids we’ll be working with starting in January, when our after-school program begins. Last week at Woodford, I worked with several young cellists, and one …

  In my last post, I wrote about my summer visit to my grandmother, and the importance of our music in our relationship since I was a kid. A few weeks after my trip to LA, I attended the Bar Mitzvah of the son of one of my closest friends, who also grew up in a family of musicians. Virtually everyone in the Gershfeld clan plays a string instrument, so …

I’ve posted here before about my dad, who was central in helping me find my way to my life as a musician. Today, I want to introduce you to my mother and grandmother, who also fill their lives with music and showed me how great (and natural) that could be. When I was little, I would go to LA for a few weeks every summer to visit my grandparents. I enjoyed this …

Today, the school year begins here in Cincinnati, and as a parent of two, I couldn’t be happier. Even better is the news that Cincinnati Public Schools is putting the arts front and center at two magnet elementary schools, and I’m pleased to announce that 4-Way will begin its education program this year at one of them! As part of its Vision 2020 plan, CPS has designated Woodford Paideia to be …

The horrific events of last week in Louisiana, Minnesota and Texas have evoked the usual calls for healing and greater understanding – of course I hope that those calls are heeded, though the number of times they’ve been made in recent years suggests that they’re not working. Though it is certainly the job of politicians and other leaders to find a way out of times like these, I’m not real optimistic …

One of the amazing things about music is that we all experience it in our own way – two concertgoers, or even two members of the group playing, can have wildly different reactions to the same performance. In ensemble playing, as I’ve noted before, this is both the challenge and the reward  – while rehearsing, we have to shape our different perspectives into something cohesive and unified. This is often exhausting but well worth the …

In concerts, pieces are performed straight through, with (one hopes) little evidence of the challenges the players faced in putting it together. Many audience members have not had the chance to watch a group rehearse, and I think that’s a shame, for a couple of reasons. I’ve heard many audience members use words like “magical” and “mysterious” to describe an ensemble at work, and though that’s flattering, it’s also a little misleading. Though a …