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Friday, January 14, 2011

Conducting from the Violin, in Slippers?

This coming Sunday, I will be soloing and conducting Mozart's 3rd Violin Concerto, while wearing a tuxedo and house slippers.  When people hear this, their eyebrows go up, so I wanted to explain.  A violin soloist can also be the conductor, this is known as "conducting from the violin".  While the hands are busy playing, one uses the rest of the body to lead the ensemble. Vladimir Spivakov, the founder and head of Moscow Virtuosi chamber orchestra, is the one of the people known for this.  As for the slippers... this is because the Ashram, where we are performing, is a sacred place that does not allow street shoes, either for musicians or the audience.  So rather than playing barefoot, we compromised on having me wear house shoes.