'TUTTI CELLI' Newsletter



    |    www.cello.org



\ _/    'TUTTI CELLI' Newsletter, May/June 1997

TUTTI CELLI CONTENTS -- volume 3, issue 3

New Members' Message
ICS News and Announcements
2300 members from 54 countries!
John's Jabber Cellist of Sarajevo denied Canadian visitor's visa
Letters to the Editor
New and Old Member Letters

Featured Artist


Masterclass Report

Music Review

ICS Award Website of the Month



ICS Forum/ Cello Chat Board Inappropriate posts
Music Festival Watch Summer 97
ICS Library and Reference new newsletter The Scroll
Activities and Notes Board historic CD of Rose
Other Internet Music Resources Collection of Cello Audition Lists


The country count is at 54. New ones are Czech Republic, Dominica, Thailand
and Venezuela. Here's the updated list.

Boris Rayskin In Memoriam page

Images of Cellos and Cellists

Bulletin Board: Canada Denies Visa to the Cellist of Sarajevo!

New newsletter archived in ICS Library: The Cello Scroll

The Internet Cello Society Web site has recently been deemed an outstanding
Web site by the WebCrawler Select Editorial Team.

Alan Black, Forum Host
principal cellist of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra
(Members are encouraged to e-mail forum hosts but please remember that they
are volunteering their time.)

**ICS could still use volunteers to serve as ICS Fundraisers, Reporters,
Writers, Reviewers, Editors and Forum/ Cello Chat Hosts


We are almost half of the way towards the ICS FUNDRAISING GOAL! Join me in
thanking those members and organizations that have contributed so far:

As many of you may be wondering, what ever happened to the Burger King
boycott?! The ASTA president has been busy actively protesting the
insensitive ad, but I have not heard of any specific progress in
negotiations with Burger King. I will let you know if there are any
important developments in this regard.

Vedran Smailovic, the famed cellist from Sarajevo, is trying to visit Canada, but his visa is being denied by the Canadian immigration department. Recently, the Canadian immigration authorities indicated that they would reconsider his application if he can raise some money. To learn more about this issue and current fundraising efforts, please read the message in the Letter to the Editor section below, visit the website http://coastnet.com/dhouston/ or contact Deryk Houston at dhouston@coastnet.com


***If you would like to respond to something you have read in 'Tutti Celli', write to director@cello.org and type "Letter to Editor" in subject field. (Letters may be edited.)***

<<Re: Cellist of Sarajevo, denied visa to visit Canada. Many months ago,
ICS feature a story about Vedran Smailovic, the cellist of Sarajevo who has
become an icon for peace around the world. We believe that you might be
interested in knowing about the situation (a nightmare of bureaucracy) we
have encountered in trying to invite him to visit us here in Victoria, BC, Canada and
participate in a book project.. Your support in any way
would be appreciated and we are certain that even a phone call or fax from
you to a public official would have an impact on the decision-making
Deryk Houston

**I believe that, in the past, the United States has welcomed Mr. Smailovic. It
is unclear as to why Canada does not value this heroic individual. I
encourage the ICS membership to actively advocate the acceptance of his
visitor's visa to Canada. I will personally communicate with the authority
that you deem most appropriate. Please reply. **
John Michel

[follow-up reply of Deryk Houston]
<< Now we need your help once more.
Vedran Smailovic played his cello on the dangerous streets of Sarajevo for
twenty two days to commemorate those that died in a mortar attack. He has
been internationally recognized for his heroic act. He has been denied a
simple visitor's visa to Canada by Lucienne Robillard, Minister of
Immigration and Citizenship. Deryk Houston and Elizabeth Wellburn had
invited him to provide input for a children's picturebook project about his
experiences, all expenses paid, yet he was denied for no other reason than
he does not have money. May 27th is the anniversary date of the mortar
shell that exploded in Sarajevo. We welcome Canadians, as well as people
of all nations, to join us and express their outrage and support.>>

[Regarding publishing the unfinished article 12 Hommages à Paul Sacher that
appeared in the last issue of Tutti Celli without permission:]
**Dear Mr. Cook,
I sincerely apologize for publishing your paper in its present form.
Indeed I misplaced your older messages and forgot your request not to
publish it. I agree with you that at the very least, I should have
notified you before publishing it. Because of extreme time limitations, I
neglected to ask permission of the many members that contributed to the
contents of the newsletter...
ICS is an evolving organization that is growing faster than I can recruit
volunteers to help run it properly. I receive a enormous amount of e-mail
every week and try as best as I can to reply, save, and remember the
contents of the ICS mail. In the future ICS must do as many other web
organizations have done to protect itself. ICS will reserve the right to
use the material of any e-mail sent directly to ICS or of messages posted
to the ICS Cello Chat bulletin board. Thank you for bringing this
important problem to my attention.
John Michel


The Internet Cello Society is one of the best sites on the net. With all the
junk out there, this is a site that fulfills the promise of the internet.
New Jersey

I have just explored this web site and found it a fantastic resource. I am
Senior lecturer in Cello, Chamber Music and Conducting at the School of
Music at the University of Queensland, and will make sure I keep in touch.
Gwyn Roberts

Hello there... I just wanted to send my... well, commendations? on these pages! Imagine my surprise when I found that there was an Internet cove for cello enthusiasts. The section for beginners I have read, wide-eyed, and I think it's really fabulous! Great tips... Seeing as I've yet to actually pick up a cello (but ooo... I'm so impatient to) I'm not entirely certain how it all works out (or how it all feels) but the information looks very practical and useful. <fingers positively itching>...Great page. ;>


I'd also like to thank you and the ICS staff for the Internet Cello Society
pages. I am a frequent visitor and always look forward to reading whatever
is new.
Christine Patton


by Chris White

Mark Summer grew up in Reseda California in the San Fernando Valley near
Los Angeles. He studied with the Geber family - first with Edwin Geber of
the LA Philharmonic, and then with Edwin's wife Gretchen. During high
school he played in a Youth Symphony in LA and went to Congress of Strings
two years in a row. After high school he went to Mt. St. Mary's College
(near LA) for a year and then transferred to the Cleveland Institute of
Music where received his B.A. in music, studying with Stephen Geber. He
then went on to play as a cellist with the Winnipeg Symphony for three
years. He has been the cellist of the Turtle Island String Quartet since
it's inception in 1986. The quartet has made 8 recordings to date.

[excerpt of attached article]
C.W.: What are the challenges of playing jazz and other non-classical
music with a string quartet?

M.S.: One of the challenges of it for me how quickly and completely I must
shift gears between my pizzicato and arco playing. The pizz. must sound as
much like a bass as possible while the arco playing is more modeled after
the sound of a tenor sax. Also, since I must drop my pizz. (or walking
bass) parts to play arco, this familiar jazz texture must be replaced by
another solution. A lot of it is dealt with through the writing and the
arranging. We've developed a lot of rhythmic textures, what we call
"chopping," to try to deal with that. That gives the feeling of the sound
of drums. The problem is you can't use those textures over and over again
unlike a regular rhythm section that can go on and on without the ear
getting so tired of the sound. So we take shorter solos. Many times we have
the cello play the first solo before the bass parts are introduced - that's
been used in a number of tunes. But it is very challenging, and I very
rarely get to be supported by a bass line while I'm soloing the way the
others do.

C.W.: Do you do much of the arranging for the group?

M.S.: Everybody's arranging, though some of us are more prolific than
others. I've enjoyed writing original tunes but I've arranged a few tunes
and I finally did an arrangement of "Blue Rondo a la Turque" [by Dave

C.W.: How much of what you play is written out versus improvised?

M.S.: It depends on the chart. For example, in Blue Rondo there are big
long sections which are written out, and then there are solo sections which
are pretty much improvised after the first voicings. The bass lines are
almost always improvised. When one of the violins is soloing, and the other
two upper voices are comping (playing chords) it can be really effective to
write out voicings for those two to make sure that all the harmonies are
being covered, especially if you're trying to get some extended rich

C.W.: Do you think there is a growing audience for your music, and that of
other improvising string groups?

M.S.: I think there is a growing audience for alternative chamber music,
and I think that it will continue to expand. The interesting thing will be
to see what happens to traditional chamber music audiences. Will groups
such as Turtle Island continue to make inroads, and will the traditional
classical repertoire be gradually replaced by more contemporary styles of
music, or will there be room for all of it?...
<<Reprinted by permission of Cello City Ink: Newsletter of the New
Directions Cello Association, Vol. 3 No. 2, Fall/Winter 96/97.>>

**The complete transcript includes photo and music clip!**



Two volumes of a variety of different types of puzzles created by Victor
Sazer, called Musical Puzzles of Note, are now available. The puzzles all
deal with musical subjects, including musical terms, composers, performers,
pieces of music, etc. A small sample:

1. Premiered Rococo
6. David
9. Music or painting
10. Implements
11. Bread shape
13. Friedrich
15. Salty body of water....

1. August
2. Player in a child's game
3. Animal abode
4. Raya
5. Bolt's partner
6. Gregor....


by Patrice Carbonneau

Currently teaching cello at the University of Toronto, Shauna Rolston is
one of Canada's leading young cellists. Born in Banff, in the Canadian
Rockies, Miss Rolston took up the cello at the tender age of two. She has
since won numerous awards and toured world wide. Miss Rolston was in Quebec
city in late March to play an earthshaking 'Schelomo' with the symphony. On
the following day, when everybody got their footing back, she taught a
masterclass to students of the Quebec city music conservatory and of Laval
University's school of music.

The main theme of the class was posture. Miss Rolston's education has given
her a unique perspective on this topic. During most of her teens,
the town of Banff had no permanent cellist, so she had to continue her
studies with other musicians, taking many master classes with people such
as Rose and Starker in order to get some 'cellistic' input. The absence of
weekly cello lessons led her to approach the cello with a very open mind.
Miss Rolston always feels free to experiment and ask 'why?', and she never
accepts the idea of feeling uncomfortable with the cello. This attitude led
her to experiments which evolved into a unique way of holding the cello in
order to solve some technical problems. Many cellists try to put the cello
directly in front of them, since this isn't possible we move the cello's
head to our left and very often we also move our head to the right. Miss
Rolston demonstrated how this unbalanced position can have many
consequences on our playing.

First off, this tense posture hinders breathing. Second, it makes it more
difficult to use arm weight, the left arm either goes too low on the side
or rises up to high in which case many cellists will squeeze their thumb.
With the bow arm, a straight cello makes it harder to use arm weight,
especially with up bows on the A string. In this instant the arm must come
up so high that the cellist has to push down rather than use the weight of
the arm. Miss Rolston's personal experiments led her to the following
solution: by moving the endpin to her right by two or three inches, the
cello's head moves away. Instead of being in line with the upper body, the
cello now intersects it. This makes it easier for the cellist to get good
upper body position. In such a position the legs take on a more important
role, the left knee is moved towards the back and the right knee towards
the side.

When changing strings, the legs are used to get the cello at the right
angle. This greatly reduces the height at which the bow arm must go to play
the A string. And the weight of the bow arm can be used more efficiently.
Since the cello's head is more to the side, the right arm can better
balanced if one doesn't think strictly 'down'. By sending the weight of the
arm slightly backwards, the force is just about perpendicular to the neck,
giving the fingers a better contact with the board. The result is a very
fluid style where the whole body participates in playing. Above all, it
has to feel right.

Far from trying to impose her own solution on others, Miss Rolston merely
encouraged the students to experiment, saying 'I think we need to break all
those mysterious rules'. This healthy and personal attitude towards playing
definitely struck a chord with this writer. Even though we love the cello
dearly, that doesn't mean that we have to accept it becoming a source of
pain. I have a feeling that many cellos in Quebec city are going to tilt
this spring!


by Tim Finholt

I was sent a collection of etudes by William Van den Burg called "67 Etudes
for the Cello on the Beethoven Quartets." The etudes are divided into
three volumes -- the Early, Middle, and Late Quartet etudes. Van den Burg
(1901-1992) was the principal cellist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the
San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Each of the Etudes is freely based upon a different movement of the sixteen
Beethoven String Quartets. The introduction to the etudes, written by the
publisher, Ron Erickson, describes three basic goals of the etudes: "to
expand the player's grasp of technical resources," to "develop challenging
passages from the Quartets in an appropriate style," and to give the player
and the audience "the impression of hearing the entire Quartet texture" by
combining other quartet voices with the cello part.

It was a pleasure to play through these etudes, since the cello finally
gets to play some of those wonderful lines that are given to the first
violinist. Many etudes are difficult and would require careful practice to
get them ready for a performance. These etudes provide a pleasant musical

I am not sure that it is appropriate to call all of the works in these
books "etudes," though. Etudes are traditionally used for drilling the
player on specific technical skills, i.e. octaves, slow bows, etc. We feel
fortunate when the composer also succeeds in creating a satisfying music
experience. Mr. Van den Burg seems to err on the side of music, as some
of the etudes in these volumes seem to have minimal pedagogical value (i.e.
as good as picking up ANY piece of music and mastering it), though they are
musically satisfying. I found myself hoping to find practice ideas for
those infamous parts in the quartets, like the lightning fast ascending
broken thirds in the first movement of the Opus 59 No. 3, but came up

I would recommend these etudes to those who are looking for a break from
the standard Popper and Piatti etude route. I could see how these might be
interspersed between other etudes to get the student away from the weighty
etudes that we all know and love. It would also be interesting to assign
the appropriate etude when a student is studying an actual Beethoven

For more information on these etudes, write to:
Erickson Editions; PO Box 666; S. San Francisco, CA 94083


May Award Website:


April Award Website:


**Please notify John Michel of any interesting websites that you would like to be considered for inclusion in the future. Websites will be selected regularly based on their content, cello relevance, and presentation style!

*** If you would like to ask a question, discuss an issue or get some expert advice, post a message to the official ICS message board called CELLO CHAT . ICS forum hosts have been asked to check your posts regularly. In this way not only do the forum hosts see your message but the entire membership and Internet community! You are still welcome to contact the forum hosts directly***

Write all ICS Hosts or contact one host representatives.

**Dear Paul Tseng,
I have not been following the thread but there seems to be a lot of
discussion about "Dayna" making an offensive post? This is my opinion about
the censoring of messages posted to the ICS Cello Chat. I think
that people should be allowed to express their unique, maybe strong or even
unpopular opinions. However, since the Internet Cello Society is sponsoring the
board, I see no reason why we cannot remove any materials that are
blatantly inappropriate to the topic of "Cello Chat" This is not a public
newsgroup and should continue to be moderated in the manner that you deem
most appropriate. Thank you again for creating and maintaining "Cello
Chat"! **
John Michel
ICS Director

<<I am currently studying the cello under Kim Bak Dinitzen at Chetham's School of Music, Manchester. I have been learning the cello since the age of eight and am now sixteen. All throughout the eight years that I have been learning the cello, I have wanted to become a soloist and nothing else. I am trying to find as many possible routes as I can to fulfill my true desire. In the summer I am hoping to go to Banff to have masterclasses etc. and in the Easter holiday I am hoping to go to Prussia Cove in Cornwall to have a couple of masterclasses off the great Ralph Kirshbaum. I was actually wondering what your suggestions would be for me to make the concert platform? Yours faithfully,>>
Ben Birtle.

**I would suggest that you read an article by Janos Starker called "That
Room at the Top." It is Starker's highly cynical view of what it takes to
become a soloist. It was originally published in the December 1962 issue
of "Mademoiselle" magazine. It was reprinted by me in the January 1995
issue of the Seattle Violoncello Society newsletter, which I believe is
posted at the ICS Web site.

I would also suggest you read some of my other articles in the past
Seattle Violoncello Society newsletters. There are articles called "What
is a Great Performance?" and "Is There Such Thing as Wrong Interpretation?"
These aren't great writing samples by me, but they have some interesting

I have some other thoughts. Though I am not a soloist, I have read many
biographies about soloists and have interviewed a number of them for the
Internet Cello Society. They are very driven and goal-oriented people.
They are VERY knowledgeable about the music they play. They all have
strong personalities that project to the audience. They have a lot of
conviction about their musical ideas. And, most are very much in touch with
their emotions.

You need to build your self-confidence so that you can go out on
stage and command the attention of the audience and orchestra. You need to
find a healthy balance between your intellectual and emotional approach to
music. You also need to tap into your love of people, so that this love
will draw you into communicating with the audience and your fellow
musicians, instead of just playing for yourself. Part of communication is
being able to demonstrate the drama and beauty of the piece, i.e. you must
have a striking musical personality.

You also need to work on your people skills. Much of a soloist's time is
spent marketing him or herself. You must be able to talk with people and
make them feel at home with you. Music is a BUSINESS!

You have no hope of being a soloist if you don't have world-class
technique. This is a prerequisite. Without it, you have little chance.
You can be an amazingly "musical" person, but if you can't play in tune or
play fast enough, nobody will want to listen to you. The technical
standards are very high today. You must practice obsessively and be
willing to give up a lot of your life if you have any hope of making it.
All soloists had amazing technique by the time they went to college.

You need a great teacher. The occasional master class is probably not
enough. You need someone to push you week after week.**
Tim Finholt

***For more selected excerpts of ICS Forum/Cello Chat discussion, please check the ICS Bulletin Board***



New newsletter archived in ICS Library:
The Cello Scroll

If you know of cello society newsletters, bibliographies of music, teaching materials, references, indices, lists or articles that should be added to ICS Library, please send data to director@cello.org. (Library contents will be available to all Internet users; please include author and written statement of release for unlimited or limited reproduction.)


Historic recording to be released in May 1997:
Leonard Rose, The Memorial Edition
Pearl Label
For more information contact Arthur Rose at JosellJack@aol.com

***All members are welcome to post announcements or news that are pertinent to our global cello society. Send information to director@cello.org***


Collection of Cello Orchestra Audition Lists

Suite of Eight Miniatures for Cello by Jirrah Walker
The composer invites you to inspect the files at the site above and would
appreciate any input you have about the pieces. The scores are available
for viewing in your net browser.

New Directions Cello Association

Suggest other interesting cello related websites to our ICS NET Surfers

Direct correspondence to the appropriate ICS Staff
Webmaster: Webmaster
Director: John Michel
Copyright © 1997 Internet Cello Society