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Friday Morning Roundup

by Stephen Becker 4 Mar 2011 7:14 AM

Today in the roundup: A chat with UNT’s Early Music scholars, a violin prodigy stops by the DSO and the trick to starring in your own play.


GOING WAY BACK: Everyone knows that the University of North Texas has a top-notch music program. But I bet you didn’t know the school has a program specializing in early music. (Don’t worry, I didn’t either.) In the last year, the school has brought three experts in the field onto its faculty. Paul Leenhouts directs the Early Music Studies Program and the UNT Baroque Orchestra. Richard Sparks is the head of Conducting and Ensembles and leads the UNT chamber choir. And Christoph Hammer is the associate professor for harpsichord and forte piano. The three got together to talk about their favorite subject recently; you can listen to the podcast or read the transcript.

THE SPECIAL GUEST: When people talk about child music prodigies, they’re talking about people like Karen Gomyo. She began playing the violin in public at age 5, studied on a full scholarship at the Julliard and has been traveling the world as a soloist ever since. This weekend finds her in Dallas, where she performs with the DSO. When she’s not performing or practicing, she tells the DSO’s blog in a Q&A that she likes to run and read. Currently on her night stand – a book called Violin Dreams. “I don’t mean to sound like a violin geek – and I don’t always read just books on the violin – but this one is a really lovely book written by Arnold Steinhardt, the former first violinist of the Guarneri Quartet,” she says. “I couldn’t put it down because it talks about his life and experiences on stage. It talks about his journey finding the perfect instrument for him, and life on the road. He also talks about the old school violinists. Those are really my idols, the guys who unfortunately are no longer alive and I never got to hear in concert.”

QUOTABLE: “On stage, I have to worry about the acting. Off stage is the time to worry about the writing.”

– Paden Fallis, who wrote and stars in the one-man show Dark at the End of the Tunnel, which he will perform during the Out of the Loop Fringe Festival. Hear more from Fallis in a Q&A.