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The Lark Descending, Youthful Genius, and Gilly

The Melodica Men play Rossini's "William Tell Overture"
screenshot from the artists' video
The Melodica Men play Rossini's "William Tell Overture"

On this week's link roundup, catch up with two prodigious violinists, the Melodica Men, and a grocery store employee in Watertown who has some exciting news to share.

Kendall is taking a week off, so I'm stepping in to cover the link roundup this week. Don't worry, she'll be back before you can say "Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov."

  1. "They worked hard to turn me into a trained monkey. Anyone can become a monkey. Even a chimpanzee can become a concert violinist." This story of a former child prodigy who turned away from classical music in a big way was one of the New York Times' most-read articles last weekend, and with good reason. Reading it while listening to a recording of another young violinist playing Mendelssohn's concerto made me think differently about how we celebrate youthful genius.
  2. And speaking of youthful genius, 23-year-old violinist Chad Hoopes has switched from playing a Stradivarius to a Zygmuntowicz. This article is about more than fancy violins, though - it's also about the emotions that come with playing them.
  3. Remember the music teacher who played saxophone while undergoing brain surgery? A flutist in Houston just did the same thing
  4. The Melodica Men are back at it. 

  5. Remember Gilly, the grocery store employee who rose to internet fame last December when his mellifluous voice surprised everyone at Russo's in Watertown? He just got into Berklee College of Music.

  6. Lark Ascending? More like Lark descending. Oh snap. (Credit for that quip goes to Kendall Todd.) The BBC has released its list of the most popular classical music pieces, and this year's winner, Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, has unseated Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending, which took third place this year.
  7. And finally, because, well, why not... here are two cats named Mozart and one named Bach. Thanks, twitter.

Rani Schloss is the Program Director & Associate Station Manager for CRB.