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The Joy of Destroying Violins and Playing them Anyway

Broken violin on a white background
Per Hardestam
/
FreeImages

At what point does a broken violin become unplayable? Also in this roundup: Shostakovich's soccer obsession, a Tchaikovsky/Sinatra mashup, and more!

1. Self-taught "Paul Harvey, flute guy" sings and plays music from the Lord of the Rings movies, on a huge flute:

Home is behind (vocal and flute) #LOTR#homeisbehind

2. Local orchestra Phoenix found an unusual and enthusiastic audience on Twitch, a streaming site that is most frequently used by video gamers. Also, bonus — CRB's Chris Voss was involved with this project!

3. A surprising fact about Shostakovich: he loved soccer! A look at his writings and letters reveals how much he knew and cared about the sport.

4. Tchaikovsky, meet Sinatra. Italian violinist Aldo Cicchini mashes up a classic concerto with a classic crooner:

5. A wonderful interview with comedian Kieran Hodgson reveals his deep love for Mahler, his newfound obsession with Brahms, and the joy of being an "amateur" musician.

6. Artist Du Kun is turning sound waves from contemporary music into traditional Chinese scroll paintings.

7. Interested in owning a bit of Vienna State Opera history? They're auctioning off costumes from past productions like Carmen and Lucia di Lammermoor — you can check out what's available here.

8. "'Can you still play a violin after cutting it up?' Instagram account @violintorture's creator, Tyler Thackray, asked before sawing an instrument into thirds, to celebrate his ten thousandth follower. (The answer, somehow, is yes.)" Read a profile on Thackray and his work in The New Yorker.