I started on piano at age 11 and then violin at 13 in my junior high school orchestra since piano there was not an option. I would have chosen the cello, but my mother said there was NO WAY she was going to "haul" that thing around for rehearsals. So I chose VIOLA. However, the school orchestra director told me that I was way too small, so I ended up on violin. Shortly after high school, I went into composition, and effectively stopped playing for the most part until last year when I decided to try the viola.
Sample library developer (Kirk Hunter Studios). Since I work for myself, it's not too difficult to make time. The hard part is finding the hours to practice when I am in "work production mode".
I have always thought of "chamber music" as any piece performed by an orchestral group that is not large enough to perform in a full-sized concert hall. Such groups may or may not include a conductor. However, I think it is more than that. In my limited experience, it seems that there exists more "inter-player" communication in addition to following the conductor.
I recently met a few violinists who were already VCO members who urged me to both listen to the group live, and then contact Mr. Khan if interested in joining. After I heard the group's performance, and hearing how great they sounded, I did just that.
The best way to learn something QUICKLY is to practice SLOWLY!
Updated October 2019.
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