Monday, March 31, 2014

Snow to wildflowers in a week...

This photo of a snow squall was from 3/25/14 ... but just one week later, 70ยบ and wildflowers blooming in Shakerag Hollow, Sewanee, TN - and many more to come.  

Ahh...the South Cumberland in spring.

Snow squall - March goes out like a lion

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

Celandine poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum)

Dutchman's breeches (Dicentra cucullaria)  

Trout lily (Erythronium americanum)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Exotic trees in FL

I love trees, especially big old trees.   Here are some beauties.  

Kapok Tree (Ceiba Pentandra) native to South and Central America - at the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Art.   And below... a Banyan Tree (Ficus Bengalensis) national tree of India - near the bay, St. Petersburg, FL.  

Roya by the trees...

Monday, March 3, 2014

MTSU alumnus Silviu Ciulei wins Schadt String Competition

$8000 First Prize - It's surely one of the largest prizes ever won by an MTSU Grad.

The Schadt String Competition is the annual national solo string competition of the Allentown Symphony Orchestra. I had a feeling Silviu would win.   He played the Giuliani op. 30 Concerto.  He first learned it in high school in Romania.  This was a stunning win due to the level of competition.  He competed against a very competitive group, GFA Prize winners, the previous 2nd Prize winner in this competition, etc...  but there was no doubt.   He received the judges unanimous decision as well as the audience ballot.

Dr. Silviu Ciulei will return to perform a concerto with the Allentown Symphony next season, as well as a series of solo concerts.

I met Silviu 10+ years ago after I performed a concerto in Constanza, Romania with the Black Sea Philharmonic.   I'm glad he decided to visit me backstage after the concert.  I immediately recognized his ability.  I tried for a year to get the MTSU upper administration to offer some help for him to come to MTSU, to no avail.  But, it was former MTSU School of Music Director, George Riordan, who recognized Silviu's talent in about 10 minutes, and later approved an unprecedentedly large scholarship package.   Without Dr. Riordan's help,  Silviu may not have been able to come to study in the USA at MTSU.

Silviu is an old-school type player... plays with a big sound, lots of rest stroke.   My type of player.

Dr. Silviu Ciulei has earned a place for himself in the US due to his extraordinary gifts and contributions.  I certainly hope the immigration system does the right thing and grants him a green card.  If anyone has earned it, he has.

Congrats gitano.