The late Patric Standford may have written these short pieces deliberately to provoke our feedback. If so, his success is reflected in the rich range of readers' comments appearing at the foot of most of the pages.
Canadian violinist Lara St John was born in London, Ontario on 15 April 1971, the daughter of a language teacher and a music instructor. She began playing the violin at the age of two, and performed in public as soloist with an orchestra when she was four.
St John's education history is rather complicated. She studied locally with Richard Lawrence, then in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, with Linda Cerone, and then studied in Paris for a year with Gerard Jarry, and from thirteen, with Felix Galimir and Arnold Steinhardt at the Curtis Institute, where she received a degree. Then she became the youngest post-graduate student at the Moscow Conservatory, until, during the Soviet Union's decline, her instructors defected, and she decided to travel through the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. An encounter with the Roma people had a great effect on her. Eventually returning to her studies, she studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London with David Takeno, at Mannes College of Music in New York with Felix Galimir and at the New England Conservatory in Boston with Jamie Buswell.
In 1999 she received the 1779 'Salabue' Guadagnini violin - the most important surviving example of the craftsman's work - on permanent loan.
In the same year, she founded her own record company, Ancalagon Records, named after her pet iguana, which freed her to make her own artistic choices unhampered by the commercial considerations of larger companies, producing albums such as The Red Violin and The Knights.
She has performed extensively in North America, Europe and Asia.
Further information: www.larastjohn.com
CD Spotlight. Movingly Realized - Hindson, Corigliano and Liszt played by Lara St John, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'As the grinding sounds of industry and sweeping whoosh of turbine blades recede, St John distances her tone for the central lyrical episode ...'
CD Spotlight. Chalk and Cheese - J S Bach sonatas for violin and harp, heard by Howard Smith. '... unconventional duo performances ...'
CD Spotlight. Simply Dazzling - Piazzolla and Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons', heard by Robert Hugill. '... I rather missed the sound of the bandoneon ...'
Ensemble. All Good Things ... - Malcolm Tattersall's final report from the 2006 Australian Festival of Chamber Music
Ensemble. The Journey Begins - Malcolm Tattersall is at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music 2006