The University Record, May 6, 1998

Pamela Frank teaches first Sally Fleming Master Class

By Rebecca A. Doyle

Frank works with violinist"The only reason to be nervous is if you are not prepared or have nothing to say, and neither is true in your case," Pamela Frank told violin student Timothy Christie at the Inaugural Sally Fleming Master Class. Christie, who is a senior in the School of Music from McLean, Va., played Sonata No. 4 by Eugene Ysaye.

Frank critiqued four violinists April 25 during the class, the first in a series sponsored by former U-M President Robben Fleming to honor his wife, Sally. Sally Fleming studied both piano and violin and once performed a violin duet with Prof. Gustave Rosseels for a faculty wives' reception.

Teaching the four students to add emotion to their technical skill, Frank repeatedly told the violinists to play to the audience, to let it hear what the music said, and not to take themselves too seriously.

A vibrant and energetic performer and teacher, Frank made her Carnegie Hall debut in 1995 and has given recitals in London, Amsterdam, Paris and Vienna. She has been soloist with orchestras from one end of the United States to the other, and this week she will be on tour in Europe.

Occasionally prodding or poking a performer with her bow, she tickled and cajoled the violinists into loosening up. Results from concentrating less on the print and more on the passion were evident to the audience, which showed warm appreciation for Frank's tips in its applause.

Fleming and FrankIn addition to Christie, Frank heard graduate student Alejandra Urritia, accompanied by Charles Kennedy on piano, who played Franz Schubert's Rondo in A, D. 438. Violinist Gregory Lee, a music graduate student from Australia, joined pianist Jorge Parodi for Mozart's Sonata in B-flat, K. 378, and violinist Stephen Miahky, a first-year student in the School of Music from Akron, Ohio, was accompanied on piano by Miah Im for Erich Korngold's Concerto in D.

Master classes are held in the School of Music to "expose the most gifted music students to visiting artists," notes Morris Risenhoover, assistant to the dean. "The master class setting is a particularly exciting, challenging and rewarding experience in which students have an opportunity to perform for renowned artists whom they may have admired for much of their young lives."