This is it. The Quartet was finally done, perfected and finished about three weeks ago and Yonatan presented it at the VSA (Violin Society of America) Competition in Cleveland, Ohio. Yes, that was our pressing deadline, although we didn’t want to say anything specific so as not to jinx it…. It was all done in time, but at the very last moment. The instruments were finished only days before the competition, and Yonatan gave them to some terrific young Israeli musicians that he knows, who played them intensively before they were sent to the competition. Actually “sent” is not the right verb here, because Yonatan flew to the US carrying the four instruments with him – on one shoulder he carried a special case in which the two violins fit together, on the other shoulder he carried a case with the viola, and he also carried the cello with him on the plane, paying an additional full ticket so the cello could literally sit next to him throughout the cross-Atlantic flight.
Here is the Quartet packed and ready to go:
Anyway – as you can imagine the last few weeks were hectic to say the least, and in fact we were so busy with freeing up as much time as possible for Yonatan to work, to make sure the instruments are ready and perfect on time, that only during the last couple of days before he left we started to actually get excited over the fact that the competition has arrived… And then it really hit us – a full year of intensive, painstaking work has come to an end, and this challenging, almost impossible Quartet project was actually realized.
So Yonatan went to the competition. To make a long story short (and to save you the tension that we went through until that entire week was done and the competition was over), he didn’t bring back any medals…apparently the VSA Competition is an extremely complex and intricate business and you really have to participate at least once to even understand what the rules of the game are and what you need to do to in the future. However, as disappointing as this initially was, the Quartet received good grades, got a lot of attention and compliments, and then the cello of the Quartet was sold on the spot – which as we all know is the ultimate compliment for a violin maker!
And that’s it. Yonatan came home with the three smaller instruments and they will probably soon also go their separate ways…
But before this happened we took one last picture of our “four kids”, and here they are:
What an amazing, unforgettable year this has been! In parallel to the Quartet Project we bought a house for the first time in our life, renovated it and moved to a new community, put three kids into a new school and two new kindergartens… and wrote this blog:)
So now we go back to a calmer, more ordinary routine – although knowing us, I’m sure we’ll come up with a new challenge. Personally, writing this blog was a truly terrific experience. I wrote my first entry almost exactly 11 months ago. I just reread it, and it seems to me as if it was more like a decade ago that I wrote those words. So much has happened since! Between the pressures and pleasures of life – two jobs, three kids, varying number of animals in the house, family, friends, Israeli politics, house renovations, moving and, you know, LIFE – it was at times a real challenge finding the time, the energy and the peace-of-mind to write. But I truly enjoyed it and maybe I’ll still write from time to time. But this project is over for me too, and following the construction of Yonatan’s stringed Quartet is now done.
I hope you enjoyed this at least as much as I did. And don’t worry – Yonatan already started to work on a brand new violin… you can check it all out in his website!
So long, and thanks for following (and for all the fish)!!!
Kiryat Tivon, Israel