When your violin string snaps on live TV

It just happened to Kristine Balanas at the Latvian Music Awards.

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  • We had one of those recently. Benjamin Beilmann, Tchaikovsky concerto. Associate Concertmaster was thrilled at the chance to change the E string on a Strad 🙂

    It wasn’t on TV though.

  • Jackie Du Pre breaks her top string a few notes into the last movement of the Dvorak concerto. Ease up to this by listening to her amazing 25-second solo near the end of the 2nd, from 23:55.


    “Two minutes please
    While I change
    My string” — almost a poem.

    This concert was in protest of the Soviet re-occupation of Czechoslovakia; see the UN flag hanging up behind the LSO in the Albert Hall.

    The announcer, improvising, seems to imagine that the concert is ruined, maybe Jackie’s career too, and that Russian tanks are now free to roll toward Vienna.

    Notice also — no other bare arms in the LSO, in fact not a single female player, anywhere.

  • Watch conductor, he’s behind violin and orchestra! Unbelievable! Is it smth like “school concert series” ???

  • Maxim Vengerov tells a great story, I hope not apocryphal, about an occasion when he suffered the break of a string while playing the Walton concerto. He reached out to the concertmaster to exchange instruments, but the latter seemed very reluctant to comply. It then dawned on him that it was the viola concerto he was playing…

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