November 12, 2004
Dean Shostak to perform seasonal favorites on the new glass violin
Acclaimed musician Dean Shostak will give a dozen performances of his popular programs, “Crystal Carols,” “Benjamin Franklin’s Glass Armonica,” and “Crystal Christmas” throughout the Colonial Williamsburg holiday season. This year, Shostak will incorporate his new glass violin into each of his performances. This unusual instrument, the body of which is made entirely of glass, debuted in the U.S. in an October concert of classical music performed by Shostak at Colonial Williamsburg’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
The glass violin, which was custom-made for Shostak in Japan by the Hario Glass Co., is one of only two such instruments in existence and the only one of its kind in this country. Hario created the mold for the new glass violin after months of studying the construction of wooden violins and then experimenting with the thickness of the glass. Hand-blown from a single piece of sturdy, heat-resistant glass, the glass violin weighs a hefty three pounds, nearly three times the weight of its wooden counterpart.
“The glass violin is surprisingly heavy to hold and it requires additional support technique when I play it,” said Shostak. “It is challenging and exciting to learn how to make the glass violin sing with its new crystal voice.”
In November, Shostak will give four performances of “Benjamin Franklin’s Glass Armonica,” a concert showcasing the music and stories of Franklin’s enchanting musical creation, at the Kimball Theatre in Merchants Square. Shostak’s program features classical works for glass armonica by Mozart, Saint-Saëns and other composers from his new CD/DVD “The Glass Armonica.” Concerts are at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 5, 12, 19 and 30. Tickets are $5, seniors/students $4.
In December, Shostak will perform “Crystal Carols,” a holiday musical program featuring an assortment of glass instruments including the glass armonica and the glass violin at the Wallace Museum’s Hennage Auditorium. Performances are at 12 noon and 2 p.m. Dec. 4, 7 p.m. Dec. 13, 7 p.m. Dec. 17, 12 noon and 2 p.m. Dec. 19, and 12 noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Dec. 26. Tickets are $8 per person in addition to museum admission.
Also in December, Shostak will perform his program “Crystal Christmas,” which will feature his ever-expanding collections of new and antique glass instruments with the nationally acclaimed handbell ensemble, Tapestry. These concerts will be on Dec. 6 and 23 at 7 and 9 p.m. at the Kimball Theatre in Merchants Square. Tickets are $10 per person.
Performing for Colonial Williamsburg since 1979, Shostak holds a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Virginia. He is one of only 10 performers in the world of the glass armonica, Benjamin Franklin’s 1761 musical invention that continues to mesmerize audiences today with its delicate, transparent sound. Shostak has made a career of early American music in concerts, recordings and workshops. He has eight recordings ranging from the glass armonica to colonial children’s music and even one with Davy Crockett’s fiddle.
Shostak’s national appearances have included NPR’s “All Things Considered,” NBC’s “Nightside,” BBC’s Good Morning TV, The Weather Channel and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. His latest recording, “The Glass Armonica,” is available by calling toll-free (800) 588-3326. For more information about Dean Shostak, visit online www.glassmusic.com.