Good morning!

When I sat down this month to work up the overture for the Nutcracker, it felt like a big moment.

This time last year, I had just gotten my violin back from the shop, and I thought I would sit down and kick out the Nutcracker after 25 years away.

Well . . . it didn't work out that way.

Here's the video essay where I recount what a terrible moment that was -- and how I've devoted the last year to repairing an act of vandalism on my life.

If you prefer to read the piece, here's a link:

"Take That, Tchaikovsky. I Can Play Again"

During a difficult year, it's been particularly satisfying to resurrect the ability to play again.

I've learned some new things, too.

Last month, I finished adapting John Williams' score for "Fiddler on the Roof" for two violin parts. Then I cranked up the video skills to put the two parts together.

The takeaway? Next time I try something like this, I'll record with a metronome.

That said, I was pretty happy with the result.

If you missed it, here's the link:

Thank you all for joining me this year, and I hope you have a great holiday!

I'll be back in January with a new piece from the audition coach, with advice on how to challenge your rivals in Youth Symphony.

The working title?


Rebecca Raney - The Reckless Violinist

Respectable journalist. Terrible waitress. Reckless Violinist. Noir novelist. Longtime contributor at The New York Times. Sign up to follow my cross-platform project about money, merit and music in the turmoil of America.

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