Randwülf: Fun FAQ      

As a child, Randy's first solo performance in front of a large audience came with no advance warning whatsoever!   His school day just started, when his tutor came to his homeroom and asked the teacher to excuse him from class.  His tutor had him fetch his violin, and then drove him to another school in a nearby town.  When they arrived, the halls were filled with students pouring into their gymnasium for an assembly.  Extremely shy Randy suddenly learned HE was the assembly!  After the introduction, his tutor escorted him to the center of the gym, in front of the entire school body.  Knees shaking, Randy performed the solo he had been working on.  After a robust applause, he answered questions from the audience, and then drove to another school and did it all over again.  By the third time, Randy's confidence was growing, as was his appeal for the attention and applause.  Randy considers this the pivotal moment, changing the path of his life forever!  And as the first time in his life ever to see someone show confidence in him, it created a strong bond between he and his tutor.

At age 10, Randy performed a concert only a few hours after being struck by a car.  It threw him up into the air and he landed on the car, shattering the windshield, and was then thrown off the hood to the curb.  He got up, thinking the car had simply knocked him over, and was walking around when the emergency vehicles arrived.  He didn't want to go to the hospital, worried that he would miss his concert.  The emergency responders had to convince him to go, to make sure he didn't have any internal injuries.

*Piano's have 88 keys.  Randy performed on one with 92.  I don't think even Van Cliburn can say that!
*Randy has performed in concert with Warner Klemperer (a.k.a. Colonel Klink from Hogan's Heroes)
*Randy mowed lawns for several months, so he could afford to buy his first violin, which cost $325
*Though not a prize violin, Randy really loved its warm sound. So he was crushed, when it got crushed!
*Randy turned down meeting the U.S. president because he didn't want to delay a dentist appointment.
*Randy performed at the W. Hoffmann piano factory in Germany on a piano less than 60 minutes old.
*John Houseman, founder of the New York Acting Company, was an avid Randwülf fan and friend.
*Randy performed in an 1812 Overture concert where a world record was set for fireworks!  Ouch!

Randy's core instrumental music tutors as a child and teenager:
*Violin: Alphonse Carlo, James Pipkin, Allen Ohmes, Elmar Oliveira, Ani Kavafian, William Quiram
*Viola: Laurence Burkhalter, Kim Kashkashian, William Preucil, Sandra Nortier
*Cello/Bass: George Work, Charles Abplanalp
*Oboe/English Horn: Alice Smith
*Piano: Rudolf Firkusny, Emanuel Ax, Garrick Ohlsson
*Organ/Harpsichord: Ronald McMahon, Lynn Zeigler
*Composition: Richard Von Grabow, Aaron Copland, David Amram
*Conducting: James Dixon, Francesco Italiano, Hugo Jan Huss, Taavo Virkhaus

There is a foundation that raises funds to purchase and restore old mansions, saving them for their historical significance, while re-tasking them for community use as libraries, museums, art galleries, etc.  At a fundraising dinner to restore a former Iowa governor's mansion, the guest list included many prominent members of the community.  Fifteen-year-old Randy was also there volunteering as a bus boy.  Long after dinner, the guests were out on the torch-lit terrace conversing late into the evening.  Randy's duties were done, and he was inside waiting for his ride home, when he spotted a baby-grand piano in one of the rooms.  He sat down and began to play very softly, so as to not disturb anyone.  A few guests inside heard it, and word quickly travelled outside.  Before long, all the guests were inside, surrounding the piano, filling the room and the hallways leading to it, mesmerized by the extreme delicacy of Randy's playing.  He was well used to his playing attracting crowds, and had extensive concert experience by now.  So he was more than delighted to play for the impromptu audience...until his ride home arrived.  But he didn't expect to see his name in the newspapers the next day!  One such article, after describing all the details of the gala event, concluded with:  "It was approaching midnight when beautiful music drifted unexpectedly throughout the darkened house. One of the bus boys, unwinding at the piano, quite clearly and unintentionally provided the raison d’être for the entire project."  Even as a bus boy, Randy couldn't avoid making news.

Randy has a rare ability to play by ear (playing songs only after hearing them, having never seen the sheet music).  At age 16, he was at the University of Wisconsin Superior, practicing late one evening for an upcoming concert at the Manion Theater.  On his way out the door, he heard amazing pipe-organ music coming from the recital hall.  After hearing the song only once, he went back down to the basement practice rooms and began figuring it out on the piano.  After about ten minutes, the door opened.  It was Ronald McMahon, the music professor and pipe-organ teacher who Randy had just overheard in the recital hall, and who now had overheard Randy in the practice room playing the same song.  He left without saying a word, reappeared a few minutes later, and handed Randy a full copy of the sheet music.  After Randy tried it out on the piano, Ronald took him upstairs, turned on the recital hall lights again, and let Randy try it out on the pipe-organ!  Only then were introductions made, and Randy realized this was the father of Kevin McMahon, a gifted violinist who Randy was performing with there at the University.

Randy is 16 in the above photo.  Just a few people he performed with as a teenager:

*Christoph von Dohnanyi - conductor, Cleveland Symphony
*Yehudi Menuhin - conductor, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London
*Larry Newland - conductor, New York Philharmonic
*Taavo Virkhaus - conductor, Duluth-Superior Symphony

*Charles Abplanalp (violin) - Tri-City Symphony
*Alphonse Carlo (violin) - concertmaster emeritus, Florida Symphony
*Mahlon Darlington (violin) - faculty, Iowa State University
*Steven Leonard (violin) - assistant concertmaster, Alabama Symphony
*Kevin McMahon (violin) - music director/conductor, New York Repertory Orchestra
*Robert McNally (violin) - concertmaster, Jackson Symphony
*James Pipkin (violin) - assistant concertmaster, Alabama Symphony
*Margaret Plucker (violin) - associate concert mistress, Jackson Stmphony
*Charles Rex (violin) - associate concertmaster, New York Philharmonic
*Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg (violin) - Salzburg Musici

*Laurence Burkhalter (viola) - faculty, Iowa State University
*Todd Gabriel (viola) - Alabama Symphony
*Sandra Nortier (viola) - Alabama Stmphony

*Janina Ehrlich (cello) - faculty, Augustana College
*Craig Hultgren (cello) - Alabama Symphony
*Micheal Romanul (cello) - assistant principal cello, Florida Symphony
*Gregory Sauer (cello) - faculty, Florida State University
*Janos Starker (cello) - Indiana University Jacobs School of Music
*George Work (cello) - faculty, Iowa State University

*Sue Haug (piano) - faculty, Iowa State University
*Joan Trap Fish (harpsichord) - faculty, St. Ambrose College
*Carol Hawkinson (organ) - faculty, St. Ambrose College
*Lynn Zeigler (pipe organ) - faculty, Iowa State University

*Jack Herrick (horn) - Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra
*Rebecca Kemper (oboe) - faculty, Ohio University
*Katherine Kitzman (flute) - Delaware Symphony
*Joseph Meidt (clarinet) - Duluth-Superior Symphony
*Nicholas Orovich (trombone) - principal trombone, Portland Symphony
*Richard Svoboda (bassoon) - Jacksonville Symphony

Randwülf fans favorite piano piece is his enchanting "Single Thread of Light" (from the like-titled CD) written when he was 17.  Commonly thought to have been inspired by sunlight peeking through dark clouds, or laser beams, Randwülf revealed that it is actually his description of singer Elizabeth Fraser, from the pop musical group Cocteau Twins.  He admits to being a big fan of her voice, and their music.  Other well known people have inspired Randwülf’s creativity as well.  To name a few - he composed a three part symphonic suite called "Anna Marie" for friend and actress Patty Duke.  He wrote a violin concerto for Charles Rex, associate concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic.  He wrote a sonnet upon the death of renown American composer Aaron Copland.  A few years earlier, while Randwülf was in his mid-teens, he had met and performed under Aaron's direction.

After college, the doors to many symphonies were open to Randwülf, and his solo career opportunities were bright.  But six months later, after the death of his mentor and tutor since childhood, Randy felt the need to grow beyond the musical accomplishments of his youth.  He began to explore several of his other passions which had taken a back seat.  He has since written and produced more than a hundred TV commercials.  He develops computer software for the largest media company in the world.  He built his own music recording studio and produces piano and New Age music.  And he designes and draws amazing architectural floor plans.

Randwülf has now attracted a completely different group of international fans.  His architecture website flooded with visitors when he posted the only full set of floor plans on the internet for the fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria.  But the site went viral when he created the floor plans for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, from the Harry Potter films!  His Hogwarts Castle plan is being used by thousands of school teachers around the world to create class projects for their students, capitalizing on the film's popularity with children.  And countless Harry Potter fans, artists, computer game designers and animators, chocolate and ice block sculptors, gingerbread bakers, model railroad enthusiasts, college architecture professors and students, civil engineers, the U.S. Department of Urban Development, and even the Vatican have reported using his unique collection of floor plans for projects, study, or just plain fun!  Click the Contacts tab above, and choose the HogwartsCampus link to take a peek!
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