Randwülf

Email:  music22@randwulf.com             Randwulf's other hobby:  HogwartsCampus.com



One day in grade school, without warning, Randy's music tutor suddenly "kidnapped" Randy from his homeroom class and drove him to a school in the next town over. Upon entering, Randy noticed all the students were filing into their gymnasium for some kind of assembly. When his tutor handed Randy a violin, Randy suddenly realized HE was the assembly! His tutor walked Randy to the center of the gym, and with heart pounding and knees shaking, Randy played several pieces he had been working on. This was Randy's first solo performance for a large audience, and it came without any advanced warning whatsoever! But on the ride back to his own school, Randy was even more astonished at his tutor's confidence that Randy could pull this off. It left a profound impact on Randy, as did the applause and attention from the audience, changing his life forever. And creating a powerful lifelong bond between Randy 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.

Quick-picks:
*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

When Randy was 15, he volunteered as a bus boy for an evening fundraising dinner, held at an old stately governor's mansion which had fallen into disrepair. The funds would be used to restore the mansion so it could be used as a public museum/library. Nearly a hundred of Iowa's leading residents were in attendence. Long after dinner, the guests were out on the torch-lit terrace or scattered around the grounds, conversing very late into the evening. Randy's duties were done, and living so far away, he had a long wait for his ride home to arrive. Wandering around inside the dark, empty, furnitureless mansion to avoid the guests outside, he discovered a baby-grand piano in the main parlor. He sat down and began to play extremely softly so as to not to disturb anyone. But someone overheard, and word quickly travelled outside. Before long, all the guests were inside, filling the parlor and spilling out into the entrance hall, silently mesmerized by the extreme delicacy of Randy's playing. He was well used to his playing attracting crowds by now, so he was more than delighted to entertain the impromptu audience...until his ride home arrived. The next day, the newspaper featured an article about the gala event, concluding with the following:   "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."



At age 16, Randy was in the Manion Theater at the University of Wisconsin Superior, practicing late one evening for an upcoming concert there. 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 a few minutes, the door suddenly opened. This was the first moment Randy met Ronald McMahon, the music professor and pipe-organ teacher Randy had just overheard in the recital hall -- and who had now overheard Randy in the basement practice room attempting to play the same song. Ronald left, and returned a few minutes later with the sheet music. Better yet, he took Randy upstairs to the recital hall, turned the lights back on, and let Randy try it out on the pipe-organ! Turns out, this is 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. Commonly thought to have been inspired by sunlight peeking through dark clouds, or by laser beams, Randwülf revealed that the song was actually about, inspired by, and written for Elizabeth Fraser, singer with the pop musical group Cocteau Twins. Other well known people have inspired Randwülf’s creativity as well. 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, under whose direction Randy had previously performed. And he wrote a symphonic suite called "Anna Marie" for friend and actress Patty Duke.

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