Summer Violin Workshop with Daniel Stepner

Each summer, Brandeis University welcomes talented violinists from around the country to participate in the Aston Magna at Brandeis University Summer Music Workshops. These talented musicians participate in a six-day intensive workshop focused on the solo violin works of Johann Sebastian Bach, but touches on other music and on general performance issues for violinists.

daniel stepner 2014 summer violin workshop boston
During this intensive, students are treated to private coaching, private practicing, complimentary communal group lunches, master classes, lecture demonstrations, a group visit to the Boston Museum of Fine Art’s Musical Instrument Collection, and admission to rehearsals of the Aston Magna professional concerts. The week concludes with a participants’ concert at week’s end.

The summer Unaccompanied Bach Workshop for violinists is under the direction of Mr. Daniel Stepner. Mr. Stepner is first violinist of the Lydian String Quartet, and is in residence at Brandeis University, where he is Professor of the Practice in the Brandeis Music Department. He also teaches at Harvard University, where he is a Preceptor in Music and team-teaches a course with Robert Levin. He is also Artistic Director of the Aston Magna Festival.
Participants from previous years have praised the program:

“The intensity of a coaching session every day and the follow-through/consistency which this allowed was a very special opportunity”
— Georgia L., violinist and musicologist

“It was a special treat to have intense one-on-one lessons with Prof. Stepner. I studied everything from the dynamics of voicing, the drama of harmonic phrasing, and chromatic fingerings especially helpful in solo Bach — to bowings and small technical points that can make a performance stylistically convincing. I highly recommend this course to anyone wishing to improve their understanding and performance of Bach’s solo music.”
— Lisa P., emerging professional violinist

The Unaccompanied Bach Workshop for violinists is open to students, serious amateurs or professionals. The program is currently accepting applications and audition recordings from violinists at:

The Best of Boston…in Waltham!

brandeis eatsThis month’s Boston Magazine features the city’s best cheap eats and many of them happen to be a stone’s throw from Brandeis! From an amazing egg sandwich to five star tacos, these once hidden gems are now front page news.

Thinking about summer courses?–> Get Brandeis Summer Updates

This month’s cover shows a steaming breakfast sandwich found at Moody’s Delicatessen & Provisions on none other than Moody St in Waltham. One look at that melty cheese, smoking bun, and thick cut might make you consider setting your alarm clock an hour early to get there right at 7am. However, the $5.50 price tag is what will actually makes you do it. While you’re there, check out everything the deli has to offer, and you may just consider a return trip for lunch. Moody’s yelp page boasts rave reviews of their Bahn Mi along with their pastrami sandwich named “the Katz.” At Moody’s you’ll definitely get your money’s worth. Even though the sandwiches are in the range of $10-$12, once you experience the quality, the value is undeniable.

If a sandwich value doesn’t get you off the couch, perhaps the tacos found at Taqueria El Amigo on Willow St in Waltham will. This incredibly tiny restaurant will earn a giant sized place in your heart if you’re craving tacos el pastor or some mighty tasty salsa. They actually import the sodas from Mexico, so say adios to high fructose corn syrup and bienvenidos to sugar in that Coca-Cola…delivered to your table in a vintage glass bottle. The cheap eats section begins with a photo of their now famous tacos, but Boston Magazine wants you to try the lengua taco. Perhaps you should head over and sample a few varieties, then decide for yourself. Just make sure to bring cash; no credit cards are accepted. This place has been a long-time favorite of Brandeis students looking for good food near campus. Check out their yelp page with 4.5 stars after 199 reviews.

There are tons of  other options in not so distant locations, but when you feel the need to head downtown to sample some amazing fare, remember there are a few renowned local joints, not too far from campus that might just satisfy your cravings!

Explore nature just steps from Brandeis

hiking snowshoeing biking waltham ma
Snowdrops blooming on the Brandeis campus.

There’s always something happening at Brandeis, but did you know you can also experience some local wildlife steps from campus? Both the Waltham Land Trust and Mass Audubon offer members of the local community access to parks, trails, programming and more.

The Waltham Land Trust hosts a number of events to get you outside throughout the year, from hiking to biking, to clean-ups and playground building. There are tons of opportunities to get out and about this spring and summer- check out pics from recent events! New England is known for beautiful seasons and exploring the parks in the spring, summer, fall, and winter can help you get inspired to write that upcoming paper you’ve been avoiding. Not sure where to go? The Waltham Land Trust offers a series of maps to help get you started.

One map on the Land Trust website will show you the way to the Beaver Brook Historic Reservation in Belmont. Easily accessed by public transportation, just hop on the commuter rail from Brandeis and head inbound to the Waverly stop. Whether you’re in the mood to cross-country ski in the winter, go fishing this spring, or cool off in summer, Beaver Brook offers 60 acres of outdoor activity right on the Waltham/Belmont line. Make sure to check out the waterfall and historic mill while you’re there!

Feeling super adventurous? Journey to nearby Belmont or Lincoln and visit the parks and greenspace associated with Mass Audubon. Mass Audubon offers a lot more than birdwatching and hiking. They support the community by offering seasonal CSAs (community supported agriculture), lectures on various topics, and classes in Photoshop or cheesemaking. You can find out all the happenings by accessing their programs page. The wildlife sanctuaries and parks associated with Mass Audubon are not only beautiful, but a center of activity. You can spend an hour, day or days at the parks being as active or inactive as you’d like. Mass Audubon offers you the opportunity to volunteer your time and grow your talents.


Tapas and Science? Yes Please

cafe science waltham 2014

What do science and tapas have in common? Seemingly not very much, unless you’re at Brandeis. Now you won’t be able to imagine one without the other.

On the first Monday of every month from 6-7pm, Cafe Science (whose mission is to engage the local community in conversation about cutting-edge scientific research) takes over a room at Solea (whose mission is to serve amazing tapas) on Moody Street in Waltham. Everyone is welcome to learn something new from Brandeis faculty while they enjoy amazing food in a warm and welcoming environment.

The next talk on February 3rd is with Mathematics Professor Ruth Charney, titled “Geometry for Grown-Ups.” Professor Charney plans to explore geometric structures, both useful and fun to play with. Did you know she’s also the President of the Association for Women in Mathematics?

Well, if Geometry isn’t enough to get you out the door, save the date for Professor Paul Garrity’s talk on April 7th, “From Spicy Hot to Minty Fresh: Temperature, Taste and Pain.” Professor Garrity specializes in the study of molecular genetics of neural development and behavior at Brandeis while running a number of studies in the lab. He might be able to tell us why some folks at Solea prefer the spice of patatas bravas while others enjoy the savory and sweet chuletillas. You’ll just have to go to find out for yourself.

Whatever the topic, you’ll definitely have a great time. Only here will you learn something new while trying a new tapa each month. For a complete list of speakers and their topics (past and future), visit the Cafe Science website or Facebook page.

Reflect, Explore, and Connect with the Hiatt Career Center

Antique English Pen

If you haven’t visited the Hiatt Career Center yet, you are missing out. Providing networking, internship opportunities, career advice and even help with your grad school application, the Hiatt Center can help, like Brandeis Summer School, to get the most out of your experience at Brandeis.

The Hiatt Career Center is there to help you no matter where you may be in your career exploration. On their homepage, you can find links to explore majors, review networking basics, and search for jobs and internships. You can also find out how take advantage of a number of funding resources both during your tenure as a student and beyond. If you can’t make one of the career fair events over the break, you might decide to explore the Hiatt website to create or update your resume, fine tune your cover letters or learn how to brand yourself online using social media.

Not sure what you want to do or where you want to do it? Take a look at what the 2012 graduates of Brandeis are up to to get some ideas, More than 91% of students are working or in graduate school in fields like healthcare, education and finance. You can also participate in a Year-of-Service upon graduation, just like the alumni before you. When you take advantage of the resources on and off campus, you’re preparing for your future in a proactive and direct manner. Let the Hiatt Career Center staff assist you in developing the skills to transform your unique background, liberal arts education and experiential learning into meaningful professional futures and relationships.


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