I've played violin for about 11 years, most of them in a school orchestra. I took private lessons as well. Once I got to college (as a computer sci major, not music), orchestra became more of a loathsome chore than the recreational fun it was supposed to be: no competitive events, rehearsals of 2.5 hours, no parties. I stopped playing entirely.
Now that I have a salaried job and my own apartment, I have the time and inclination to play again, and it feels pretty damn good. My job gives me access to UTexas' library system, its massive library included, so any music I want to play, I can get.
I am, of course, limited by talent. I play acceptably, but I'm sure no virtuoso. The body of 'playable' repertoire lies in the Classical and Baroque eras, when music as a whole was much simpler. That's why much of Suzuki method is made up of Handel/Mozart/Bach works.
Under my own training Bach's Violin Concerto in E Major
(legally free score
) is the current pinnacle of my abilities. Still, after years of Suzuki, I am so very sick of Handel/Mozart/Bach music and I'd love to experiment in Romantic and 20th century. These are the eras in which composers take liberties and let loose, which unfortunately results in a prohibitive difficulty for amateurs. Bartok = ouch, Elliott Carter = arm rape.
To the violinists in the house: what solo music (accompaniment OK) do you know written after 1830 (Beethoven died in 1827) that would be playable by a mediocre amateur? I tend to enjoy Romantic more than contemporary music, but will gladly try both. Because I'm a prude, I would strongly prefer composers I've heard of. I know enough modern music that anyone with an ounce of credibility to his name will likely ring a bell, so all ideas are welcome.
Mini-question: I've always wanted to play in a quartet, but my high school could only train one group, so it was sort of the 'awsum kidz only' club that I wasn't in. Any ideas how I could join/start a recreation-only quartet in Austin?