Category Archives: Biographies

Face to Face with Jeff from Kennedy Violins

Today we go all the way to the back of the shop and meet one of our luthiers on staff: Jeff Pomerantz.   Jeff is not only a talented luthier, he is also a very talented guitarist with a degree in Music Business.   Which means our customers can not only get quality string instruments from Jeff but, quality guitar lessons as well.

Jeff Pomerantz, Portland guitarist
Jeff Pomerantz, Portland guitarist

1. How long have you worked at Kennedy Violins?   Since June of 2014

2. What is your favorite thing about working at Kennedy Violins and why?  It would have to be a combination of learning about instrument setup/repair and the sense of community with the people I work with.   We all get along well, for the most part, which makes me look forward to coming to work everyday.

3. What is your favorite instrument that Kennedy Violins carries and why?  I like the Vitacek violin because of the unique sunburst finish and louder, present sound. It really stands out

Mikhail Vitacek Violin Outfit from Kennedy Violins
Mikhail Vitacek Violin Outfit from Kennedy Violins

4. What is your favorite band or musician?  As far as bands; hands down, Led Zeppelin.  My favorite musician changes with every season, and sometimes every week.

I rediscovered Paul Simon this past summer, but now that its raining all the time around here, Im really getting into a fall mood listening to Kaki King.

5. If you didn’t play the guitar, which instrument would you play?  Saxophone?  Sousaphone, Triangle. Yep, Triangle.

6. Which musician (alive or dead) do you wish you could play with?  Julian Bream

Julian Bream
Julian Bream

7. What are you looking forward to most in the upcoming year?   Whatever projects/music I may find or become apart of…

8. What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working at Kennedy Violins?  Either playing music, hiking, or going to shows around Portland

Face to Face with Shiloh from Kennedy Violins

Continuing our “Face to Face” series, we are excited to introduce the newest member the Kennedy Violins team: Shiloh Congleton. Prior to joining the staff at KV, Shiloh apprenticed one-on-one for several years under an exceptional luthier and master repairman at one of only a handful of shops on the West Coast authorized by C.F. Martin & Co. After performing warranty-related work on Martin instruments, Shiloh’s professional training has given him the ability to recognize the subtle differences that make an instrument perform both as it should and at its best—the latter for which he strives.

shiloh
Shiloh Congleton, Kennedy Violins Luthier

1. How long have you worked at Kennedy Violins?

I have worked at Kennedy violins since Dec. 2013.

2. What is your favorite thing about working at Kennedy Violins and why?

My favorite thing about working at Kennedy Violins is that we are able to offer instruments at almost every price point, enabling most anyone with the desire to play  an instrument to be able to afford one, whether it be through a rental program, an entry level instrument or a high end setup, thereby spreading the power of music as far as we can.

3. What is your favorite instrument/product that Kennedy Violins carries and why?

My favorite product that we carry is the Bunnel violin outfit. Although many of the other instruments that we carry are “better”, I feel that the Bunnel is the perfect balance between affordability and playability. As mentioned in my response to question #2, my favorite thing is putting instruments in the hands of those that wish to play them. Sadly, beginning musicians often quit because the entry level instruments available in their price range are simply of such poor quality that they do not sound good and/or are difficult to play. I feel that our Bunnel line of instruments successfully bridge that elusive gap between affordability and quality.

4. What is your favorite band/musician/composer?

Possibly the most difficult question to answer ever… but my favorite musician (this year) is Peter Green.

5. If you didn’t play the violin/viola/cello/guitar, which instrument would you play?

I would wish to play the cello.

6. Which musician (alive or dead) do you wish you could play with?

I plead the fifth.

7. What are you looking forward to most in the upcoming year?

This year I am most looking forward to completing the instrument builds that I have begun.

8. What is something interesting that we don’t already know about you?

I have two connected toes on each foot!

9. What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working at Kennedy Violins?

My favorite thing to do when not at Kennedy Violins is to build instruments and spend time with my beautiful wife and daughter.

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Learn more about the amazing members of our Kennedy Violins staff on our About Us page!

Face to Face with Brandon from Kennedy Violins

Today, we hear from Brandon, one of the newest additions to our talented luthier department.

1. How long have you worked at Kennedy Violins?

A few months…about five.

2. What is your favorite thing about working at Kennedy Violins and why?

I am endlessly immersed in music. Whether it’s setting up instruments or listening to Pandora, I love it.

3. What is your favorite instrument that Kennedy Violins carries and why?

My favorite instrument we carry would have to be the Henner. I like the flame. It looks like it has come right off the side of a golden tiger.

4. What is your favorite musician?

My favorite musician (believe it or not) would have to be Justin Beiber. Not so much his earlier music, but his newer stuff has showed a great jump in maturity.

This is how we would hope Justin Bieber to add maturity to his music. :-)
What might make Justin’s music even better!

5. If you didn’t play the guitar, which instrument would you play?

I would love to learn to play a hammered dulcimer. They sound super cool.

6. Which musician (alive or dead) do you wish you could play with?

I would love to play with and learn from John Cooper: the lead singer and bassist for the band, Skillet.

7. What are you looking forward to most in the upcoming year?

I am most looking forward to visiting my dad in Florida this Fall.

Greetings from Florida

8. What is something interesting that we don’t already know about you?

I am both a musician and a motor head. In fact, I built my car from the ground up for under 2k.

9. What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working at Kennedy Violins?

I play tons of video games. My favorite game is Mass Effect 3.

Face to Face with Heather from Kennedy Violins

Today, we get to know Heather Case, a Kennedy Violins veteran!

Heather started playing violin in the public school system in the third grade. She continued through college where she studied music education. Currently, she performs locally with groups like the Beaverton Symphony Orchestra and the North Oregon Coast Symphony.

Heather Face1. How long have you worked at Kennedy Violins?
Two and a half years

2. What is your favorite thing about working at Kennedy Violins and why?
It hardly ever feels like work! When I get up in the morning, I am excited to go play violin and talk to people about playing the violin all day long. From the very beginning student — to the parent who is encouraging a student to begin — to a teacher doing research for their program — to a professional player who wants to try new strings, I look forward to all aspects of the string world in my day.

3. What is your favorite instrument/product that Kennedy Violins carries and why?
That constantly changes because we are always getting something new! My current favorite is the Vitacek Violin Outfit because it has such an incredible sound and is easy to play. I’ve been calling it our “red violin” or the “gypsy violin” because of the color of the finish. But, our new David Yale line is quickly growing on me as we have been getting them in and playing each of them. They definitely have unique characters to them (you can click here to see more David Yale instruments).

4. What is your favorite band/musician/composer?
I always wanted to be involved in movie soundtracks or Broadway musicals as a kid. I find ways to play for cheesy occasions whenever I can. It is my guilty musical pleasure.

5. If you didn’t play the violin, which instrument would you play?
Piano, without a doubt. Performing an instrument with both hands seems to be a constant hurdle for me. I should say something more like the ‘bagpipes,’ but that’s not going to happen.

6. Which musician (alive or dead) do you wish you could play with?
For me, music has never been about fame or fortune. I am amazed by people who do it so well, but music is a very social thing in my life. Performing with my friends and family (especially my kids) is the best thing ever, and I wouldn’t give that up for performing with someone who would only intimidate the heck out of me.

7. What are you looking forward to most in the upcoming year?
With our new retail location, I’m looking forward to working with new teachers and school programs in our immediate area as well as outreach across the country.

A picture of Heather drawn by one of her students.
A picture of Heather drawn by one of her students.

Face to Face with Liz from Kennedy Violins

Today, our ongoing “Face to Face” series introduces us to, perhaps, one of the most diversely gifted members of the Kennedy Violins team, Liz Lambson.

Liz poses with her bass, James.
Liz poses with her bass, James.

Liz Lambson: string bass player, artist, luthier, and writer–and somehow she plays all these roles at Kennedy Violins! She grew up in Colorado Springs, studied music and English at Brigham Young University, and moved to the Portland area about four years ago. Besides working at KV and freelancing as a classical bassist, Liz is also a mom of two little boys.

1. How long have you worked at Kennedy Violins?
Two years. Time flies!

2. What is your favorite thing about working at Kennedy Violins and why?
Working at Kennedy Violins in itself has been my favorite thing. By far, this has been the most fulfilling, rewarding, and enjoyable job I’ve ever had, and I constantly feel so blessed to work doing something I absolutely love. As a luthier and writer, I get to use my skills and knowledge as a musician in an artistic, creative way that is both fun and intellectually stimulating. Win, win!

I especially love working with my hands, which is why lutherie is such a great fit for me. I love the feel of sawdust and wood when I’m carving bridges and nuts and smoothing down fingerboards (click here to learn more about our professional set-up). I even enjoy washing my hands after work and seeing how much grime rinses off! There’s something strangely fulfilling about getting your hands dirty while getting up close and personal with these instruments. It’s like gardening, but we’re growing violins instead of snow peas or something.

Liz poses with the custom artwork she created just for us!
Liz poses with the custom artwork she created just for us!

3. What is your favorite instrument/product that Kennedy Violins carries and why?
That is a tough question. All the violins have different features worth loving. As one who works on the instruments, I have two favorites: the Ricard Bunnel G2 and G1 violins and the Anton Gerard violins. The Bunnels are fun because those are the ones I do the most finish work on, so each one is like a little craft project–and I am a die-hard sucker for crafts.

As far as the nicer violins go for more advanced players, I really love the Gerards because they are so, so beautiful with their tiger-flamed one-piece backs. The flame is just so stunning. And they sound great.

4. What is your favorite band/musician/composer?
While I love music by classic composers (especially Bach) and modern musicians (from jazz pianist Dave Brubeck to the folky Fleet Foxes to bust-a-move Beyoncé), my favorite and most meaningful musical experiences have been with musicians I know personally and with whom I’ve had the privilege to perform.

With that said, my favorite pop artist is Fresh Big Mouf, my favorite band is Fictionist, and my favorite composer is Christian Asplund. Each of these artists has been so influential when it comes to my own musical development and understanding of creativity.

5. If you didn’t play the bass, which instrument would you play?
I would play the bass. Which I do. I seriously think the bass is the best because 1) it’s so versatile and allows you to play any style of music (classical, jazz, rock, folk, etc.), 2) it’s so big it can beat up any other instrument, 3) it can serve as a boat in a flash flood situation, and 4) I play it, so you can trust me.

Liz (and James) at All-NW.
Liz (and James) at All-NW.

6. What are you looking forward to most in the upcoming year?
I’m actually moving to New York soon. (Don’t worry, I’ll still be working and writing remotely for KV!) I’m excited to check out the East coast music scene and meet new people.

7. What is something interesting that we don’t already know about you?
I’m half black and half Korean, which means I can make both family-recipe gumbo and family-recipe chajangmyeon (noodles with vegetables and black soybean paste).

8. What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working at Kennedy Violins?
Eat French fries with my boys.

Face to Face with Travis from Kennedy Violins

This week, we will feature one of the newest additions to the KV team, Travis Chapman.

Travis is a freelance violinist based in Portland, OR who began playing the violin at the age of eight in the Portland public school string program. Recently, he has completed his Bachelor’s degree in music performance from Portland State University and has been completely engrossed in the Northwest music culture. Travis has a private studio where he teaches students, in addition to performing with various ensembles and orchestras in the area including the Vancouver Symphony, Portland Columbia Symphony, Classical Revolution, The Degenerate Art Ensemble, and the Contemporary Portland Orchestra Project.

Recently, Travis took some time to answer a few questions about his life and his time with Kennedy Violins.

Travis Blog1.  How long have you worked at Kennedy Violins?
This is my third month at Kennedy’s.

2. What is your favorite thing about working at Kennedy Violins and why?
I love the overall mission of the shop and the atmosphere that it creates.  Everyone that works here is extremely positive and motivated to providing the best possible instruments to those that have the desire to learn them.  Another benefit is that we all have so much fun doing it!

3. What is your favorite instrument/product that Kennedy Violins carries and why?
The Frank Lee violins are my personal favorite.  The overall sound is so warm and smooth, that it feels like you’re sitting in a hot tub while you play it.  I also love the Portland shoulder rest that we carry, which I began using after I started working here!

4. What is your favorite band/musician/composer?
I love so many composers, but I am a bigger fan of music with impressionistic and/or minimalistic qualities.  Some composers include Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Philip Glass, and Max Richter.  I love listening to music that paints a picture in my head, but not in a completely structured way.  I think that when the music is more free, it allows your imagination to be as well.

5. If you didn’t play the violin, which instrument would you play?
I actually do love being a violinist, but if I had to learn to play another instrument, I would pick the banjo.  I know, it seems kind of strange, but it’s always been a fantasy of mine!  I remember seeing Bela Fleck a couple of years ago at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, and ever since I have always had a desire to learn.

6. Which musician (alive or dead) do you wish you could play with?
Oh my gosh there are so many!  The first that comes to mind is Elvis Presley.

7. What are you looking forward to most in the upcoming year?
I’m looking forward to the shop’s showroom growing, improving, and becoming a place that people come to enjoy (click here to see our new showroom).  I’m also excited for all of the recitals that are scheduled to take place here.  Personally speaking, I’m looking forward to doing some traveling and to continue my musical education, meet new musicians, and make some music!

8. What is something interesting that we don’t already know about you?
I love to perform comedy in my spare time!  Shhhhh, it’s a secret.

9. What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working at Kennedy Violins?
Whenever I’m not at Kennedy’s, I’m usually practicing or performing somewhere.  If that’s not happening, you’ll find me cooking in the kitchen, reading, or coming up with some new skits.  I also love going out and seeing live artistic performances, whether they are music related or not.

Travis 2

Face to Face with Joel from Kennedy Violins

Today, we are continuing our “Face to Face” series by featuring the man, the myth, the legend: Joel Kennedy.

Joel is the Founder and President of Kennedy Violins.  He has played viola and violin for over thirty years. He attended the Eastman School of Music in New York, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in viola performance and completed graduate studies in education there as well. Joel has played professionally in orchestras all around the United States and has students attending top conservatories in the U.S. and abroad. He is currently a violist in the Portland Opera here in Portland, Oregon.

Recently, Joel took some time to answer a few questions about his life and his time with Kennedy Violins.

1. How long have you worked at Kennedy Violins?

I officially began Kennedy Violins December of 2000.  However, as a stringed teacher, I had been providing instruments to my students and friends for years before that.

2. What is your favorite thing about working at Kennedy Violins and why?

My favorite aspect of working at Kennedy Violins is having the opportunity to effect change.  As the person who is in charge of “steering the ship”, I am able to use the influence of Kennedy Violins in a positive way that not only affects the local market but the national one as well.  For a long time, I have seen how the stereotypical elitist nature of classical music has left many people in our culture out in the cold when it comes to having access to bowed stringed instruments.  Working at Kennedy Violins has served as a vehicle for changing this pervasive dynamic in our society.

Joel and one of his students.
Joel and one of his students.

3. What is your favorite instrument/product that Kennedy Violins carries and why?

This is a tough question because every brand we carry represents what we feel is the best instrument in that price range.  I’d have to say that the Ricard Bunnel is my favorite because its low cost gets the most kids involved in classical music.  It’s the best starting point, for a kid, if you’re new to a stringed instrument.

4. What is your favorite band/musician/composer?

My favorite composer is Shostakovich.  There are many composers music that I have enjoyed for many years but the depth and genius of Shostakovich gets to me every time.

5. If you didn’t play the viola, which instrument would you play?

If I could do it all over again, I’d choose the piano or the cello.  I think the cello has the most compelling singing voice of all the bowed stringed instruments and the piano is the complete vehicle in which to experience the full complexity of what a composer was able to create.

6. Which musician (alive or dead) do you wish you could play with?

I’d love to play with Beethoven.  I’d sit down at the piano with him and say “do we really NEED to put a repeat there?..”

7. What are you looking forward to most in the upcoming year?

As usual, it’s very exciting at Kennedy Violins currently because it is a time of great change.  With the revamping of our web site, the introduction of new workshop instruments, like David Yale (you can see these new violins by clicking here), and the new retail store in Vancouver, WA.  I can’t to see how it’ll all turns out in the coming year!

8. What is something interesting that we don’t already know about you?

Most people don’t know that I like to auto race.  I have two racing licenses.  One with the SCCA and the other is with the ICSCC.

Kennedy Violin's Racecar
Joel’s race car. Sponsored by Kennedy Violins, of course! 🙂

9. What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working at Kennedy Violins?

I like to spend time with my wife and two girls and auto race.

Face to Face with Elizabeth from Kennedy Violins

We are all musicians and teachers here at Kennedy Violins, so when you call or come to the store, we are happy to talk with you about which instrument to buy or explain repairs to you and, we will gladly give you music lessons and host concerts, but we don’t often get to talk about much else.  Which is why we decided to start the Face to Face series on our blog.  This will give you a chance to better know each unique individual at Kennedy Violins.

Today, we will kick off the series with our most recent additions, Elizabeth Knopp!

Elizabeth Picture

Elizabeth is a certified Suzuki teacher for violin books 1-10, viola 1-3. She plays first violin in the High Strung String Quartet, was Concertmaster for two years with the Oregon Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra and has played with the Vancouver Symphony, and Willamette Falls Symphony.

Recently, Elizabeth took some time to tell us more about herself and her time here at Kennedy Violins.

1. How long have you worked at Kennedy Violins?

About two months! I first visited Kennedy Violins in March of 2013. I fell in love with the shop the minute I walked in.

2. What is your favorite thing about working at Kennedy Violins and why?

Trying all the different violins! I can’t believe it’s part of my job to play hundreds of violins and sell the best ones to our costumers.

3. What is your favorite instrument/product that Kennedy Violins carries and why?

The David Yale violins are excellent. The sound and ease of playing is superb! I also really like the Henner Violas. Such deep clear tones it brings a huge smile to my face.

4. What is your favorite band/musician/composer?

Mumford & Sons. Good music and stellar lyrics.

5. If you didn’t play the violin, which instrument would you play?

A lap harp! I took lessons for about six months on the harp and have never felt so close to heaven. I plan to play the harp once I retire and have more time to practice.

6. Which musician (alive or dead) do you wish you could play with?

Chris Thile…. He’s just so talented and handsome. Check out the “Goat Rodeo Sessions” on YouTube and you’ll see what I mean.

7. What are you looking forward to most in the upcoming year?

GETTING MARRIED!!! Friday, August 2nd is the big day!

8. What is something interesting that we don’t already know about you?

I’ve traveled to 14 countries: England, Netherlands, France, Romania, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, South Africa, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.

9. What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working at Kennedy Violins?

Drinking coffee with my True Love, Jason.

We will feature one of our team members each week in our Face to Face series.  Check back next week to meet another team member of Kennedy Violins.

Kennedy Violins Opens Its First Retail Location

Founder Joel Kennedy in front of our the new Kennedy Violins store in Vancouver, Washington.
Founder Joel Kennedy in front of our the new Kennedy Violins store in Vancouver, Washington.

For over a decade, Kennedy Violins has been one of the nation’s premiere sources of affordable string instruments through kennedyviolins.com, an online store for instruments, accessories, sheet music, and more. Kennedy Violins is now opening its first retail store serving the Portland-Vancouver area. Located at 508 SE 117th Avenue in Vancouver, Washington, this new location is easily accessed from the Mill Plain Exit off of I-205, just across from Cinetopia.

In addition to string instruments for purchase and rental, Kennedy Violins offers lessons in its private studio and instrument repair by a staff of professional luthiers in a full-service violin shop. The large showroom of Kennedy Violins’ extensive line of instruments also serves as an acoustically vibrant performance venue for recitals and concerts by local performers.

Grand Opening Concerts
A grand opening concert featuring 2011 National Oldtime Fiddlers Contest winner Aarun Carter will be held on Saturday, March 2 at 1:00pm and 2:00pm. Admission is free with a reception to follow. A second grand opening concert featuring violinist Emily Wu will be held on Friday, March 15 at 7:00pm, also with free admission and a reception following.

 

aaruncarter
Fiddle champion Aarun Carter performs at Kennedy Violins’ first grand opening concert on Saturday, March 2.

How It All Began
Joel Kennedy, founder and president of Kennedy Violins, is an Oregon native and professional violist. After completing his education at the Eastman School of Music in New York, he began his career as a music educator and professional violist. Joel currently plays with the Portland Opera and privately instructs up-and-coming youth performers.

The seed for Kennedy Violins was planted years ago when Joel became frustrated by the overpriced and poor-quality string instruments his students were purchasing. These mass-produced violins made with poor materials and improper setup were hardly playable—especially for beginners. He quickly became determined to find instruments for his students that not only cost less, but were of higher quality.

Joel discovered that the only way to provide genuinely superior instruments was to work directly with the makers, ensuring that each individual instrument be built according to his specifications and standards. By forging relationships with instrument makers around the world, Joel established a way to provide students with superior violins and violas at a lower cost.

A Unique Approach
This unique approach to purchasing directly from the maker led to the formation of Kennedy Violins, which since 2000, has brought an impressive collection of high-quality, low-cost string instruments to musicians throughout the U.S. and Canada. These instruments are not only satisfying to play, but also beautifully handcrafted.

The ability to find unique solutions to common problems is a skill Joel learned in his childhood. While a young and rapidly advancing music student, Joel needed a high-quality viola. At the time, however, advanced student violas cost between $8,000 and $12,000—far out of the range of affordability for his family. Tom Kennedy, Joel’s father, happened to be a skilled woodworker who knew how to solve the problem. Although he had never built a musical instrument, he learned the luthier trade to craft a viola for his son.

Since then, Joel has played exclusively on violas that built by his father. Tom Kennedy’s handcrafted violas are now being played in professional symphony orchestras around the world.

When Joel began Kennedy Violins thirteen years ago, he has had the pleasure of extending his father’s determination by providing instruments to students around the country. Now Joel’s youngest six-year-old daughter plays on a Kennedy Violins instrument. The love of music and determination to make it accessible to everyone has now reached a third generation.

More Than Just a Music Store
Over the years, Kennedy Violins has become more than just a music store; it represents the entire music community. In addition to selling and renting instruments, Kennedy Violins has been a long-time supporter of school and community music programs across the country through the donation of instruments, cases, and bows to students in need. Beyond these and other charitable contributions, the organization is a resource for music education and performance opportunities.

In a world where the arts are being pushed from center stage, organizations like Kennedy Violins bring promise to the music community both in the Northwest and throughout the country. More than ever, the affordability of musical instruments matters to budgeting families hoping to provide a musical education for their children. And thanks to visionaries like founder Joel Kennedy, these hopes are being brought to fruition—one violin at a time.

Mozart vs. Beethoven

Today we will answer a very important question; a question that has plagued classical music scholars for centuries, I’m sure. The first person to actually ask me this question was not a learned professor or a talented colleague, it was my twin brother. Which was surprising at the time since his favorite musician was Weird Al Yankovic and his favorite instrument was his hand in his armpit. The question is this: in a no holds barred battle to the death, who would win-Beethoven or Mozart?

Initially, I was shocked that he knew the names of more than one classical composer and secondly, I was shocked that I had never considered this myself. The question, while slightly inane, does bring a certain humanity to historic figures that are often set upon pedestals as gods of composition. These high and lofty figures were mere mortals in their day with strengths and weaknesses. Besides, why shouldn’t we pit them against each other for our own amusement?

STATS

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Born: January 27, 1756

Lived In: Vienna, Austria

Composed: Nearly 1,000 works in just over 30 years including everything from simple piano songs to epic operas.  His most famous works include The Magic Flute, A minor Piano Sonata, and his Requiem.

Fun Fact:  He was a very fashionable guy who always had the best clothes and wigs money could buy.

Ludwig van Beethoven


Born: December 16, 1770

Lived: Bonn, Germany

Composed: Just over 200 published pieces exist from his lifetime as well as dozen of unpublished sketches.  His most famous works include Piano Concerto No.5 (Emperor), Symphony No.5, and the massive Symphony N0. 9.

Fun Fact:  He started to loose his hearing at the age of 26.

Now when setting up this match, important things must be considered.  Location for one.  I would hold the fight in Vienna.  Mozart did travel all over Europe as a child prodigy but his favorite place was Vienna.  Likewise, Beethoven might have considered Bonn his home, but he did spend time in Vienna in his 20’s studying under the top composers and music theorists of the day.  Vienna would be the most neutral territory for the two.

Another consideration must be the referee.  We would need to have an individual that while respecting each composer’s talent did not have a definite bias one way or the other.  I would suggest bringing Hayden out of retirement to judge the match.  Hayden was a teacher to both and saw great potential in both composers.

Now, for the Battle Royale.

‘The bell rings and the composers approach each other.  Mozart, being the excitable little scrapper he is, throws the first punch using his impeccable counterpoint he mastered while still in puberty.  Beethoven is stumbles back, but this is nothing he hasn’t seen before.  He counters with a one-two punch using his ability to develop a theme and genius use of codas.  Mozart is shaken by this since it in no way follows the musical forms he himself had mastered.  He quickly retaliates with his innovative comic operas but it’s deflected by the strength of Beethoven’s symphonies. 1, 2, 3, 4…9! 9 punches right to the throat (He wrote 9 symphonies).  Beethoven thinks he’s won but while his back is turned, Mozart takes he out with the sheer prolific volume of his compositions.  Beethoven is down for the count.  As Hayden is counting, Beethoven struggles to get up.  I don’t believe this!  He’s standing again!  Mozart looks nervous.  He’s got nothing left to throw at his opponent.  Beethoven throws down Mozart using his pent up Daddy issues.  That’s right folks, he had to put his career on pause in his late 20’s to take care of his family because his father was a belligerent alcoholic.  There’s a lot of pain there folks.

I guess it doesn’t matter how much music you write, when it comes to a fight, he with the most issues wins and Beethoven had issues.  I won’t even get into his “Immortal Beloved.”