VC Young Artist María Dueñas performed Max Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra in Hamburg on March 25, 2021.
A student of Boris Kuschnir at the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna and the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, Dueñas was awarded first prize at the 2021 Menuhin Competition. She is a also former first prize winner at the Getting to Carnegie, Leonid Kogan, Georg Philipp Telemann, Yankelevitch, and Zhuhai International Violin Competitions.
"It is very difficult to explain with words what one feels during a concert," Dueñas told The Violin Channel. "There is always a mixture of emotions and sensations, but this Bruch interpretation with Maestro Honeck was really special...
"There was a quasi-mystical feeling, maybe underlined by the overwhelming silence in the hall. The perfect union with the orchestra and Maestro Honeck felt as if there was just Bruch's music to be enjoyed and lived. It was almost like getting out of your body and transcending physical barriers."
Dueñas said that Hamburg is an especially meaningful place to her, as she first played on the Niccolo Gagliano violin heard in the performance there when she was 13 years old.
She performs on the instrument courtesy of the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben.
Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 was premiered by Joseph Joachim in 1868 and has been a staple of the violin repertoire ever since. Dueñas has won multiple competitions with the piece and said that though she has performed the concerto many times, the pandemic has reinforced the idea of "living and enjoying every single moment of life" with the utmost appreciation.
"I feel extremely grateful that I have had the chance to share music with an audience, physical or virtual, even during the most complicated circumstances, and I just hope that I will continue doing so for many years to come," Dueñas said.