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VC VOX POP | “Have You Ever Played a Concert That Has Affected You for the Rest of Your Life?” [Q&A]

The Violin Channel recently caught up with 30+ of the world’s top string players to find out …

“Have you ever played a concert that has affected you for the rest of your life?”

The Violin Channel recently caught up with 30+ of the world’s top string players to find out …

German Violin Virtuoso, Julia Fischer:

"Quite a few actually ... for different reasons ... Shostakovich 1st concerto with Vladimir Jurowski at BBC Proms is certainly among them ... it was our first performance together, after having waited for almost 5 years ..." [PICTURED]

German-Canadian Cellist, Johannes Moser:

"At the very beginning of my career, I played in Rwanda ... it was absolutely new music for the audience in Kigali ... and they laughed and danced to Haydn and Saint-Saens ... unforgettable." 

Canadian Violin Soloist, James Ehnes:

"Absolutely ... I think that in a way all concerts leave lasting effects ... I think it’s important to treat every concert as an opportunity for learning and growth."

Korean-American Violin Superstar, Sarah Chang:

"My New York Philharmonic debut when I was 8 years old ... that one concert kickstarted my career and the rest of my life ..."

French Cello Soloist, Gautier Capuçon:

"Yes ... every concert changes me as a musician and as a man ... every concert is part of the big picture ..." 

Georgian Violin Virtuoso, Lisa Batiashvili:

"My debut with the Berlin Philharmonic in 2004 ... that was when I fell in love with an entire orchestra ..."

Canadian Cellist, Amanda Forsyth:

"I played a concert in youth orchestra where a large bee landed on me right before I played the Borodin solo ... that was scary!"

Russian Violin Virtuoso, Ilya Kaler:

"Cannot think of any particular one ..."

Dutch Violinist, Rudolf Koelman:

"Yes ... actually quite a few but one sticks out ... Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Kurt Sanderling at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw ... 1999."

Australian VC Artist Violinist, Ray Chen:

"I'm the sort of person where every week I'll excitedly call my mom and tell her "I've found a new technique!" or excitedly tell her about my "new sound". So it goes that every year I'm fortunate to be deeply affected and inspired by many concerts, and I get to feel like I'm constantly reaching a new level."

VC Artist Violinist, Stefan Jackiw:

"I think every concert I play has some role in my life ... after all, our lives are the aggregate of every one of our experiences ..."

Mozarteum University Salzburg Pedagogue, Pierre Amoyal:

"Alban Berg Violin Concerto ... with Herbert Von Karajan ... and the Berlin Philharmonic."

South Korean Violinist, Dong-Suk Kang:

"I had my share of concerts which I would like to forget ... when that happens, the impact stays with you for a long time ... fortunately, there are more happier occasions which help you to keep going."

Japanese Violin Pedagogue & Former Tokyo String Quartet Violinist, Koichiro Harada: 

"New York debut at Town Hall  ... in 1972."

Russian-born Austrian Violin Pedagogue, Boris Kuschnir:

"A concert in December 1969 ... where I performed at the final of the All Union Competition in Leningrad ..."

Russian-American Violinist, Philippe Quint:

"I can't think of my own ... but I can think of a few of other musicians that were unforgettable."

American Concert Violinist, Anne Akiko Meyers:

"Years ago I played a recital that I knew would be the last performance I would give with a borrowed Guarneri del Gesu ... every piece I performed was one step closer to its return and left me feeling depressed and miserable ..."

Russian-German Violinist, Kirill Troussov:

"Yes  ... my very first concert with orchestra when I was 7 ... was just an amazing feeling to have such a power of an orchestra behind you on stage ..."

Portuguese-American Violinist, Elmar Oliveira:


British Violinist, Alexander Sitkovetsky:

"There have been a few markers ... some concerts that taught me more about myself or that were a culmination of certain things and an opening into a new phase of my development ... my debut at the Concertgebouw with the wonderful and extremely missed Yakov Kreizberg back in 2009 is a memory that I won’t forget."

Ukrainian-Israeli Violin Virtuoso, Vadim Gluzman:

"My first time playing at the Musikverein in Vienna made me realize that a great concert hall is a musical instrument in itself ... ever since, my perception and appreciation of concert halls has changed."

Dallas Symphony Concertmaster, Alexander Kerr:

"I have been lucky enough to play a part in a few performances which I will remember forever ... one that stands out was a performance of Shostakovich's 8th quartet with cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, violinist Maxim Vengerov and violist Yuri Bashmet ... it was one of Slava's last concerts and was truly a night I will always cherish."

London Symphony Orchestra First Violinist "Queen of Bling", Maxine Kwok-Adams:

"Probably leading the National Youth Orchestra in Mahler 3 at the Proms as a teenager ... I'll never forget it but the thought of it now makes me feel terrified!"

Armenian-American Violinist & Pedagogue, Ida Kavafian:

"Yes ... a memorial for the firefighters from the Lincoln Center Station that died on 9/11 ... I'll never forget the raw emotion."

Boston Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster, Violinist Malcom Lowe:

"I am reminded of a quote that was posted by a colleague ... 'It’s actually sweat, grind, tears, and perpetual unhappiness.” At the other end of our music life continuum is the intense, fulfilling expression and communication of music that is our raison d’être. I will mention the overwhelming joy of playing in the Boston Symphony Orchestra in concerts conducted by Leonard Bernstein, Bernard Haitink, and Andris Nelsons."

VC Artist Violinist, Paul Huang:

"Messiaen Quartet ... for the End of Time."

VC Artist Cellist, Pablo Ferrández:

"Playing Brahms Double with Anne Sophie Mutter ... London Phil ... and Jurowski."

VC Young Artist Violinist, Stephen Waarts:

"There are a couple for sure ... the one that comes to mind first was playing the third movement of the Ravel Quartet when I was 16."

VC Young Artist Violinist, William Hagen:

"I feel like every concert I play teaches me something new and affects me ... but if I had to pick more specifically ... I would say both of the times I've been lucky enough to play with Steven Isserlis ..."

VC Rising Star Violinist, Anne Luisa Kramb:

"I think the first one ... it's that feeling you never want to give up again ..."

VC Young Artist Violinist, Luke Hsu:

"Playing Beethoven Op. 70 No. 2 last summer ... the news that a close mutual friend within the trio (and our pianist's boyfriend) tragically passed away about five minutes before we went on stage was probably the most heartbreaking event I have experienced ... we were told we didn't have to perform, but our pianist insisted ... even though no notes could bring him back alive, the beautiful Allegretto third movement couldn't have felt more significant at the moment ... for now, I've decided to stay away from the piece for awhile ..."

VC Young Artist Cellist, Zlatomir Fung:

"The two memorial concerts that I've played in my life have revealed to me a depth of meaning in music that has totally changed my perspective on performing and music-making generally ..."

VC Artist Calidore String Quartet Cellist, Estelle Choi:

"I was a kid performing Popper's Hungarian Rhapsody with lots of supportive friends cheering in the audience and I still remember the feeling of being so happy and excited about going on stage instead of nervousness and dread ... it sparked my love for performance."

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