VC VOX POP | “Do You Have Perfect Pitch? Were You Born With It?” [Q&A]

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

Twoset Violin Perfect Pitch Cover 2

Do you have perfect pitch, and if so, were you born with it … or did you develop it?

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

Russian-American Violin Soloist, Philippe Quint:

“Yes … and … definitely born with it!”

German-Japanese Concert Violinist, Arabella Steinbacher:

“When I was a child I used to play a game with my parents to correctly guess the piano keys … so I guess I was probably born with it …”

Canadian Violin Soloist, Lara St John:

“My brother and I were almost certainly born with it … because we would get upset, even before we knew note names, like at age 2 and 3 … when someone would sing or play something in the wrong key”

VC Artist Dover Quartet Violist, Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt:

“Yes … I do have perfect pitch … my mom realized when I was 5 years old and I would correct her if she sang ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ in a different key than how it sounded on my violin …”

Dutch Violinist, Noa Wildschut:

“Yes, I do … as far as I can remember I’ve had perfect pitch all my life … but I’m not quite sure whether I was born with it or if I developed it when I was really young …”

VC Artist Violinist, Paul Huang:

“I do have perfect pitch … and as far as I can recall, I’ve always had perfect pitch”

VC Artist Violinist, Benjamin Beilman:

“Yes … and I think I was born with it … it’s most accurate in the violin range …  gets a little iffy lower down …”

Israeli-born Cellist, Matt Haimovitz:

“I do have perfect pitch … we discovered it early on when I began to get serious about the cello at about age eight … from the start, I could identify pitches played at the piano …”

Russian-born Violinist, Dmitry Sitkovetsky:

“Yes … I do … I suppose I was born with it, but … it fails you with age – you remember the pitches lower than they actually are …” 

American Violinist, Stephanie Chase:

“Actually, I’ve never heard that perfect pitch can be developed … although relative pitch can be noticeably improved … in any case, yes, I have perfect pitch … I recall feeling rather surprised when I first realized that it is quite uncommon”

VC Artist Violinist, Ray Chen:

“Yes, I do … but I’m not entirely sure what the use of it is? … I still have to work hard on good intonation …”

VC Young Artist Violinist, Timothy Chooi:

“No, I don’t have perfect pitch … at all …”

VC Young Artist Violinist, Marc Bouchkov:

“Oh … I’ve never had it … but always dreamt about having it … but, I don’t think I enjoy the music any less than the ones who do have it …”

Korean-American Violinist and New England Conservatory faculty member, Soovin Kim:

“No … no perfect pitch …”

VC Young Artist Violist, Timothy Ridout: 

“I don’t have perfect pitch at all!

Colburn School of Music Violin Professor and Co-Director of String Chamber Music, Martin Beaver:

“I do not have perfect pitch … I have relative pitch, which I have found useful over the years”

American Violinist, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg:

I have relative pitch … I absolutely know where A is … then I find any other note from the A

VC Artist Cellist, Kian Soltani: 

“I have relative pitch … which i assume I developed over time …

Australian Funster, TwoSet Violinist, Eddy ‘Shreddy’ Chen: [PICTURED]

“Perfect … yes … developed it …” 

Australian Funster, TwoSet Violinist, Brett ‘Bang’ Yang: [PICTURED]

“Nope … denied …”

Violin Virtuoso & Fashion Model Filip Pogady:

“Yes, I do … it can help with some things, like improvising and just playing things from your ear … but it can also be bothersome if an orchestra or piano is tuned lower … 

VC Artist Violinist, Igor Pikayzen:

“Yes … it seems like I was born with it … but it probably also helped that I was surrounded by music even in the womb …”

VC Rising Star Violinist, Kevin Miura:

“I don’t … however, I can tell what note it is when it’s in a violin’s normal playing range”

VC Rising Star Violinist, Yesong Sophie Lee:

“I was lucky enough to be born with perfect pitch … but I do still work to refine it”

VC Young Artist Cellist, Aurélien Pascal:

“I don’t believe anyone is born with perfect pitch … I was just very lucky to develop it early, by having received a good and natural musical education from my family”

Ariel Quartet Violist, Jan Grüning:

“Not over the entire range, but within the cello, viola and dog-whistle register I would say I’m quite secure … I believe it’s something one can train to have …”

VC Artist Violinist, Jennifer Pike:

“I have a learned sense of pitch … which may be partly due to the different tone colours of the instrument”

VC Artist Violinist, Francisco Fullana:

“I do have perfect pitch, yes … though I don’t remember ever not having it … I believe my first solfege teacher in Mallorca helped me develop it – around age 4 …”

VC Rising Star Violinist, María Dueñas:

Yes … I was born with it … my first teacher tested me when I was 6″

VC Artist Violinist, Tessa Lark:

“I do … and I was born with it … a blessing and a curse!”

VC Artist Violinist, Stefan Jackiw:

“I do … and was born with it … but, I’m less and less convinced of its usefulness … “