VC VOX POP | “Do You Ever Miss Something About How You Used To Play?” [Q&A]

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

Sarah Chang Young Cover

“Do you ever miss something about how you used to play?”

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

German Violin Virtuoso, Julia Fischer:

“Not yet!”

German-Canadian Cellist, Johannes Moser:

“Ignorance is bliss … until you hear a recording of it again years later … then it’s torture …” 

Canadian Violin Soloist, James Ehnes:

“Sometimes! … I think I used to have a bit more of a killer instinct with certain things  … I prefer the way I play now but occasionally enjoy listening to old recordings from my teens … it’s like looking at old photographs … it helps me remember who I used to be….”

Korean-American Violin Superstar, Sarah Chang:

“I miss learning entire concertos in 2 days without even trying too hard … it’s like learning a new language … a 4 year old can pick up a new language in no time whereas it takes you longer when you’re 30 …” [PICTURED]

French Cello Soloist, Gautier Capuçon:

“When I was younger I had no tact!!! …” 

Georgian Violin Virtuoso, Lisa Batiashvili:

“I try not to think about how I used to play …. but think of how I want to be able to play …”

Canadian Cellist, Amanda Forsyth:

“I don’t miss how I used to play …. except I do miss being naughty as a kid in Suzuki cello class and undoing my bow to make it into a fishing line ….”

Russian Violin Virtuoso, Ilya Kaler:


Dutch Violinist, Rudolf Koelman:

“No, because I believe over the past 4 decades I have developed for the better … if you’ll ask me the same question in 20 years from now my answer will probably be quite the opposite …”

Australian VC Artist Violinist, Ray Chen:

“The only thing I miss about my playing from when I was little … was that I didn’t need to practice as much as I do now … interesting how that works…”

VC Artist Violinist, Stefan Jackiw:

“I do miss the unselfconscious fearlessness of youth ….is there a way to recapture this?”

Mozarteum University Salzburg Pedagogue, Pierre Amoyal:

“I miss nothing … but think I should have used less vibrato …”

South Korean Violinist, Dong-Suk Kang:

“No … I would like to think that I make progress all the time … and with age, I am more mature musically now than before …”

New England Conservatory Cello Pedagogue, Laurence Lesser:

“I wish I didn’t still have to practice intonation  … more than before …”

German Violinist and Kronberg Academy Artistic Director, Friedemann Eichhorn:

“My staccato was faster as a teenager… but I feel more comfortable now …”

Russian-American Violinist, Philippe Quint:

“With youth and inexperience there was more fire and fearlessness … I don’t miss it …”

American Concert Violinist, Anne Akiko Meyers:

“A certain freedom that comes from knowing it’s not being recorded for eternal viewing privileges on YouTube …”

Russian-German Violinist, Kirill Troussov:

“So far … no!”

Portuguese-American Violinist, Elmar Oliveira:

“Yes …. my youthfulness…”

British Violinist, Alexander Sitkovetsky:

“Not really …. as I didn’t like my playing when I was younger…”

Ukrainian-Israeli Violin Virtuoso, Vadim Gluzman:

“I do miss a sense of discovery … of having read or performed or heard a great masterwork for the first time … I remember reading through the Franck Sonata without ever having heard it before  … I felt lightheaded from excitement and overwhelmed with emotion ….”

Dallas Symphony Concertmaster, Alexander Kerr:

“Absolute fearlessness …”

Berlin Philharmonic Concertmaster, VC Artist Noah Bendix-Balgley:

“I miss the ease with which I memorized pieces ….”

Boston Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster, Malcolm Lowe:

“NO…wait a second, I miss my fast(er) up and down bow staccato.”

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

“I do wish my vibrato would stay high octane for more than a couple of bars!”

Armenian-American Violinist & Pedagogue, Ida Kavafian:

“Pretty much everything …”

VC Young Artist Violinist, Timothy Chooi:

“I don’t think so … I really have kept a lot of my old style of playing but I think it only gets better …”

VC Young Artist Violinist, Ioana Cristina Goicea:

“I am mostly looking to the present and future … and trying to improve continuously … as a human being and as an artist …”

VC Artist Cellist, Pablo Ferrández:

“Not at all … I’m actually always looking to play better and better … and I think I play better now than in the past … which is a good sign!”

VC Young Artist Violinist, Stephen Waarts:

“Perhaps a bit of blissful ignorance …”

VC Artist Violinist, Benjamin Beilman:

“Not yet …” 

VC Young Artist Violinist, William Hagen:

“No … I’m always looking forward … trying to improve!”

VC Artist Violinist, Igor Pikayzen:

“I don’t necessarily miss it … but life was much easier when you knew if you did everything your teacher/mom asked you to as a kid and that constituted a performance you were happy about … now it’s quite impossible to be truly satisfied …”

VC Rising Star Violinist, Anne Luisa Kramb:

“Playing Mozart was much easier as a child…”

VC Young Artist Violinist, Luke Hsu:

“Not really!”