VC VOX POP | “What Motivated You To Practice Growing Up … And What Motivates You Now?” [Q&A]

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

Ray Chen Violin Violinist Young Baby 4 Cover

“What motivated you to practice growing up, and what motivates you now?”

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

German Violin Virtuoso, Julia Fischer:

As a child, the thought of being on stage … today, the secrets of the compositions and the composers … the possibility to be in contact with the composers through time” 

German-Canadian Cellist, Johannes Moser:

I love problem solving puzzles … and as a kid practicing difficult passages became my Sudoku … today I am motivated by my schedule … hard facts that need to be met with full dedication and preparation” 

Canadian Violin Soloist, James Ehnes:

I guess I’d say a feeling of responsibility to the music itself … and a responsibility to be the best I can be

Korean-American Violin Superstar, Sarah Chang:

I practice so I can be free onstage and trust myself in that moment … that hasn’t changed since day one

Georgian Violin Virtuoso, Lisa Batiashvili:

“The imagination of me, on stage with a wonderful orchestra and conductor … or other musical partners  …. not wanting to mess up … I better practice to avoid that.”

Canadian Cellist, Amanda Forsyth:

I never liked practicing for long periods, I wish I had … I am the same now … but upcoming concerts motivate me now

Russian Violin Virtuoso, Ilya Kaler:

“Love of music and violin … it is never-ending journey with fascinating discoveries each day”

Dutch Violinist, Rudolf Koelman:

“Growing up: to one day become a good player … now: to become a better player than before”

Australian VC Artist Violinist, Ray Chen:

“When I was a kid, it was the love for performances and fear of quitting that motivated me to practice … nowadays it’s still a love of performances, but more so my own desire to create those moments in music that touch us and remain in our memories for a long time … those moments alone are worth practicing for[PICTURED, AGED 4]

VC Artist Violinist, Stefan Jackiw:

“This hasn’t changed much over the years … love of music … inspiration from teachers and colleagues … desire for excellence … fear

Mozarteum University Salzburg Pedagogue, Pierre Amoyal:

“Growing up … to build a good technique … today … to use this technique with taste, intelligence and sensitivity”

South Korean Violinist, Dong-Suk Kang:

“Music has always been the source of inspiration for me to practice … but I never liked practicing and I still don’t … I like working on the music mentally, but I always hated the mechanical and repetitive aspect of practicing

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

“To be perfect … even at my age, I still want improve”

Russian-born Austrian Violin Pedagogue, Boris Kuschnir:

“The endeavor to come close to the sound of the performance inside me always motivated me … in my youth and now”

Russian-American Violinist, Philippe Quint:

“Same then and now … discoveries of great music and inspiring artists in many fields”

American Concert Violinist, Anne Akiko Meyers:

“Growing up, practice was about learning lots of new repertoire with a fear and panic that I was not ready or prepared … now, it’s more of a deep love … I know performing and touring won’t last forever so I try to enjoy things more”

Russian-German Violinist, Kirill Troussov:

“The motivation has been always the same … from an early age i loved sharing my music and emotions with the public and to feel people breathing with me during the performances”

Portuguese-American Violinist, Elmar Oliveira:

“My parents’ discipline when I was younger … but now I just love to practice”

British Violinist, Alexander Sitkovetsky:

“I was forced to practice until I was 14 … since then I just wanted to play better all the time … that’s all the motivation I need”

Ukrainian-Israeli Violin Virtuoso, Vadim Gluzman:

“As a child growing in the Soviet system of education, pressure was the main element of encouragement and motivation … today the responsibility I feel playing a great masterwork, the excitement I feel presenting a premiere of a new piece and the joy of working with wonderful colleagues, conductors and instrumentalists inspires me to open the violin case every day and say good morning”

Dallas Symphony Concertmaster, Alexander Kerr:

“My mother’s foot on my backside motivated me to practice as a child … now, my deep love of the learning process and a fear of embarrassment guide me to my studio”

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

“I was very competitive as a child so working hard wasn’t such a problem … now, it’s the fear of having to completely fake it at the desk!”

Armenian-American Violinist & Pedagogue, Ida Kavafian:

“I was not motivated to practice but was forced, thank goodness, by my mother … now I wish I had more time to practice – but teaching gets in the way!”

Boston Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster, Violinist Malcom Lowe:

“When I was young, I simply loved music and the sound of the violin … practicing and playing were fun and one of the happy activities that I just loved to do … it turned into my life’s work and lifelong artistic pursuit”

VC Artist Violinist, Paul Huang:

“Learning a new piece which I have been dying to play were some of my motivations to practice growing up … and now, fear that I’m going to make a fool of myself on stage keeps me motivated to practice”

VC Artist Cellist, Pablo Ferrández:

“It hasn’t changed … I want to play better and better … and practice is really the only way!”

VC Young Artist Violinist, William Hagen:

“Love of the music, then and now! … I absolutely love the music I play and I want to play it as well as I can for the audience” 

VC Rising Star Violinist, Anne Luisa Kramb:

“As a child there was so much to explore … and today, it’s still the same”

VC Young Artist Violinist, Luke Hsu:

“Many things motivated me, sometimes there were goals like competitions or just simply learning a new piece … now, I really enjoy the process of making music – especially in private”

VC Artist Calidore String Quartet Cellist, Estelle Choi:

“Then … the challenge of learning a piece and being able to perform it in front of people … Now … sharing incredible music and doing justice to the score”