"Let's try doing this in time, a little more evenly," I said to my seven-year-old student as I removed the lid of the metronome and flipped the arm into motion.
I started explaining what to do next: play the note on every other beat, with a beat of rest in between. Slightly complicated, but this little one was already a pretty adept musician, from a family of musicians, so I was pretty sure she'd understand. I took another breath to explain more, when I noticed that she was no longer listening.
"I...I thought it was just a decoration," she stammered, staring at metronome. Tick. Tick. Tick... Keep reading...Tweet Comments (8)
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How does it feel to play on the 1742 Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù that was once the great violin virtuoso Henryk Wieniawski's concert instrument?
"Every day I feel like I learn something new from this violin," said violinist Paul Huang, who has been playing the instrument since it was loaned to him in 2012 by the Stradivari Society of Chicago. Huang, 27, will play the instrument on Friday in a recital at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater in Washington, D.C. with pianist Orion Weiss and pianist/composer Conrad Tao.
"It's like a relationship," Huang said of his connection with the instrument. "In many ways it's much more intimate than your girlfriend or your boyfriend -- because you see the violin much more often than your partner!"
Huang's concert on Friday is a return to the same venue where he played his American recital debut in 2011. By now he has accumulated even more accolades -- he won both a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant and the 2017 Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists. On Friday he will play a new work by Tao, commissioned especially for the recital, called "Threads of Contact," as well as works by Dvorak, Prokofiev and Brahms.
Huang was born in Taiwan, where his parents took him to his first violin lesson at age four, "and apparently I hated it!" he said, speaking with me over the phone from New York. He simply had no patience with all the awkward logistics of trying to hold the instrument under his chin.
"It was not until I was seven, when I went to a violin recital with my parents, that I realized what magic this little wooden box could produce," Huang said. "It's the closest instrument to a human voice that I can possibly think of." In fact, he liked the idea that the violin could speak for him. "As a kid I was awfully shy, and I was not good with words," Huang said. "At the same time, I craved attention from people. So playing the violin was a revelation for me: I could use the sound of the violin to communicate and express emotions without using words, and this way I could grab people's attention. I realized how powerful music could be, from very early on." Keep reading...
In an effort to promote the coverage of live violin performance, Violinist.com each week presents links to reviews of notable concerts and recitals around the world.
Nicola Benedetti performed the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
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