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Famous Violinists, Interviewed by Violinist.com

Violinist.com Interviews: Volume 1Violinist.com Interviews: Volume 1 is our newly published collection of interviews with more than two dozen of the top violinists in the world today, including Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, David Garrett, and Anne-Sophie Mutter. It's a celebration of one of the world's most enduring instruments, and the people who are helping carry forth the violin's legacy into a new generation.

Editor Laurie Niles' book includes a foreword by Grammy Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn, who writes, "Laurie addresses topics that are comfortable but all-consuming, such as current projects, and delves into the delicate nuances of creativity. She captures specific moments in time. I love that. In this collection, you can observe her at work, but you will also travel along with her interview subjects."

Available now from Amazon.com in paperback ($19.95) and for Kindle ($9.95).

Recently published interviews

Daishin KashimotoDaishin Kashimoto
By Laurie Niles, March 28, 2014: The London-born Japanese violinist never planned to be a concertmaster, but he has greatly enjoyed being that with the Berlin Philharmonic, since 2009.
Anne Akiko MeyersAnne Akiko Meyers
By Laurie Niles, February 26, 2014: Meyers talks Vieuxtemps Guarneri del Gesu and "The Four Seasons."
  • Previously: On Bach and her album "Air", On buying the "ex-Molitor" Stradivarius, On recording "Smile", On championing new artists.
  • Frank AlmondFrank Almond
    By Laurie Niles, February 16, 2014: The Milwaukee Symphony Concertmaster talks about the theft and recovery of Lipinski Strad.
  • Previously: On the Lipinski Strad and "A Violin's Life."
  • In addition to our original interviews, please take a look at our additional original, on-site coverage of the following events:

    Previously featured interviews

    Rachel Barton PineRachel Barton Pine
    By Laurie Niles, October 23, 2013: On the Schumann and Mendelssohn Concertos.
  • Previously: Violin Lullabies, Wohlfahrt Etudes, On works for unaccompanied violin, On works by Bach, On Maud Powell and the rebec. Plus, her Maud Powell favorites: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
  • Lisa BatiashviliLisa Batiashvili
    By Laurie Niles, March 18, 2011: Lisa talks about the Shostakovich Violin Concerto and the composer's influence on Soviet musicians.
    Benjamin BeilmanBenjamin Beilman
    By Laurie Niles, September 18, 2013: Benjamin talks about playing Mozart after living in Germany, and studying with Christian Tetzlaff.
  • Previously: On Curtis and the competition circuit.
  • Joshua BellJoshua Bell
    By Laurie Niles, November 25, 2013: Bell talks about recording "Musical Gifts for the Holidays."
  • Previously: On "Joshua Bell At Home With Friends", on cadenzas and conducting
  • Nicola BenedettiNicola Benedetti
    By Laurie Niles, February 18, 2013: Nicola talks about the power of film music, and her recording "The Silver Violin."
  • Previously: On Baroque music and Sistema Scotland, Recording the Bruch and Tchaikovsky Concertos.
  • Deborah BordaDeborah Borda
    By Laurie Niles, November 19, 2013: The CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic talks about the effort to transform the LA Phil into an industry-leading success story.
    Renaud CapuçonRenaud Capuçon
    By Laurie Niles, October 25, 2012: The French violinist talks about the benefits of playing chamber music, and the violin concertos of Brahms, Berg and Korngold.
    Regina CarterRegina Carter
    By Laurie Niles, June 23, 2010: Regina Carter has so much to say on the violin, sometimes she's had to reinvent the language of the instrument.
    Martin ChalifourMartin Chalifour
    By Laurie Niles, January 17, 2012: The Los Angeles Philharmonic Concertmaster talks about Mahler 4 and the Phil's Mahler Project.
    Sarah ChangSarah Chang
    By Laurie Niles, December 18, 2009: Sarah Chang talks of her perspective on life as a prodigy, and how that's prepared her for her current career.
    Nathan ColeNathan Cole
    By Laurie Niles, June 19, 2013: Online violin lessons are attracting some big players as instructors, including the Assistant Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
    Joey CorpusJoey Corpus
    By Caeli Smith, August 27, 2007: An interview with violin teacher Joey Corpus, known as New York's "Secret Weapon."
    Adam DeGraffAdam DeGraff
    By Laurie Niles, March 20, 2012: "Don't Stop Believin'" for solo violin? Violinist Adam DeGraff has a new Rockin' Fiddle Challenge for his fellow fiddlers.
  • Previously: On reclaiming the violin's rock n' roll heritage.
  • Jeremy DenkJeremy Denk
    By Laurie Niles, January 11, 2012: Pianist Jeremy Denk talks about his collaboration with Joshua Bell and their new recording, "French Impressions."
    Zach DePueZach DePue
    By Laurie Niles, January 30, 2010: The Indianapolis Symphony concertmaster explores jazz, folk and other genres as part of the trio "Time for the Three."
  • Previously: On forming 'Time for Three' and his move from Philadelphia to Indy
  • Eugene DruckerEugene Drucker
    By Laurie Niles, July 10, 2007: A conversation with Emerson String Quartet violinist Eugene Drucker about his debut novel, "The Savior."
    James EhnesJames Ehnes
    By Laurie Niles, March 4, 2009: This guy keeps good company: Stradivari, del Gesu, Guarneri.... Ehnes talks about "Homage," where he plays on nine violins and three violas from the Fulton collection.
    Russell FallstadRussell Fallstad
    By Laurie Niles, November 30, 2012: Fallstad talks about coaching actors Christopher Walken, Mark Ivanir, Philip Seymour Hoffmann and Catherine Keener for the movie, 'A Late Quartet.'
    Mark FewerMark Fewer
    By Laurie Niles, January 6, 2012: Mark Fewer talks about 'the bad boy of music,' George Antheil, and his violin sonatas.
    Julia FischerJulia Fischer
    By Laurie Niles, October 5, 2010: The German violinist talks about her recently-released recording of the Paganini 24 Caprices.
    Simon FischerSimon Fischer
    By Laurie Niles, July 10, 2013: Fischer talks about his new book, "The Violin Lesson."
  • Previously: On "Scales", On "Warming Up", On "The Secrets of Tone Production", Cutting a path straight to the issue at hand.
  • Vilde FrangVilde Frang
    By Laurie Niles, August 2, 2012: The Nielsen violin concerto might not be the most commonly recorded or performed, but it has a passionate champion in the Norwegian violinist Vilde Frang.
    David GarrettDavid Garrett
    By Laurie Niles, June 21, 2012: Even if David has found great success and enjoyment covering pop tunes and performing the occasional stunt, he has never renounced his classical roots.
    Vadim GluzmanVadim Gluzman
    By Laurie Niles, November 25, 2009: Vadim Gluzman believes the violin has a living soul - and knows something about how to give it breath.
    Caroline GouldingCaroline Goulding
    By Laurie Niles, August 25, 2009: The "From the Top" veteran talks about recording her debut album.
    Ilya GringoltsIlya Gringolts
    By Laurie Niles, February 4, 2014: The Russian-born violinist talks about his relationship with the Menuhin Competition and his feelings about both the rewards and the stress of competitions.
    Augustin HadelichAugustin Hadelich
    By Laurie Niles, August 6, 2013: Augustin explores the quiet combination of violin and guitar in Histoire du Tango.
  • Previously: On Beethoven, Strads, On 'Echoes of Paris', On life after winning Indianapolis
  • Hilary HahnHilary Hahn
    By Laurie Niles, November 11, 2013: Hahn talks about "In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores."
  • Previously: On the Charles Ives violin sonatas, On recording the Pulitzer-winning Higdon concerto; On 'Bach: Violin and Voice'; On the premiere of the Higdon; On the Schoenberg... and shoulder rests.
  • Bella HristovaBella Hristova
    By Laurie Niles, June 28, 2013: At 27, Bella Hristova has an impressive list of achievements, winning grants and competitions worldwide. Perhaps more importantly, she plays so beautifully.
    Igudesman and JooAleksey Igudesman and Hyung-Ki Joo
    By Laurie Niles, April 10, 2012: Ready for a 'Little Nightmare Music'? We talk with the violin-and-piano comedy duo about their Carnegie Hall debut and their classical training.
    Janine JansenJanine Jansen
    By Laurie Niles, February 25, 2011: Jansen talks about her return to New York after taking a break from the violin.
  • Previously: On the the Britten Violin Concerto, On the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
  • Dylana JensonDylana Jenson
    By Laurie Niles, Feb. 15, 2010: Losing a violin sent Dylana Jenson into a tailspin that lasted longer than anyone could have imagined.
    Clara-Jumi KangClara-Jumi Kang
    By Laurie Niles, September 29, 2010: Our interview with the Gold Medal Laureate of the 2010 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, the morning after her win.
    Judy KangJudy Kang
    By Laurie Niles, May 10, 2011: Judy covered the map as a classical musician, then got a hot-pink electric violin and went on tour with Lady Gaga.
    Leonidas KavakosLeonidas Kavakos
    By Laurie Niles, December 5, 2013: The Greek violinist talks about Brahms and Bartók, and preserving the human quality in violin performance.
    Misha KeylinMisha Keylin
    By Laurie Niles, March 9, 2011: Misha talks about his new recording, and reviving the legacy of Vieuxtemps' violin concertos.
    Anastasia KhitrukAnastasia Khitruk
    By Laurie Niles, January 28, 2013: Khitruk talks about her collaboration with composer Michael Colina and performing "Chaconnes Through Time."
  • Previously: Unearthing hidden gems of the repertoire
  • Yevgeny KutikYevgeny Kutik
    By Laurie Niles, June 29, 2012: His first album, Sounds of Defiance, came to life at the same time that he found himself playing in front of 12,000 people at Auschwitz-Birkenau, and only a few weeks before the death of his teacher, Roman Totenberg.
    Paul LaraiaPaul Laraia
    By Laurie Niles, February 16, 2011: Violist Paul Laraia, 21, has come a long way, from the sink-or-swim public school program where he first picked up the violin to winning the 2011 Sphinx Competition's Senior Division.
    Tasmin LittleTasmin Little
    By Laurie Niles, April 14, 2009: The British violinist has faith in classical music - that the music itself needs no dressing up to appeal to people across a wide spectrum.
    David LockingtonDavid Lockington
    By Laurie Niles, January 12, 2012:Conductor David Lockington talks about how orchestras can connect better with their communities.
    LPOMembers of the Louisiana Philharmonic
    By Laurie Niles, October 29, 2005: Hurricane Katrina, and the subsequent New Orleans flood, left every member of the orchestra homeless, its season canceled, and the future of this musician-owned and operated symphony very much in doubt.
    Jim MaurerJim Maurer
    By Laurie Niles, May 22, 2006: Suzuki pioneer James Maurer prepares to retire from the University of Denver after decades of service to his school, his studio and the Suzuki movement.
    Michael McLeanMichael McLean
    By Laurie Niles, August 7, 2007: Composer McLean talks about his collaboration with violinist Brian Lewis, which has produced the new violin concerto, "Elements."
    MidoriMidori
    By Laurie Niles, January 21, 2014: In a two-part interview, Midori talks about her teaching, as well as her performing, recording and global outreach.
    Tai MurrayTai Murray
    By Laurie Niles, May 22, 2012: Tai Murray calls Eugène Ysaÿe's Six Sonatas for Solo violin "an opus of love and expression" -- written from the composer's love for Bach, for his friends, and for the violin itself.
    Anne-Sophie MutterAnne-Sophie Mutter
    By Laurie Niles, November 29, 2010: Anne-Sophie Mutter speaks about the Brahms sonatas, and her foundation for helping young violin soloists.
  • Previously: On the Mendelssohn violin concerto, On works by Sofia Gubaidulina and Bach
  • Elmar OliveiraElmar Oliveira
    By Laurie Niles, April 9, 2013: Elmar Oliveira hit the world stage in 1978 with his gold medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition and continues to perform, record and teach today.
    Christopher O'RileyChristopher O'Riley
    By Laurie Niles, September 2, 2009: The host of NPR's "From the Top" talks about young artists and collaboration between violinists and pianists.
    Katia PopovKatia Popov
    By Laurie Niles, December 6, 2011: The Bulgarian native talks about what makes Hollywood special and about why she loves playing music for the movies.
    Peter PrierPeter Prier
    By Laurie Niles, August 31, 2010: Laurie visits with the master luthier and founder of America's first violin-making school, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
    Philippe QuintPhilippe Quint
    By Laurie Niles, January 30, 2014: On guardian angels and 'Opera Breve.'
  • Previously: On Bruch, Mendelssohn and Beethoven, On Paganini, On the Korngold and DeLay, On "Downtown Express".
  • Vadim RepinVadim Repin
    By Laurie Niles, March 31, 2009: Niles talks with Repin about his early career and newest recording, as well as his relationship with Yehudi Menuhin.
    Ruggiero RicciRuggiero Ricci
    By Laurie Niles, December 1, 2007: Ricci talks about the techniques described in his new book, 'Ricci on Glissando,' and about his life, from prodigy to artist. [VIDEO]
    Stanley RitchieStanley Ritchie
    By Laurie Niles, November 19, 2012: Indiana University's Ritchie describes Early Music style and technique: violin-playing before the chinrest.
    Diana RumrillDiana Rumrill
    By Laurie Niles, March 10, 2010: The violinist and physical therapist talks about avoiding injury while playing.
    David RussellDavid Russell
    By Caeli Smith, June 21, 2006: David Russell is a renowned violinist, pedagogue, and Violinist.com contributor. He is the Assistant Director of String Chamber Music at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
    Lara St. JohnLara St. John
    By Laurie Niles, March 5, 2013: Polkastra is back... with a wedding album!
  • Previously: On Bach's sonatas as ideal vehicles for violin and harp, On Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante, St. John and her friends record... a polka album!
  • Nadja Salerno-SonnenbergNadja Salerno-Sonnenberg
    By Laurie Niles, May 8, 2012: Nadja talks about the new DVD, On Our Way, which celebrates her four-year partnership with the San Francisco-based New Century Chamber Orchestra.
  • Previously: On transitioning from soloist to music director.
  • Esa-Pekka SalonenEsa-Pekka Salonen
    By Laurie Niles, October 15, 2012: The composer and conductor talks about "Out of Nowhere," the first recording of his violin concerto, by Leila Josefowicz.
    Philip SetzerPhilip Setzer
    By Laurie Niles, May 22, 2009: The violinist reflects on 30 years with the Emerson String Quartet, as it releases a new CD of works by Czech composers.
    Gil ShahamGil Shaham
    By Laurie Niles, October 1, 2013: On premiering the Bright Sheng violin concerto, popularizing the Korngold, and revisiting the John Williams concerto.
  • Previously: On the Haydn Violin Concertos and Mendelssohn Octet, On Sarasate.
  • Mikhail SimonyanMikhail Simonyan
    By Laurie Niles, November 22, 2011: Simonyan talks about his recording of the Khachaturian and Barber concertos.
  • Previously: On "Beethoven, Not Bullets"
  • William StarrWilliam Starr
    By Laurie Niles, January 21, 2006: Starr has both challenged and embraced the beloved Suzuki method since the 1960s, when his family went to Japan to study with Shinichi Suzuki.
    Alexandra SwitalaAlexandra Switala
    By Laurie Niles, February 21, 2011: Violinist Alexandra Switala, 17, was no stranger to the Sphinx Competition when she won the Junior Division.
    Chris ThileChris Thile
    By Laurie Niles, August 14, 2013: The bluegrass mandolinist fell in love with Bach's Solo Sonatas and Partitas for Violin and HAD to learn to play them.
  • Previously: On the debut of his new concerto.
  • Almita VamosAlmita Vamos
    By Caeli Smith, August 11, 2007: Northwestern University violin professor Almita Vamos talks about teaching, working with her husband, Roland, and what makes life rich for a musician.
    Roland VamosRoland Vamos
    By Laurie Niles, October 5, 2012: When one of the foremost experts on violin technique writes a book of double-stop exercises, one must take note!
    Maxim VengerovMaxim Vengerov
    By Laurie Niles, January 9, 2013: Maxim Vengerov couldn't be happier to be playing the violin again, after his four-year hiatus from performing, and after the painstaking reinvention of his playing technique following shoulder surgery.
    Peter WilsonPeter Wilson
    By Laurie Niles, December 21, 2007: Who knew that a violinist played with the U.S. Marine Band? We talk to the Commander of the String Section for the Marine Band about playing for world leaders... when Perlman's not swiping his violin.
    Martin WulfhorstMartin Wulfhorst
    By Laurie Niles, October 17, 2013: The associate concertmaster of the Hamburg Symphony has written an encyclopedic textbook on orchestra playing for violinists, The Orchestral Violinist's Companion.
    David YingDavid Ying
    By Caeli Smith, August 1, 2007: A Conversation with David Ying, cellist from the Ying Quartet.
    Herwig ZackHerwig Zack
    By Laurie Niles, November 6, 2013: For Made in Germany, German violinist Herwig Zack has put together a program rich in meaning as well as in virtuosic playing.
    Sam ZygmuntowiczSam Zygmuntowicz
    By Laurie Niles, April 9, 2007: The Brooklyn-based luthier, who has built instruments for Isaac Stern, Joshua Bell and Yo-Yo Ma, talks about being 'The Violin Maker.'
    Ilya Gringolts

    Contest: Paganini Caprices

    Enter to win Ilya Gringolts' recording of the 24 Caprices by Paganini.