Printer-friendly version
Tobias Seyb

I never thought I’d come this far

July 5, 2010 at 5:29 PM

I’m not really an adult beginner, because I started playing the violin as a child. But I was the exact opposite of a child prodigy. I could play the E-Major- concert by Bach and some Sonatas by Händel at twenty, but not very good. I focused on the guitar as my main instrument, with good success, but with the violin I never was good enough, and I dropped it almost completely for more than twenty years after frustrating failures at auditions at the Musikhochschule. I played guitar, composed, made music for a living, but I was always sure not to be talented enough for my secret love.
Two and half a year ago I met J., a new piano teacher at the music school where I teach guitar, and we started to play easy chamber music. We began with the Schubert Sonatine in a-minor and some pieces by Pauline Viardot. J. is a professional player, she has a master degree as a soloist and in chamber music. Playing with such a partner was a new experience, and she encouraged me to work real hard. I never before had anyone to give me that kind of self confidence for my violin playing. I took the chance and started to work hard (I had no teacher this time; a violinist can learn a lot from a real good pianist.

Last friday I had my first recital (with another pianist, because J. was abroad.)
We prepared a program with some shorter pieces instead of whole sonatas:

Joachim Raff: five pieces from op. 85
Ludwig van Beethoven: Allegro from Sonata Nr. 5 op. 24:
Georges Bizet: Entr’acte II - Habanera - Seguidilla - Entr’acte III from Carmen
Manuel De Falla: Suite populaire espagnole:
Jules Massenet: Meditation
Giacomo Puccini: Nessun dorma
Johannes Brahms: Scherzo (F.A.E.-Sonata)
Hungarian Dances Nr. 2 and 5

We had a full hall (in an old castle, now a gallery), the audience was listening keenly, my pianist was stimulating and supporting me, and although only ten minutes before the beginning I was sure that I was facing a desaster, from the first note on it went fine.

Among the audience were some other musicians, and they gave me a positive feedback. The most motivating comment was one another pianist made towards my partner, that I heared unintentionally. She was surprised that I didnt’t play the violin as my main instrument but started to study seriously only recently.

We had a positive and very detailled review in the local paper.
I don’t need to describe my state of mind... now I’ll continue working with the new experience that if I work real hard I will succeed.

Thank you, J.
Brahms, here I come!

From Reynard Hilman
Posted on July 6, 2010 at 5:33 AM

 Congratulations on the recital! that's pretty impressive repertoires (honestly I only knew a few of them .. haha :) how long did it take you since starting violin again and playing on this recital? 

This entry has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Los Angeles Philharmonic
LA Phil

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

2023 Authenticate LA: Los Angeles Violin Shop
2023 Authenticate LA Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

ARIA International Summer Academy

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop


Los Angeles Violin Shop


String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine