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VC VOX POP | “Are There Any Classical Musicians Who've Made You Star-Struck?" [Q&A]

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


Cellist Steven Isserlis:

"Piatigorsky ... whom i first met when i was 15 ... I might have been more star-struck on my first proper meeting with Rostropovich, but he was eating his breakfast at the time - which made him seem more human ..."

Violinist James Ehnes:

"Plenty! ... None more so than Isaac Stern - who I met as a little boy after a concert in Canada ... "

Violinist Lara St. John:

"Glenn Gould ... I was 5 and already knew he was a really important musician  .... when he didn't shake my hand, I cried ... "

Violinist VC Artist Benjamin Beilman:

"Janine Jansen ... I was seated next to her at a dinner recently and spent the entire night trying not to geek out too much ..."

Violinist VC Artist Tessa Lark:

"The most serious fan-girl moment for me was when I met Leonidas Kavakos .... he actually introduced himself to ME ... and my first words to him were: "Oh my God.. you're my hero!"

Violinist VC Artist Augustin Hadelich:

"About 3 years ago, I ran into Murray Perahia at the airport ... I’ve been a big fan for many years, but I couldn’t think of anything interesting to say ..."

Violinist VC Artist Ray Chen:

"Itzhak Perlman - because he’s a living legend ... and Janine Jansen - because she’s "Girl On Fire/ YAAAS Queen” .... Yo-Yo Ma ... I tried to play cool when I met him but then he undermined my whole thing by being more excited to meet me ..."

Violinist VC Artist Angelo Xiang Yu:

"Itzhak Perlman ... when we shook hands, my hand literally disappeared into his huge palm ..."

Violinist VC Artist Igor Pikayzen:

"I can't say that I was ever star struck, but I do remember doing my best not to stare at Itzhak Perlman the whole time during my Juilliard audition ..."

New England Conservatory Faculty Member, Violinist Paul Biss:

"I met Leonard Bernstein when I was 10 ... the charisma that he had was unparalleled in my experience ... "

Curtis Institute Faculty Member, Violinist Ida Kavafian:

"Not in the last 35 or so years ... before that, Nathan Milstein and David Oistrakh ..."

New England Conservatory Faculty Member, Cellist Laurence Lesser:

"I’d have to say Jascha Heifetz - he was somewhat scary and very unpredictable ... I played and recorded chamber music with him and that feeling never diminished ..."

Violinist David Garrett: 

"Star-struck no, but for the people I admire I always have a feeling of very strong respect ... such as for my teachers Itzhak Perlman, Isaac Stern and Ida Haendel - even after we got very close and knew each-other well ..."

Violinist VC Young Artist In Mo Yang:

"When I was 7, I saw Sarah Chang playing the Tchaikovsky Concerto in Seoul and I was completely in awe ..."

Korean-American Violin Soloist Sarah Chang:

"Yes. Isaac Stern and Yo-Yo Ma"

Berlin Philharmonic Concertmaster, VC Artist Noah Bendix-Balgley:

"I was quite star-struck the first time I met Yo-Yo Ma .... and meeting Cecilia Bartoli after going to her concert was a thrill ..."

Dallas Symphony Concertmaster, Alexander Kerr:

"Without a doubt! .... Aaron Rosand, Henryk Szeryng, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Leonard Bernstein ... just to name a few ..."

Violinist Augustin Dumay:

"Nathan Milstein, Arthur Grumiaux, Herbert von Karajan, Seiji Ozawa, Iván Fischer and Maria João Pires ... I met each of them on stage ..."

Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers:

"Arvo Pärt, Wynton Marsalis and Tony Bennett..."

Milwaukee Symphony Concertmaster, Frank Almond:

"The closest was probably Yo-Yo Ma ... but he was so kind and normal and generous that I honestly thought it was sort of an act ... but it wasn’t ... he is one of my favorite people - musician or not ..."

Violinist Philippe Quint:

"Meeting Isaac Stern and Itzhak Perlman was quite intimidating ..."

Cellist Zuill Bailey:

"Mstislav Rostropovich made me very star-struck ... 1988, I was 16 years old ... he was truly larger than life..."

Violinist Arnaud Sussmann:

"Definitely the first time I met Itzhak Perlman when I was 16 years old ..."

Violinist VC Artist Paul Huang:

"Mischa Maisky and Anne-Sophie Mutter"

Violinist VC Young Artist Kerson Leong:

"There have been many ..."

Violinist VC Artist Fedor Rudin:

"Rostropovich ... as much musically as humanly..."

Violinist VC Artist Nikki Chooi:

"Pinchas Zukerman - back in the day when I met him through an internet video broadband connection for a lesson ..."

Violinist VC Artist Stefan Jackiw:

"Christian Tetzlaff and Gidon Kremer"

Cellist VC Artist Kian Soltani:

"Certainly when i met Daniel Barenboim for the first time ... but i had to audition for him right after so it wasn't the best time to seem shocked..."

Time For Three Violinist, VC Artist Charles Yang:

"Still can't get over the fact I spent 6 years studying with one of my all-time idols, Glenn Dicterow ... "

VC Young Artist Violinist William Hagen:

"I get totally star-struck when I meet anybody that I admire .... Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Christian Tetzlaff, Steven Isserlis, Valery Gergiev, Gustavo Dudamel, Gidon Kremer... but I have learned that everyone is actually very normal ... we're all just individuals"


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