“What’s the very last thing that runs through your mind as you’re walking on stage?”
The Violin Channel recently caught up with 30+ of the world’s top string players to find out …
VC Artist Violinist, Ray Chen:
"I always do this backstage countdown thing to the person opening the door for me ... where I hold out my hand and count 5...4...3...2...1... and then as they open the door, I pull out the double hand-pistols and go “PEW PEW PEW!” ... and then I walk on stage ... basically it’s my way of being in control of the situation ... I decide when I’m going to walk on stage, not someone else ... and the double hand-pistols keep things real by making everyone laugh so that when I do walk out onto the stage, it’s with a smile on my face ...."
VC Young Artist Violinist, Fedor Rudin:
"Sh*t ... is my zipper up?" [PICTURED]
German-Japanese Concert Violinist, Arabella Steinbacher:
"I remind myself that it's a gift to do what I do ... and try to let go of all thoughts ..."
Russian-born Violinist, Dmitry Sitkovetsky:
"I love going on stage ... it is my domain, the place where I live my happiest moments ... I just hope that it will be a special, inspired performance ..."
Canadian Violinist, Lara St John:
“I’ve done it before ... I can do it again ... unless of course it's a premiere ..."
American Violinist, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg:
"Showtime! ... It’s like a decades old mantra for me ... they open the backstage door ... I feel the breeze from the hall ... I say to myself “Showtime” ... and I become someone else ..."
VC Artist Violinist, Augustin Hadelich:
“Remember ... you’re not a doctor ... it’s not life or death!”
VC Artist Violinist, Stefan Jackiw:
"Remember ... everyone is on my side ..."
British Violinist, Chloe Hanslip:
"Let’s have some fun!"
Colburn School of Music Violin Professor and Co-Director of String Chamber Music, Martin Beaver:
"I hope I remembered to zip up my fly!"
Israeli-born Cellist, Matt Haimovitz:
"Sing, sing, sing ..."
American Violinist, Stephanie Chase:
"I make a supplication to the greater force to help me play my absolute best ... when playing a concerto, I make sure that I protect my violin and bow from accidental encounters with orchestra members en route ... and that I am not close to the edge of the stage ... or too close to the conductor’s left arm"
Korean-American Violinist and New England Conservatory faculty member, Soovin Kim:
"Am I really about to do this?"
Dutch Violinist, Noa Wildschut:
"I often hear the beginning of the piece I am going to perform in my head ... and I tell myself ... c'mon let’s enjoy this ..."
American Violist and Instagram Star, ThatViolaKid, Drew Alexander Forde:
"I forgive myself for any mistakes or embarrassing things that may be about to happen ..."
Violin Virtuoso and Fashion Model, Filip Pogady:
"Sleep! ... All my senses are usually way too heightened to being able to have napped ..."
Chinese-Cuban-American Cellist Sophia Bacelar:
"Um ... do I need to pee?"
Australian Funster, TwoSet Violinist, Eddy 'Shreddy' Chen:
"Enjoy it ... and give it your all ... "
Australian Funster, TwoSet Violinist, Brett 'Bang' Yang:
"Let's do this!"
London Symphony Orchestra First Violinist “Queen of Bling”, Maxine Kwok-Adams:
“Usually because I'm wearing such ridiculously high shoes ... it's ... don't trip!"
VC Artist Violinist, Paul Huang:
"What kind of food should I have after the concert?"
VC Artist Cellist, Kian Soltani:
"The opening bars of the piece ..."
Canadian VC Young Artist Violinist, Timothy Chooi:
"For a recital ... do I have an extra e string in the case it breaks ... and what is the first note of the concerto?"
Canadian VC Young Artist Violinist, Kerson Leong:
"The anticipation for the music making to start is indisputable ... but did I check my fly?"
VC Rising Star, Kevin Miura:
"Actually, I don’t have any memory of what I’m thinking ... next time, I’ll take note and tell you, ok?"
VC Young Artist Cellist, Aurélien Pascal:
"I love my job!"
VC Young Artist Violinist, Nathan Meltzer:
"C'mon ... being nervous is a good thing ..."
VC Young Artist Violinist, Marc Bouchkov:
VC Artist Violinist, Jennifer Pike:
"What's the best way on to the stage ...?"
VC Rising Star Violinist, Yesong Sophie Lee:
"I try to think positive thoughts like ... I can do it ..."
Ariel Quartet Violist, Jan Grüning:
"Um ... is my zipper definitely closed?"
VC Artist Dover Quartet Violinist, Bryan Lee:
"God help me!"
VC Artist Dover Quartet Violist, Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt:
VC Rising Star Violinist, María Dueñas:
"I try to think about how I am creating a gift for the audience ... and that I need to give this opportunity my absolute best for all the people who have made it possible ..."
VC Young Artist Violist, Timothy Ridout:
"Usually I try to sing the first phrase of the piece under my breath as a walk on stage ... to get in the mood of the music before I actually play the first note"
VC Artist Violinist, Benjamin Beilman:
"I try to work up my emotions to whatever the opening phrase demands ... If I nail the opening ... everything else is easy"