I love the violin. I studied it in my later years and my daughter, now 16, has been playing it since she was five. I’m also a big fan of Violinist.com, an online musician community for lovers of this magnificent instrument. Founded by Laurie Niles in 1996, the site has over 200,000 readers a month, and regularly offers articles on the art of violin playing, as well as interviews with famous violinists.
Thus comes this book, which is a compilation of 27 exclusive, one-on-one interviews with violinists ranging from Joshua Bell to Sarah Chang, to Hilary Hahn to Anne-Sophie Mutter, to Ruggiero Ricci to Maxim Vengerov, which Niles conducted over the past six years.
In one word, this book is: fascinating. If you love listening to violin music, or are a violinist yourself, you’ll relish the inside information into the lives of these incredibly talented soloists and their ups and downs as they travel the world and make personal sacrifices in order to play live concerts, sometimes as many as a hundred or more a year.
After a thoughtful foreword by Grammy Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn, Niles goes on to ask violinists the questions I would have liked to ask myself, from questions about technique and expression, to how a player shapes an instrument (and vise versa) to multi-million Stradivari, to bows that can cost up to half a million dollars, to what makes a world-class soloist, to the controversy of shoulder rests, to even what type of gown to wear depending on the composer, and then some. Questions from the peculiar and fun to the serious intricacies of the various techniques, building up stamina, and staying focused during a performance. Of course, there’s plenty of discussion about composers and their works, as well as celebrated violin teachers and their methods.
The Violinist.com Interviews: Volume One is a must for violin students and anyone interested in the world of violin music. Highly recommended!
The book is available in print and Kindle formats. Find out more on Amazon.
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