There are so many fantastic women violin players that it is very difficult to say one is the best, in fact, their styles can vary widely. So, it is safe to say that there are a number of ”the best” women violinists playing in the world today. If you love the sound of the classical violin as a soloist, then these women are sure to inspire you to greater depths of musical appreciation.
Lara St. John
Born in Canada, she has brought great talent and versatility to her violin playing and The Strad was so impressed that they called her “something of a phenomenon”. She has played all over the world from Prague to San Francisco and from Tokyo to Berlin. She has also had the distinct honor of being invited to play in China’s Forbidden City in Beijing.
In 2011, The Los Angeles Times wrote:
“Lara St. John happens to be a volcanic violinist with a huge, fabulous tone that pours out of her like molten lava. She has technique to burn and plays at a constant high heat.”
She is as fine a violinist as you will find on the stage today.
She is a veteran member of the worldwide family of great violinists. Born in Germany in 1963, she started her musical career playing the piano at a very early age. When she was just 13, she was encouraged by conductor Herbert von Karajan to play with the Berlin Philharmonic. A heady experience for any young girl to be sure. Her first public appearance was at the Lucerne Festival in 1976 where she delighted the audience with a rendition of Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4 in D major.
She is a celebrated citizen of China having been born in Shanghai and bringing her great talent to the world stage, much to the joy of the Chinese people. She was honored to be included in the book of ”Famous Chinese Females” which was published in 1995. Two of the highlights of her life were when she received a full scholarship to study with Zaven Melikian at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and when she became the only women in the history of Chinese music, to own a Stradivarius violin.
In the world of famous violin players the women have definitely made a strong statement and brought their unique talents to enrich our experience with the classical violin. Contact us to learn more about how the violin can be part of a girl’s early musical education.
photo credit: swanky via photopin cc
Apocalyptica is a truly unique musical experience: perhaps the world’s first all-cello hard-rock/heavy metal band. Does that sound absurd? Well, according to an academic study performed in 2008 with over 36,000 music fans from around the world it was found that fans of metal and classical actually have practically everything in common as far as personality goes. The fusion of classical strings with rock phrasing makes more sense than we would think, and why shouldn’t a band shake up the guitar driven foundation of rock music? Apocalyptica has taken this musical experiment and turned it into a full-fledged world phenomenon, and expanded the visibility of the cello to a new audience.
Apocalyptica was formed in 1993 in Helsinki, Finland, by classically trained cellists Eicca Toppinen, Max Lilja, Antero Manninen, and Paavo Lotjonen. Initially they were a pure cello quartet that covered the music of Metallica. Their first critically acclaimed album was Apocalyptica Plays Metallica by Four Cellos, which was a straightforward crossover of classical instruments performing music by the biggest heavy metal band of all time. The quartet followed it up with Inquisition Symphony in 1998, which followed the same formula but expanded to include music by other bands such as Pantera and Sepultura, including some originals. In this phase the group was more of a chamber quartet playing rock so ngs than a full-fledged rock band, but for their 2001 release Cult they added double base and percussion and focused more on original compositions in order to make the transition to being a rock band centered on the sound of the cello. The group has regularly been releasing albums and inviting world renowned guest vocalists such as Gavin Rossale, Corey Taylor of Slipknot, Till Lindemann of Rammstein, and Nina Hagen.
Contact us to learn more about learning cello, an amazing, versatile, and sometimes hard-rocking instrument.
photo credit: [email protected] via photopin cc
Gavriel Lipkind, one of the most famous cello players in Germany, was born in Tel Aviv in 1977. From an early age he showed his genius playing the cello and made his first radio appearance at the age of 18. He has three degrees from three continents, and according to Südkurier, he has won numerous awards such as ”the Leonard Rose Competition in Washington, the Rostropovich Competition in Paris and the ARD Competition in Munich.”
It would seem as if a talented musician such as Lipkind would naturally continue with his performances while continuing to gain attention. However, unlike many in his position, Lipkind decided to take a three year reprieve from performing. His website explains his reason for such a decision.
At the pinnacle of his youthful career, still in his early twenties, Lipkind took a three-year long period of retreat from stage life devoting himself to the founding of Lipkind Productions.
Nowadays every aspect of Lipkind’s activities as a musician, is an inseparable part of a larger plan to record the underlying repertoire. The productions shape all other aspects of his career.
You can find what he has created on the results page of his site.
The reason Lipkind has been at the forefront of cello playing for so many years is that has a unique style of playing. According to All Music’s James Leonard, ”his tempos are not always what one has come to expect as, “his slows are heavier, his fasts are lighter, and his dances always stay on point. . . [H]is phrasing is sometimes smoother, sometimes rougher, and always individualistic.”
Just as Leonard has alluded to, Lipkind’s personality–who he is as a person–is an integral part of his musicianship. Bernard Greenhouse of Carlo Schreiber Productions describes Lipkind as, ”an intriguing and dynamic musician on stage, and also a person of great creativity and thought, intellectual involvement and kindness.”
More to Come
The world has yet to see what other musical contributions Lipkind still has to make through his performances and recordings in which he uses his particular style.
Contact us about and other information about violins, cellos, basses, news and more!
photo credit: Guus Krol via photopin cc
There are several big summer violin festivals happening in Finland both this upcoming summer and the next. If you’ll be in the area, they’re worth checking out.
15th International Sibelius Festival
This festival will be held in the Finnish city of Lahti, south of Helsinki, September 4 – 7, 2014, at the spectacular glass Sibelius Hall. It will feature rarely-heard original versions of Sibelius’ work, including the challenging Violin Concerto and Fifth Symphony.
The festival will prepare the way for the larger-than-usual jubilee celebration in 2015, which will last a whole week, from August 31 – September 6, and will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sibelius. It is expected to attract visitors from all over the world, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s and the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra’s performances among the highlights.
Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival
Featuring seven arts in seven cities, from July 13 – July 26, 2014, this 45th summer festival will present 73 concerts and will be given by more than 100 top Finnish and international musicians. There will be a mixture of traditional chamber music, music of the Tsars, and some unexpected large-scale rarities, including a Bach Passion.
Korsholm Music Festival
Presented in the Korsholm Church in one of the most beautiful Nordic areas in the archipelago of Korsholm and Vaasa, leading Finnish and international artists will perform music ranging from classical chamber works to baroque compositions. The program will also include new music during the beautiful summertime ”daylight” over the course of the festival during, the nights of July 30 – August 6, 2014. This is one of the most popular Finnish chamber music festivals
Those who attend can look forward to watching two famous violinists perform, Cecilia Zilliacus, and Liv Migdal.
Cecilia Zilliacus is one of the most accomplished violinists performing across Europe and the Nordic countries. As a soloist, she has performed at many of the world’s leading concert houses with most of the Swedish symphony orchestras as well as many European and Nordic orchestras. Musicians and composers have come to the Stockholm Concert House to listen to the prize-winning music series by her string trio, ZilliacusPerssonRaitinen, She has recorded albums, four of which have won Swedish Grammies.
Liv Migdal is a new star and is one of her young generation’s most outstanding violinists. She began her artistic studies at the age of eleven, and has won numerous scholarships, prizes, and competitions at the international level, including the Mozart Society Scholarship in 2013. Her concerts have taken her to many European countries as well as Israel and Asia as a soloist with well-known orchestras, and a guest artist at festivals in Finland, Poland, and the Netherlands. In January 2014, her first CD was released with sonatas of Beethoven, Strauss, and Debussy.
photo credit: ac4lt via photopin cc