The instrument is most famous among the violinists because they get to play with a very high degree of freedom. I believe that violinists have so much freedom to play the violin that the first time you try to play without using the lanyard you will get a very bad feeling. So when you are playing with your head off, you do need to get a better feeling of control.
You used to say that it was hard to take up a violin. When did you first understand why?
In my high school, our student is a violinist. The teacher, one day, gave him a violin and this young man played the violin very well, as a music teacher did, and made his first contact with the violins. So, we had quite an important experience. We realized that the violin is very difficult to play. The beginning of my study was when I understood why.
Tell me about your solo studies with Haydn.
I played a lot of Haydn; I did more than ten concerts in Munich with Haydn. Most of the solo works I did with him were very popular at the time. For about three years I was quite good.
How about your recital at Munich?
I went to my friend, one of the top violists, and we did a recital at the Symphony Hall, with Haydn and other great singers. That was more good. At that time, I was very fortunate and so was all of the orchestra. This time I was only there for a couple of months so we went to Berlin where the orchestra would not come.
What you didn’t realize is that this was a very serious event, for the whole orchestra, when Haydn announced the death of this great composer. There were tears in the audience. So, I gave my first concert as soloist with Haydn [and] then I played Haydn’s Symphony No.5 at Munich.
Your solo concerts in Munich have been very successful and you now have more solo concerts [in Germany] than you have in the US. Why?
Well, because the orchestras of Germany are really professional orchestras; they are very interested in the individual playing and this leads to a much more personal connection with them, this connection is very rewarding. And this makes them really a nice place to perform in, so it was very nice for me to go. It is also good for my self-confidence because after a while, I realized that,
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