You have to spend all your free time in the violin. It’s not that. If you’ve spent any time with the violin, you will surely be surprised. The sound, the rhythm; it’s so important. With the violin, you can play at any tempo, at any time, wherever the wind comes from: at the beach, when the traffic is quiet, in the mountains. I know it’s a cliché with music. But really, you have to spend the free time in the instrument, and learn to play it. You can’t just sit there and play. People always want to be at the right time. If you have a chance to be in the music right now, do it and not the one they want you to be. You have to listen to the wind and take advantage of your instruments’ qualities.
How much training did you give yourself before entering this stage of your career?
I knew nothing about violin. The first time I played the violin was when I was 6. I was playing a violin concerto in the orchestra of a small town in the Austrian Alps, and I couldn’t understand anything in it. My grandfather is one of the foremost experts that ever lived. I was at the bottom of the food chain, and my parents didn’t know anything about music. They had nothing to do with music when they were born. They were really afraid of music. For years, they didn’t know what music was. My grandfather told them what to listen to, and what they should pay attention to. I would do the same things, and I still do. I’ve never had a concert before. This makes me more happy than if I had a concert now.
What’s the process in your mind for picking out that great piece of music that you’ve had the luck to play for the first time?
When I’m playing, I try to visualize, and I also go back and listen to recordings. I watch a bunch of films or watch concerts. But, honestly, I can’t be objective about them. When I’m playing at night, people walk by and they say, “Who’s that, huh?” I have to think long and hard if that person is a beginner or someone from a concert series. And this is a huge change in our life that can be really beautiful. In our country, you need to be young. People need to have a job, and they also need to have their lives to be normal. There’s nothing worse than thinking that
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