PEOPLE

Mirijam Contzen

Friday, 20 December 2013

The German–Japanese violinist shares some of the best advice she's ever had

Just concentrate on the very first note – everything else emerges from that

I was very lucky to be able to study with one of the greatest violinists of the last century, the Hungarian-born Tibor Varga. When I was about 19, I played the Brahms Concerto with him conducting, and for me it was a big deal given that it was going to be on live TV. In the moments just before the concert, we were waiting together to go on stage, and he could see me going through a few different passages of the concert. He looked at me and said, ‘Just concentrate on the very first note – everything else emerges from that.’

This advice was particularly important for me, as the moment just before I step on stage is vital to the performance. I feel very lucky to have been able to benefit from an artist who had such vast experience, with an International career lasting 60 years.

From the January 2014 issue. Subscribe to The Strad or download our digital edition as part of a 30-day free trial.


Photo: Molina Visuals/Josep Molina

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