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					In Conversation With Pinchas Zukerman

<p>I first saw legendary violinist/violinist Pinchas
Zukerman<strong></strong><a target="_new" rel="nofollow"
href="http://www.nac-
cna.ca/en/naco/allaboutthenacorchestra/pinchaszukermanbiography/"></a><st
rong> </strong>play in San Diego, California in 1994 with the San Diego
Symphony Orchestra performing the Beethoven Concerto.</p><p>I waited
around afterwards for an autograph from him and not-so-casually walked by
his side as he left the building. A seventeen-year-old valley girl with a
crush on a handsome violin idol! A year later I was in Canada studying
music, where I met my husband and later immigrated.</p><p>I followed love
to Canada, first my violin music, then my husband. My admiration for
Pinchas' playing brought the whole thing full-circle again when I saw
him, now the conductor for the Canada National Arts Centre Orchestra,
playing in my new home just ten years and a different country
later.</p><p>After the concert I quitely approached Maestro Zukerman,
hoping to ask some questions on his life, music and his passions. A man
of few words, he asked me to email him and grinned, "If you send it to
'Jascha Heifetz-dot-com' it won't get to me!"</p><p><em>* For you non-
violinists, Jascha Heifetz was said to be the finest violinist of the
20th Century. Zukerman humbly recognizes
this.</em></p><p><strong>Rhiannon Schmitt:</strong> Did love bring you to
Canada? Where do you call home these days?</p><p><strong>Pinchas
Zukerman:</strong> I am very happy to call Ottawa home these days. It's
very nice to feel connected to the community where I work and spend at
least half of my time!</p><p><strong>RS:</strong> What are your passions
in life?</p><p><strong>PZ: </strong>Sports, food, wine, my family, and of
course music!</p><p><strong>RS: </strong>I am a violin & fiddle teacher
and I’m sure we both share an appreciation for students who are engrossed
in their music and who love playing from their hearts. But there are
always plateaus, the times when even the best of players find it hard to
be motivated, improve consistently or keep focused in music. How do you
keep your students inspired?</p><p><strong>PZ:</strong> I keep my
students inspired by constantly changing things along the way. If one
thing doesn't work, you have to try something else. And, above all else,
PASSION! Your students will be inspired if they can sense you are
passionate about the music and about teaching and
learning.</p><p><strong>RS:</strong> How about yourself? You play all the
repetiore with apparent ease and total concentration, always playing it
as if it were fresh and inspiring. We'd all like to know, do you ever
feel frustrated with yourself as a player? If so, how do you manage
through the lows?</p><p><strong>PZ: </strong>No. I just work very hard
and realize that the Fundamentals are very
important!</p><p><strong>RS:</strong> What inspires you to keep up your
busy tour schedules and play the repetiore with such originality,
creativity and passion every time?</p><p><strong>PZ:</strong> You've
answered your own question without realizing it! PASSION. I am passionate
about the</p><p>music - that is why I do what I
do.</p><p><strong>RS:</strong> And how much on average do you practice
each day or in a week?</p><p><strong>PZ:</strong> As much as necessary.
There is no magic formula. It all depends on what I'm working on
and</p><p>what concerts are coming up.</p><p><strong>RS:</strong> When I
was 14 my conductor, also a violist, encouraged us violinists to take up
viola. She said as violists we'd have better chances of getting into
ensembles, college and jobs. Add to that my love for Bach’s Brandenburg 6
and Mozart’s Symphonietta Concertante, which featured viola solists, and
I was inspired to take up this wonderful instrument. What was your
motivation behind taking up viola?</p><p><strong>PZ:</strong> Hearing the
sonority of the instrument made me want to play the
viola.</p><p><strong>RS:</strong> How would you explain the differences
between the instruments, aside from the usual dimensions,</p><p>clef, and
range.</p><p><strong>PZ: </strong>The bow application is different on the
viola. A slightly slower bow application is used on the viola because
it's heavier and easier to control.</p><p><strong>RS:</strong> Do you
think differently when playing viola?</p><p><strong>PZ: </strong>No. I am
always concentrating on the music - it doesn't matter if I'm playing
violin or viola - the music is what's important.</p><p><strong>RS:
</strong>Do violists who start out on viola play differently than
violinists who take it up later?</p><p><strong>PZ:</strong> They
shouldn't.</p><p><strong>RS:</strong> Do you recommend violinists double
on viola to broaden their career and musical
opportunities?</p><p><strong>PZ: </strong>Yes.</p><p><strong>RS:</strong>
Who is your greatest inspiration in music?</p><p><strong>PZ:</strong>
There are so many it would be difficult to list.</p><p><strong>RS:
</strong>Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and provide
inspiration for my local violin community. I also thank you for being an
inspiration in my music and for all of us.</p><p>**Rhiannon Schmitt (nee
Nachbaur) is a professional violinist and music teacher who has enjoyed
creative writing for years.</p><p>She currently writes columns for two
Canadian publications and has been featured in Australia's "Music Teacher
Magazine." Writing allows her to teach people that the world of music is
as fun as you spin it to be!</p><p>Rhiannon, age 29, has worn the hats of
businesswoman, performer, events promoter, classical music radio host and
school orchestra music arranger in rural British Columbia,
Canada.</p><p>Her business, Fiddleheads Violin School & Shop, has won
several distinguished young entrepreneur business awards for her
commitment to excellence. Her shop offers beginner to professional level
instruments, accessories and supplies for very reasonable prices: Visit
<a target="_new"
href="http://www.fiddleheads.ca">http://www.fiddleheads.ca</a></p><p>Rhia
nnon is also Founding President of the Shuswap Violin Society which
promotes violin & fiddle music and helps young musicians in need: <a
target="_new"
href="http://www.violinsociety.ca">http://www.violinsociety.ca</a></p>

				
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posted:7/13/2010
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