About violinist on roaming...

生活就如旅行,我的心像是mobile on roaming,無論身在何處,帶著一把琴、一枝筆,寄給你一張張的明信片-樂譜裡的絃外之音...Wish you a good journey.

10/28/2012

Mr. Schubert at the sea

“There must be something strangely sacred in salt. It is in our tears and in the sea.”
~Kahlil Gibran



A present for my dear friend- Guy. The poem is also dedicated to everyone who has experienced the changes in the dragon year 2012





Walking on the sand,
In front of me, there lies the so called
Sea

In such a wonderful sunny day,
Birds singing, wind blowing

I can’t stop my tears
Running down.

Started to walk faster and faster,
The strong wind against my face
The desire of crying
Drowning my heart

“Easy mind, light heart. A mind that is too easy hides a heart that is too heavy”

Tears all over my face,
I tasted my own sorrow,
Salty and bitter:
Salt- from my body
Bitterness- so many mixed feelings which are difficult to describe…

Walking towards the sea
Could sea wash off my sorrow?

She doesn’t answer me,
Like God never answers my prayer

“Every night when I go to bed, I hope that I may never wake again, and every morning renews my grief”

I finally tasted the sea
I tasted my tears

I simply give up
I surrender.

There is always an end for everything.
A funny fine line when love ends and death begins, when death ends and life begins.

“When I wished to sing for love,
It turned to sorrow
And when I wished to sing for sorrow,
It was transformed into love”

Time moves ahead,
My steps go forward,
Is there something sacred in salt that our tears and the sea taste the same?

Don’t look back,
Eurydice was drowned in the dark world of the dead,
Lot’s wife was transformed into a pillar of salt.




8/19/2012

C- Camerata 音樂會相關閱讀

鋼琴家江瀅也與你們聊聊她的Cage 經驗,一篇輕巧有趣的文章! 


Dear readers 親愛的讀者們!

前幾天和一位好提到關於我們 14/09, 15/09 兩場音樂會的節目,她問我: John Cage 是誰呢?

我並不訝異,我想一般人已經很少接觸古典音樂了,
更何況是古典樂中的當代音樂領域。因為,
古典音樂和我們生活脫節(很可惜的事實),說真的不聽音樂也可以生活的很好,更何況這位John Cage,其實也沒真正寫下一首有名的旋律(Nokia 的主旋律還更為人知呢! ),他最有名的一曲竟是"無聲曲" 4, 33秒,你說這位頑童有趣不有趣?

我想我沒有必要詳細介紹他的生平,但是可以引申一些閱讀的資料,
希望能吸引大家對他有點認識, 因為我們的音樂會曲目是以影響過他的,及環繞其身邊的作曲家為主,讓大家可以依循一條捷徑來認識他和他的音樂。

John Cage 簡言之是現代音樂的先驅。大家有時在畫廊看到一種現代畫,
白白的一塊畫布上只有一黑點,或是一整塊黑布上卻是不同的黑色,你這時想著: 哈,這我也能畫! OK,現在假設是音樂,John Cage 就有點類似...我們都以為自己也能辦到,這樣的畫或音樂我們都能做, 但我們都不是那大膽的第一美術家或音樂家,而John Cage 在近70年前帶給世界的震撼就在於此。以下資料來自維基百科:

約翰·米爾頓·凱吉英語John Milton Cage Jr.,1912年9月5日-1992年8月12日),美國先鋒
古典音樂作曲家勛伯格的學生。他最有名的作品是1952年曲的《4'33"》,全曲三個樂章,卻沒有任何一個音符他是即興音樂(aleatory music,或「機遇音樂」,chance music)、延伸技巧(extended technique,樂器的非標準使用)、電子音樂的先驅。雖然他是一個具有爭議的人物,但仍普遍被認為是他的年代中最重要的作曲家之一

凱吉的作曲理念

  • 使用任何環境下的聲音,包括雜音
  • 運用「機遇」(如拋硬幣、算卦等)選擇順序
  • 徹底放棄形式結構
  • 運用沉默
  • 廣泛使用各種電子以及視覺手段

加料鋼琴

凱吉在音樂上的一大「貢獻」是發明(或至少是大大推廣)了「
加料鋼琴」(又稱「特調鋼琴」)這種樂器。更早的作曲家如考埃爾甚至薩蒂雖然也曾有過類似實驗,但毫無疑問凱吉是這一樂器的正式創造人。這種樂器的「製作過程」就是在普通鋼琴弦里插入各種物品,以產生特殊的聲音效果。

東方哲學

凱吉對東方哲學有濃厚的興趣。尤其是《易經》,
他經常用其來做即興音樂創作。

即興音樂

即興音樂(即「偶然音樂」)
是讓表演者可隨著不同演出場合自由發揮的音樂創作技巧,即興音樂的表現方式以下面三種最為常見:(1)不跟步驟的隨性作 曲;(2)讓表演者自行選擇如何演繹曲子;(3)使用非傳統或全新的創作組合、樂譜或音符,讓表演者可跳脫出原曲目規則,得以盡情詮釋曲子。從二十世紀中 葉以來,即興音樂因約翰·凱吉的推廣而廣受歡迎。

我們二重奏的曲目以 Henry Cowell 開場, 之後是Charles Ives 的奏鳴曲, John Cage 作品,下半場以Cahrles Ives 的三重奏作收場。
Henry Cowell 曾是John Cage 的老師,而Cowell 是Ives 的推崇者,也曾為Ives 寫過傳記。

我個人非常喜歡Ives的音樂,
我曾經在講座裡介紹過他的生平和一些重要的作品,他的三重奏是他最有名的室內樂作品,你們若不為John Cage 的名聲來,就位這首精彩的三重奏來吧! 我相信你們會喜歡的! 他具有個人風格,且結合傳統及現代,是首非常好的曲目!

15/09 的音樂會中,我將演出Lou Harrison 的小提琴及打擊樂協奏曲,對我而言是首有趣,有挑戰性的新曲,
你們能想像光是小提琴,不加上樂團,卻只有打擊樂樂團的協奏曲嗎?
這首節奏性強,小提琴部分能發揮許多音色的改變,
我第一次聆聽時讓我聯想到史特拉文斯基的"春之祭典",我在此也附上link 讓你們參考一下!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUlIeXVUh1w

你們觀察一下是怎樣的打擊樂器在做表演呢? 很有意思吧!!!
    以下為整套節目的時間表:

20世紀音樂界的發明家 約翰凱吉百年展
9/12 (三)10001600
工作坊探討曲目
John CageSix Melodies for violin and keyboard
John CageFontana Mix
9/13 (四)10001600
工作坊探討曲目
Charles IvesPiano Trio
Charles IvesChildren’s Day at the Camp Meeting
9/14 (五)1430
學生室內樂音樂會
開放學生樂團或個人報名參加,不限樂器,
演出曲目以20世紀為主,
演出參考曲目,請參考十方樂集官網:

9/14 (五)1930
室內樂音樂會
小提琴:江蕙/鋼琴:江瀅/大提琴:張智惠
1. Henry CowellSonata for Violin and Piano
2. Charles IvesSonata No.4 for Violin and Piano
Children’s Day at the Camp Meeting
3. John CageFontana Mix
4. John CageSix Melodies for violin and keyboard
5. Charles IvesPiano Trio
9/15 (六)1930
擊樂作品音樂會
小提琴:江蕙/鋼琴:江瀅/擊樂:十方樂集
1. John Cage & Lou HarrisonDouble Music
2. John CageAmores
3. John CageThird Construction
4. John CageChild of Tree
5. Henry CowellPulse
6. Lou HarrisonConcerto for Violin with Percussion 江蕙獨奏
工作坊講師/演出者:
洪崇焜、董昭民、江瀅(鋼琴家)、江蕙(小提琴家)、張智惠(
大提琴家)
工作坊/音樂會地點:
十方樂集音樂劇場(台北市大同區民族西路1874號,電話:0
2-2593-5811
工作坊報名費用:新台幣3000元整
工作坊報名方式:請逕洽十方樂集
工作坊報名截止日期:2012831
9/149/15晚場室內樂音樂會票價:300元/每場
誠摯的邀請你們前來 工作訪的曲目介紹及14/09, 15/09兩場音樂會,相信會是兩場新奇,
與眾不同卻又能感動人心的音樂會!

與我們一起分享對音樂的愛

江蕙http://www.hueichiang.com
C- Camerata
https://sites.google.com/site/
cameratataipei/
敬邀

8/13/2012

Blue ink fiddler

After sending my latest article "Love and something close to love" to some friends, I received a response from my writing friend Patricia (we've exchanged poems and she has helped me translating my poems into Spanish). 
 
Have fun reading it, and please don't hesitate to share whatever brings to your mind, as one of the actions of love is sharing :)

 
  
This is her e-mail to me:
 
 
Dear Huei, thank you for sharing your thoughts, I'm utterly moved and wrote a little bit myself after reading your words. I hope you don't mind:

Blue ink fiddler  by Patricia Albornoz

Clueless but curious, like the white cat
Words about rebirth arrived unexpectedly in virtual paper
Obvious wreckage but not havoc in sight
What could have happened to her-- to them

If you leave, keep your head off your sleeve
Warm breeze
When you write, keep the heart in blue ink

Puzzled but relieved like open played violin string
Her words about love and egocentric rage
Afraid still of the damaged walls and derby all around 
Sound derby all around him-- them

When you leave, keep your eyes off your sleeve
Quiet sleep
When you write, I know you'll write- keep the mind in blue ink

The only way out would be through, the given advice
Not assuaged ears nor anesthetized heart to react
Not love inside but outside, in the mind, love inside the mind
Black words printed on unsympathetic paper I've got

Now that you've left, keep your head off the sleeve
Breath in, breath out to heal
When you write, keep the heart in bright blue ink 

Love,
Pati

8/12/2012

Love & something close to love




I still remember a conversation with my friend years ago, when I was a little girl.

I didn’t like the pop music of that period of time in Taiwan. I started to study the piano and the violin around age 4 or 5, and I always asked my parents to put on classical music at home and in the car.

I simply found that classical music was more graceful, beautiful, and elegant to listen to.

One day I was chatting with my good girl friend- Chia Chun (I think we were about 10 back then), I said, ‘Why is pop music always the same? It’s always about men and women; whether they love each other, or one leaves another, or one is in love but is not loved by the other… isn’t that boring? Like there is nothing else in the world but love!’

My clever friend answered, ‘but, don’t you realize that it’s the same in classical music? The operas and songs were also inspired by love, and that’s what they talk about.’

Her answer somehow awakened me; I had to admit that she was right.

Every piece of art, music, dance… were all created because of love, although there can be different types of relationships involved in the work, but the essence is always about this four letter magical word.

I didn’t pay much attention, nor did I think about the meanings of love, until the moment I suffered because of love; in other words: from the moment I suffered from something I thought was love, something similar to love, or something one has to go through in order to understand what love is.

Talking about love or trying to define love, is like talking about “Tao”; there are different aspects of love, but there is only one true love.

How do parents love their children? Is it unconditional love?
If the children don’t follow their parents’ wish to become someone they want them to be (I’m not talking about killers, nor thieves), the parents start to hurt them by saying harsh, aggressive words, to threaten them in order to make them change their decision: is that love?

When the parents have their own children only because they want to continue and spread their family name and blood (it’s a very typical Chinese tradition), and to have someone to take care of them when the parents grow old, is that love?

Is missing someone “love”?
We miss something or someone because we like their regular presence in our life; “missing” is because “we don’t have”, so is “wanting”.

When we miss someone it can mean that we like and are used to this person’s presence, we are accustomed to see or to be around that person, so when this person is not nearby anymore, we miss him. Missing is one of the expressions of love, but love itself is not “missing”.

There is real love, and the “feeling of love” or the “sensation of love”: we thought that we’re in love with someone, want to be with that particular person all the time, but in fact it’s because we’re attached to the sexual relation, we feel the sensation of love and being loved, and the whole body vibrates in harmony. In a way we are imprisoned by our physical desire, there is no freedom within us. We confuse love with pleasure, fear, jealousy, possessiveness, domination, aggressiveness… Attachment is also not love.



Wanting to control someone is not love. To let someone do whatever he wants when it’s self destructive, is not love. To be attached to someone is not love. Sex is not love. The sensation of love is not love. To tell a lie in order to make someone you love smile is not love. To do something you hate but you continue doing it because you want to make others happy, is not love. You think you’re in love with someone, or you love someone (a family member, partner, a close friend, your teacher or mentor, guru or guide, god…) you respect and love that person so much and gradually his opinions become yours, you’re influenced and you don’t think with your own brains anymore, it’s also not love. 

Is total devotion love? If a mother devotes all her time to her child and her family, ignoring her own interest and emotion needs, is that love? The devotion to a god or a religion, the devotion for a career or a profession, being devoted to an idea or a person, is that love?

I’m just curious about how we understand love, everyone feels love (or something close to love), but I think it’s interesting to reflect on this subject which is so basic and important in our daily life.



On the 16th of June I attended a Holotropic Breathwork workshop in Barcelona (the date is somehow important because I feel it was my “rebirth day”); it was an amazing experience, helping to release my hidden anger and sadness. We were blindfolded, lying on the ground; the idea is that that you start to breathe in and out as fast as you can with the music. There were moments where I felt numb in my upper body, moments when I cried or shouted, moments of dreaming and sleeping, and towards the end I received the sensation of peace.

The facilitators came to me when the “breath session” was finished. They asked how I felt, I said that since some days ago, I have this feeling of tension in my lower abdomen, and they asked if I’d like to work on that area. I said “yes of course”. Fransesc, one of the guides started to put pressure on the area, and asked me to breathe quickly as I did before in the session.

I reached the point where I started to shout and cry again (my abdomen was in pain and I was so sad). Magda (the other guide) helped to open my mouth, so I could shout without biting myself or start to hurt anyone around me. They encouraged me to release as much anger as I could (to shout, swear, cry…), and said that no one there would judge nor criticize my behaviour.

And god, I never cried and shouted so much in my life before.
It was a total relief.

What really moved me was that Fransesc hugged me for a very long time afterwards. For no reason I just cried and cried in his embrace, like a new born baby.

Right there, I felt this great love between human beings, that we don’t know each other’s history but deep down, we do know how each other feels, that the experience I’ve lived, they also have lived, that we are connected - by love.

Maybe because the position was similar (lying on the back), I suddenly remembered the time right after the car accident years ago, while I was in the hospital waiting to be x-rayed. There was this nurse whose name I didn’t even know, taking care of me by my side. She knew about our accident; I was in such great pain that I couldn’t move (I didn’t move at all till the fireman came to get me out of the van, then I was lying down for a total of 3 days in the hospital), and I was afraid that my spine might be broken and would have trouble playing the violin. I was cold, in shock, the nurse held my hand and asked how I felt, I couldn’t express my feelings and she asked: if you feel like crying, just do it!

And it was like a water gate opening; my tears were pouring out till there were no tears left…And all that time she was holding my hand, giving me warmth.

Back then it was the very first time I felt this “love” between people, between people you don’t know and basically you don’t have anything to do with in your life, and both these experiences moved me enormously. The nurse may see me as her daughter or even herself while she held my hand, Fransesc may hold me as his own child, but what I received is pure love, the love of accepting, understanding, caring, encouragement, warmth and comfort.

Years ago, when I first fell in love strongly, a wise lady friend was so happy for me, she said to me: you know what relationship is about? It’s 1+1=1!

In the last 10 years I put the emphasis on ‘1’ in my love relationship; I was perfectly independent but whenever there was a decision to make, I (or we) always made the decision for Us, not for what I wanted to do. What’s not right in this case, is that the pattern would be 0.5+0.5=1 and not 1+1=1.

It’s hard, isn’t it? You cannot lose who you really are in a relationship, yet if two people are egocentric, 1+1=2; it’s two people on parallel roads and not sharing the same view.

Another symbol of balance is Yin and Yang (to describe a woman and a man). To be honest I don’t like this concept of relationship, it feels like that we are in constant search to find the other half (and I am just a half), that a woman is the Yin part, and the Yang presents the male part, and the people have to find the perfect match, or to work on the relationship so that the two parts become one in harmony. Can the Yin and the Yang add up to One on their own? Yes, but it’s not what you imagine.

By Paolo Coelho 
1+1=1 can apply to every relationship, between family, friends, and lovers; it can apply to oneself with the world. It is harmony, balance, connection, love.

Love is to feel the connection with everyone and everything alive on the earth - this is neither a theory nor something we read, but sooner or later, we experience it!

Love is total attention (awareness) and yes, there is nothing else in the world but Love.


  


8/07/2012

Play how you feel!


http://www.ruggieroricci.com

I wanted to start writing this article a month ago, as homage to my former violin teacher Ruggiero Ricci for his 94th birthday (24th July), but I was held up by other things. Weeks after, today we are notified that Mr. Ricci died of heart failure on the 6th August 2012.

It doesn’t come as a big surprise because for a long time we knew that he was suffering with a lot of health problems. In the last few weeks he hadn’t been eating nor speaking to anyone; he spent most of the time in bed. Nothing was wrong with him, his body just gradually stopped working because of his age…

I spoke to my ex-husband (violinist Chris Nicholls) and found him in tears. Mr. Ricci has been his long time mentor and our teacher in Salzburg, Chris was also Mr. Ricci’s teaching assistant when I studied there. He said, ‘at least he is not suffering anymore’.

No he is not: and yet what a life he had lived as a great musician!

I have been thinking about him a lot recently because I was preparing for an orchestra audition in Vienna - after so many years of playing the Mozart concerto for the first round, this time in my preparation I reached a point where I felt this total freedom and could just play the way I feel (not the way I want it to be!), and not caring about the technical details which sometimes limited my interpretation in the past.

It was in the year 2000, the day before my first diploma exam in Salzburg, Mr. Ricci said to me on the phone, ‘Honey, always play how you feel!’

This is the very sentence Fritz Kreisler said to him when he played in front of this great Viennese violinist. Mr. Ricci regarded Kreisler as one of the biggest influences in his life, and he repeated this sentence many times to his students.

After years of life experience, working experience, and now thanks to yoga and other spiritual influences, it’s the first time I really understand what’s behind this sentence and really know how I feel.

It sounds crazy and ridiculous, right?

Everyone thinks and feels, how can someone not feel?

Yes in a way I felt, I have been musical and expressive, but there is still a difference between someone who is talented and musical, and someone who really tells a story through his playing and connects with other human beings- this person lives vividly, feels life.

I was reflecting on this phrase a lot: to be playing the way you feel it, is not how you want it. When we want something, it means that it’s something we don’t have: we want to achieve a goal, a certain style of playing or perfect technique: how to do the phrasing and create an atmosphere…there is a point where we want to arrive.

I love Heifetz’s playing, I want to play like him. After I reached some good technical level, I can start to imitate his playing, his taste, where he puts his glissando and vibrato…I’m learning from him, I’m copying him. I want to feel how he felt; I do things which he would do- this is not “to play how you feel”!

How can you say to a student or a musician “play how you feel” when this person is emotionally disconnected? What if he doesn’t know how he feels? He may not feel much because he’s been very well protected by his parents or family, he hasn’t had a chance to make a mistake of his own, plus in our teaching tradition, we are told what to do- the teachers teach us their interpretation as well. When we prepare for an audition or music competition, it is very common to have lessons with the juries, to get the opinions of what they want to hear in order to win.

So, it is very hard to play how you feel, the way that you can identify yourself and be you!

Plus, behind the playing we are also dealing with control of nerves: you can’t play nervously because you feel nervous (well you can but one prefers not to). To play how you feel, it requires the total attention, a relaxed mind and body. To feel is to feel the emotions within us, to connect with ourselves then transmit it to others, it’s to connect to something we already have and we know what it is, and the audience have that too! The energy goes in a circle between the musicians and the listeners; that’s what is magical in live concerts.

It’s an important step because “wanting” is like to imagine, and “to feel” is to visualize, to make it become real.

Mr. Ricci was an inspiring teacher, I actually learned much more from him after I left Mozarteum and started working, than while I studied with him full-time in Salzburg. I remember his teaching, I was much more aware of what I was playing, I listened more to myself.

The greatest thing he said which I never forget is: ‘the best teacher teaches you how to teach yourself!’
This is also the best way to describe his teaching.

While I studied with him in Salzburg from 1996- 2000, I sometimes felt that his teaching approach changed from time to time. But the main thing was that he was very critical about the intonation. We had to practice lots of scales of double stops, and he asked all his students to practice Bach and Paganini. He called the scale practice as “the ear training”, so one can actually establish his technique by training his own ears. If a string player plays out of tune, the main problem is not because he has bad technique, it is because his ears are not trained; not tuned - and all the string players can make huge progress by practicing scales. So when the ears (controlled by our brains) are sensitive enough, we correct ourselves automatically.

And Bach, of course is useful both for ‘brain training’ and musical purposes. He himself kept practicing the 3 fugues of Bach and Bartok’s fugue in later years after he had retired from the Mozarteum.

He was not like other teachers who would tell you exactly what to do, how to phrase here and there. He would only point out when there was something disturbing the music.

I think in a way, there were some students who didn’t appreciate him as much, because normally, at a certain age we want the teacher to tell us what to do all the time, so you feel that the teacher gives you everything right there and you are the one who absorbs like a sponge. He wasn’t like that, he sometimes would stop you, say ”NO”, and kept saying it while the students repeatedly attempted to play this way and that way, until the moment that the student finally found out what he needed to change, then the “NO” stopped.

In the beginning when I just started to work for a chamber orchestra in Spain, I still kept coming back to Salzburg to have lessons with Mr. Ricci, and he was very critical about my playing in that period of time. Many times I came out of classes crying, because I felt that he was being especially picky on me but not with other students. I felt very unfair, but I still did whatever he told me to.

After a student’s concert in the Mozarteum where I played Sarasate’s Romeo and Juliet fantasy (I had very tough lessons on that piece with him, I cried and was angry after the lessons), I called him before I had to leave for Spain again, he congratulated me on my performance and he was really pleased with my playing, he said: because you remembered everything I said and you did it on the stage, you’ve got good brains!

In a way it was very good for me that he gave me some tough times, it’s better to receive strong criticism from a world legendary violinist, which actually made me change and made me stronger under pressure in my student years, than afterwards in a professional working world being picked up by other musicians who may have no idea what they are talking about. 

He himself was a great example to all his students. I say so because it’s not about what he taught but about what he did, and what he was.

He was always interested in the violin; he developed different practicing methods every now and then, and constantly looked for ways to make the violin sound better. I mean, just to see that he played the most varied repertoires all his life, and in his late 80s he started to write a new technique book “Ricci on glissando”. He didn’t stop loving the violin all his life.

I learned all Bach’s partitas and Sonatas with him the first year I studied in Salzburg. I remember very vividly that when I was studying the Ciaccona, I was studying the piece for three weeks running, and every time he had something to say about it. I was getting a bit impatient; I wanted him to say, ‘okay, you can learn something else now’! But he didn’t give any hints. So I asked, ‘Mr. Ricci, till when do I have to play the Ciaccona?’ He smiled and answered, ‘Till the moment you die!’

He was of course half joking, but it is also so true. Ever since that moment, the Ciaccona has been a very special piece for me, I always relate the Ciaccona to a person’s life: the main theme and the variations. It’s like one’s true self, going through different periods of time, different things happening, happiness and sorrow, ups and downs, feeling of being lost, finding oneself again…But the rhythm continues, just like time, that life goes on no matter what.

People tend to relate Mr. Ricci as the Paganini specialist, and the tendency of a human mind is that once you label someone, it’s like he can’t be anything else. There is a quote by Mr. Ricci: ‘A specialist is someone who does everything else worse’. It seems like a joke, right?

He was the first violinist to perform and record the 24 Caprices by Paganini, but his performances of Bach and Ysaÿe’s violin sonatas can move you to tears. As a child prodigy he was famous for playing Mendelssohn and Mozart. His recording of the Prokofiev violin concerto Nr. 1 with the Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg; Louis de Froment conducting (Vox recording) is my favourite recording of him. The way he played the Ernst study Nr.3, how the lines, different voices continue from the first note to the end, is just amazing! Nowadays there may be more perfect violinists than him, but no one had worked like him, to such a tight schedule that he didn’t have proper time to practice; he was reading most of the Ernst polyphonic studies while he recorded them (except the ‘Last Rose’, of course. By the way, he was also the first violinist who recorded the complete 6 studies by Ernst).

One of the most amazing concerts I’ve seen was when he celebrated his 80th birthday concert in Salzburg (it may have been to celebrate his 70 years of performing on stage), where he played the Bach double violin concerto, the Beethoven and Paganini concertos. Lots of people were moved by his playing, including some players in the orchestra they told me afterwards, that they were in tears while playing.

My favourite encore piece by him was the transcription of Tarrega, which he played very often in concerts, but in that concert how he played it was magical. The audience didn’t seem to exist; he was there on the stage and this beautiful music came out - like the violin was playing him and there was nothing else in the world. It was like an old man telling you his life story, no technical details, but purely life itself.

Afterwards we students went back stage to congratulate him. After such a moving concert, you know what he said to me? He said, ‘well, you know, you just put the most difficult piece in the beginning [it was the Bach double] and afterwards you can relax!’

He was just so humorous sometimes. He was so human, so noble to everyone, he never appeared arrogant to anyone for who he was and what had he done. When I studied one of the Mozart concertos with him, he said, ‘Play! Just play! Some people think that Mozart is sacred, but in fact when he wrote these concertos he was only an 18 year old boy chasing after girls!’

Mr. Ricci’s great personality and music will always live, because, quite simply he played the way he felt and it goes directly to the core of your heart. Once on the subject of playing the way he liked, rather than by some arbitrary rules, he said "Now, I will play the way I like. It’s better to be a prostitute than a nun.”

This article is dedicated to Maestro Ruggiero Ricci and Mr. Chris Nicholls, the very two important violinists and teachers of my life, who taught me everything they know about the violin and helped me enormously. I am very honoured that they gave me their precious time and valuable lessons, and that they are in my life.