Congratulations to Ray Chen

This last month something happened that would have made Dr. Suzuki very happy.    A young Suzuki Violin student from Australia just won a very prestigious international violin competition.   Not only is he an amazing and gifted violinist but, he has no qualms about putting the references about his Suzuki childhood in his bio.

A must see requirement for all of my students.

The Queen Elisabeth Competition was established in 1937.    At the time it was known as the Eugène Ysaÿe Competition.    Ysaye was also a very famous violinist and composer of his time in Belgian.  H.M. Queen Elisabeth and the celebrated Belgian violinist and composer were behind this magnificent project.    It was not until after the war, in 1951, that the Queen Elisabeth Competition really came into being.   Since this time it has become a non profit foundation which awards 6 laureates each in violin, voice piano and composition.   It is an organization that helps gifted young artist start their careers.   So it is a very big deal.

You will find the best video of his playing on http://video.cmireb.be/vod# for as long as they post it.    There are CDs for sale of the sessions.   My hope is that a DVD will be available of the violin finalist so that students can see them in this quality. Three different recitals where played by those who made it into the semifinals.   At least three more works were performed for a jury by those who made it to the finalist.   The above link includes a full video of all three performances.

Cesar FRANCK�
Sonata in A major
CHO Eun-Hwa  ( composition finalist)
Agens
Pyotr TCHAIKOVSKY  Concerto in D major op. 35  

 

Notable is also the MOZART  Concerto n. 4 in D KV 218 which also includes his version of the cadenza   [CADENZE: R. CHEN] .   This is one of the Mozart concertos at the end of the Suzuki Violin Books.   Thank you Chen for making this recording available to Suzuki children the world over.  What a fine interpretation.

I could not help but notice  what I am sure the jury saw in Chen’s performances.   It was so much more than just playing all the right notes in the right places with the right interpretation.   Technically it was fluid and effortless as if the bow and the violin was an extension of his own body.   It was also the elegant agility that I have seen in Hilary Hahn.   You easily forgot how difficult the music was.   But it was more than that.   Clearly there was something in Chen’s playing that was missing in the other performances.

Ray played with such   a complete lack of self consciousness and enthusiasm for every note.   He was so at home and comfortable in each musical venue and style that you could not imagine that he had any fears about the performance.    He played with such exuberance, as if he was having the time of his life.   Ray seemed completely lost in the adventure of creating music and he took the audience along on the ride with every note.

I think Dr. Suzuki would have taken great delight in Chen’s performance.   To see him play the TCHAIKOVSKY  made me sense the power of Sensei’s presence in the world again.   It was an affirmation that as a Suzuki movement we are headed in the right direction.   Even the youth who chooses to take on the rivalry of musical competition should be able to do so with imagination and joy.

Sensei used to joke about living till he was 120 years old.    When you see Chen play you can not  help but believe that he found a way to cheat death with the next generation of young violinist.

http://www.cmireb.be/en/

http://raychenviolin.com/  Ray Chen’s site

Also a great joy to see playing was runner up Lorenzo Gatto.   http://www.lorenzogatto.com/en/index.php

Take time to see Gatto’s Mozart in the semi finals.  KV 219 is the other Mozart which Suzuki uses in the last two violin books with the Joachim cadenze.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART
Concerto n. 5 en la majeur KV 219 | Concerto n. 5 in A KV 219
[CADENZE: J. JOACHIM]

We can not wait to see Chen play live in Orange County, CA.