We caught up with the Joe who will be playing the little known Bliss Violin Concerto in our ERSO Soloist of the Year Final on May 12.
What is your main occupation at the moment?
I am currently a 1st year MA student studying at RAM.
What made you choose to play your instrument and how old were you when you started?
I started playing the violin at the age of 6. My mom gave me choices of violin and piano, I don’t remember particularly why I chose violin back then. My parents just wanted me to play music as a hobby. However, the more I learn to play the violin, the more I find myself loving this instrument. At the age of 16 I finally persuaded my parents to let me study music professionally.
What made you choose the concerto that your will be playing?
I started to find the beauty of English music around 2 years ago. Around half a year ago I was just browsing on Spotify and accidentally clicked on a recording of the Arthur Bliss Violin Concerto played by Alfredo Campoli. I was stunned by this music and thought I would definitely want to perform it one day. I started to do more research about this piece and realised that not much people actually know about it. There are only a few recordings available as well. I could only find 4 recordings online. It is a shame that not many people know about this this wonderful music. I believe it deserves to be heard as much as those standard concerti. I have heard of an interesting story recently that the legend violinist David Oistrakh came to sit in every single rehearsal when Arthur Bliss and Alfredo Campoli performed this concerto in Russia. He loved the concerto so much and said he would love to perform it one day. Unfortunately it did not happen in the end.
What do you feel you would gain from the experience of winning this competition and playing your concerto with ERSO and Chris Stark?
I would like to be a performer in the future, and having this chance to perform this concerto as a whole with this wonderful orchestra definitely would be a very great experience for me. It is also a great platform to perform and let more people hear my playing, which will definitely help with my future career.