Starting Early

As often happens during a Q&A following a masterclass, child prodigy Leila Josefowicz was asked how long she has played the violin. She started at age three, and it turns out she soloed with the Santa Barbara Symphony at age nine. I imagine it occurred to some of the aspiring young participants partaking of her wisdom that they were already behind by years accumulating time spent playing their instrument of choice. Ms. Josefowicz, having just turned forty, has now got 37 years of learning, practicing and playing under her belt, but she’s also got a lot of talent and an extensive career soloing with many of the best orchestras in Europe, Asia and North America. A champion of contemporary composers, she gives numerous recitals of their works and her UCSB Arts & Lectures concert featured pieces by Kaija Saariaho and Bernd Alois Zimmermann as well as some more familiar ones form Sibelius, Prokofiev and Mahler. The audience was treated to a beer and wine tasting with delectables to get them in the mood, followed by a virtuoso performance in the intimate splendor of Hahn Hall. A very diverse and musical 2 days.