H-LOCAL SPOTLIGHT

Oct 4, 2013 3:23 PM by Dan Shadwell

World-class violinist joins SLO Symphony to kick off new season

In the arts, making it look easy is often the sign of true genius, whether you're talking about painting, sculpting, acting, dancing,.. or playing an instrument.
This weekend, as the San Luis Obispo Symphony kicks off its new season, one such artist, Anne Akiko Meyers. She will take the stage, playing one of the best violins ever made. Together, the sound they make is soaring and so apparently effortless, you may forget what a feat it is you're watching.
With scores of highly acclaimed recordings under her belt, and a concert schedule that includes top orchestras around the world, Meyers says she still makes time to visit the Central Coast to work with music director, Michael Nowak.
The program features Tchaikowsky's Fifth Symphony and Prokofiev's Violin Concerto #2.
"It's just a very colorful, very difficult concerto," Meyers says, ".... but a lot of fun to play."
As she draws the bow across the strings, the ancient instrument fills the room with a gorgeous, full tone that is at once, both powerful and delicate. "It was born in 1741 by one of the greatest violin makers, Guarneri del Gesu and this violin is really extraordinary because there isn't one crack or sound-post patch or anything to deter from the sound and that's why the sound is like none other. It's really like a cathedral."
She says the Guarneri is particularly well suited for this Prokofiev concerto, with its narrative themes and bright colors.
"I think that with all music, you're telling a story," she says, "...and I really see the violin as my voice."
The Guarneri is on loan to her or life. Though she also has two Stradivari violins she also plays, this instrument is special to her and she says the first time she picked it up, she almost cried.
"Every violin has its own soul and its own unique sound, so I was really curious to see how this would sound. It's just been so fun to actually go through the entire repertoire."
Audiences at the Cohan on the Cal Poly campus will get to share that fun Saturday night, when the opening gala kicks off at eight. Ticket prices start at just $20.
For more information and tickets, just go to the ksby.com home page and click on "links."

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