In this chapter, I shall discuss the research which I have conducted concerning the expectations and experiences of experts and candidates towards auditions. I shall summarize the data which I have received and shall later, in my chapter Conclusions and Reflections, comment on the information and make some recommendations for candidates.

The purpose of this research as previously mentioned in my introduction, is to help candidates prepare even better for auditions, based on their own expectations and experiences, compared to those of experts on audition committees.  As I wrote in my introduction, based on my own experience with students and my own work on audition committees, I have expected these responses to vary quite a lot. This hypothesis is based on the fact that the feedback that I get from candidates after an audition is that they often feel that they were not successful at an audition because of a single wrong note or a slight imperfection in intonation.  My experience on committees has shown me that although sometimes the general level of playing is not sufficient, the main issue is that the candidates are not expressive enough in their playing and that the general sound production is not beautiful enough.  Candidates appear to play it “safe” at auditions, whereas committees in my experience are looking for an interesting player who realizes style differences and is much more artistic in his or her approach to music-making.

This research has taken the form of questions sent to a group of experts regarding their experiences at auditions, similar questions sent to candidates regarding their experiences at auditions, and interviews with experts and candidates.  Although this research was limited to contact with fourteen experts and fifteen candidates, there are definite trends in the responses, from which one could carefully draw some conclusions. 

The experts, all members and leaders of internationally renowned orchestras around the world, have been chosen based on their positions and experience.  Also, these experts have, as far as I have been able to research, not written about their experiences at auditions.  Most of these people I do not know personally, but was able to contact them through their various orchestras around the world. I am, of course, very grateful for their participation in this research.  I have also chosen a world-famous conductor to also comment on his audition experiences, seeing as conductors are also often members of audition committees.

The candidates have been chosen based on students who have recently been involved in the audition process and not been successful and also some violinists who were involved in the audition and have been successful.  Two of the candidates taking part in the survey have been successful at an audtion since filling in the questionnaire. Although the backgrounds of the candidates varies greatly, all of them are people I have known through auditions or teaching in The Netherlands.

Although there would appear to be a discrepancy here in the choice of international experts and more “local” candidates, I feel the fact that these candidates could audition world-wide justifies the choice of the experts.  Also, the fact that the candidates are not all Dutch and that some have arrived in The Netherlands having first studied elsewhere, shows a large enough diversification in their backgrounds.

It was interesting to note that the student candidates generally gave long elaborate answers to the questions whereas the experts were much more concise and to the point.


Research Specifications

In this section I shall relate all of the information I have used in my research.  This includes the names of the experts, their current positions and how long they have assumed their positions.  It also includes the names of the student candidates, their ages and their current positions.  The questions that I posed to both parties can also be read in this section.  


The Experts





Bot, L.

Violinist, The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra


Briefjes, J.

Principal Second Violin, The Hague Philharmonic


Chalifour, M.

Concertmaster, The Los Angeles Philharmonic


Dicterow, G.

Former Concertmaster, The New York Philharmonic


Hilton, K.

Principal Second Violin, The Sydney Symphony Orchestra


Huijnen, C.

Concertmaster, The Gelders Orchestra


Johnston Taylor, L.

Principal Second Violin, The Los Angeles Philharmonic


Koncz, C.

Principal Second Violin, The Vienna Philharmonic


Marsden, M.

Principal Second Violin, The Sydney Symphony Orchestra


Meyer, P.

Principal Second Violin, The Toronto Symphony Orchestra


Schwarz, G.

Conductor Laureate, The Seattle Symphony Orchestra


Top, T.

Associate Concertmaster, The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra


Treub, B.

Principal Second Violin, The Netherlands Chamber Orchestra


Walta, J.

Former Concertmaster, The Hague Philharmonic



The Candidates





Bach, Naomi

33, Dutch

First Violinist, The Hague Philharmonic

Bellido, David

27, Spanish

Freelance Violinist

Bergenhuizen, Inge

27, Dutch

Freelance Violinist

Engelsberg, Raphaella

28, Dutch

Freelance Violinist

Frissen, Nadia

29, Dutch

Freelance Violinist

Ha, Yeni

30, Korean

Trial, The Hague Philharmonic

Ibanez, Mikel

27, Spanish

Violinist, Basque National Orchestra

Nuiver, Wiesje

27, Dutch

Trial, The Hague Philharmonic

Otto, Saskia

29, Dutch

Trial, Principal Second Violin, London Symphony Orchestra

Poeisz, Sabine

30, Dutch

Freelance Violinist

Sato, Yuka

32, Japanese

Violinist, Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra

Traa, Eva

29, Dutch

Freelance Violinist

Van der Berg, Babette

32, Dutch

Violinist, The Rotterdam Philharmonic

Van der Vlugt, Hester

35, Dutch

Freelance Violinist

Van Loenen, Pieter

24, Dutch

Freelance Violinist



I have listed the questions here which I posed to the experts and candidates.  I tried to formulate questions which I could ask in a similar way to both groups so that I could compare the results more easily.  


Questions for the Experts


1.     1. If you could say in a few words what you are looking for in a violinist auditioning for your orchestra, besides being a great player, what would it be?


2.     2. Are the criteria the same for first and second violin positions?


3.     3. Besides someone playing at a good level, how can you judge someone’s flexibility as an orchestral musician at an audition?


4.     4. Do you consider it valuable for chamber music to be played at an audition?


5.     5. If you have to choose between two or more players whom you consider to be playing at approximately the same level, what extra criteria would you consider?


6.     6. Do you consider the use of a screen advantageous at an audition? Can you elaborate on your answer?


7.     7. What do you consider to be the quality most lacking in candidates at an audition?


8.     8. What advice would you give to candidates preparing for an audition?


9.     9. If you could alter the audition procedure in some way, what would that be?



Questions for the Candidates


1.     1. What do you think audition committees are looking for in a violinist at an audition, besides being a great player?


2.     2. Do you think the criteria are the same for first and second violin positions?


3.     3. Besides playing well, how do you think an audition committee can judge your flexibility as an orchestral musician at an audition?


4.     4. Do you think playing chamber music at an audition is a good addition? Why?


5.     5. What extra criteria do you think audition committees consider if they have to choose between two players of similar quality?


6.     6. How much experience do you have playing behind a screen? Do you think a screen is a good idea at an audition?


7.     7. What do you think audition committees consider the quality most lacking in candidates?


8.     8. What do you consider the quality most lacking in your own audition performance?


9.     9. What do you feel you were not prepared for in your schooling as far as auditions go?


10.  10. If you could alter the audition procedure in some way, what would that be?



Summary of Research Findings


In my thoughts about the fashion in which to present the results of my research, I have chosen to summarize the results in written form in the following section, as experts (including the conductor) as well as candidates have shown a general tendency to respond in a similar fashion as a group to the questions. I have added direct quotes from either the experts of the candidates to substantiate a particular point.  As I had expected and mentioned in my introduction, the responses differ quite substantially per group to the same question.

Special qualities expected of a violinist at an audition

I posed this question to both candidates and experts expecting quite different answers as mentioned in my introduction to this chapter, based on my experience as a committee member and my experience speaking to candidates after auditions and providing them with feedback about their audition performance.

With regards to the first question about what orchestras are looking for in a violinist at an audition, without exception, the experts respond that they look for someone with great musicianship and artistry.  They are listening for something special and not someone who “just plays the notes”. (K. Hilton)[2]  Beauty of sound is listed by all experts as the most important quality.  Sensitivity, awareness of style differences,” impeccable rhythm”, are also named continuously but explicitly by M. Chalifour.[3] 

The general tone though of the expert’s responses to this question is that they are looking for a real artist and someone who really dares to play.  As Glenn Dicterow states, he is looking for “talent above perfection”.[4]

Comparing this to the responses of the candidates, almost all candidates list perfection at the audition as the most important quality for which a committee is searching.  Only one candidate (W. Nuiver) states “perfection combined with musicianship and personality” as the quality for which committees search.[5]  This is interesting as W. Nuiver has recently been successful at an audition for The Hague Philharmonic. All candidates list basic qualities, such as rhythm, intonation, playing the right notes(!) as important qualities in the eyes of the jury.  All candidates state that they think that committees are looking for someone who will fit into the section and a personality to match.  Managing stress at the audition is also mentioned a few times as a quality juries admire the most.

Differences in criteria for first and second violin

Seeing as orchestras generally ask different orchestral excerpts for first and second violin positions, I was curious if experts and candidates consider the actual playing criteria different for a first or second violin position.  In my own opinion, there is no difference in the quality or type of player for either position.  I was happy to hear from P. Meyer from The Toronto Symphony that they actually rotate between the violin sections.[6]  I would consider this an ideal system in an orchestra as it would eliminate the prejudices about what it means to be a first or second violinist.  I had expected the candidates to respond that they expect committees to be looking for a more brilliant violinist for a first violin position.  Actually, the response is quite the opposite.

All experts consider the criteria the same for first and second violin, although a few experts state that they consider a second violinist should be even “more sensitive and brilliant”. (l. Johnston Taylor, J. Walta)[7]  Second violinists need to be “more aware of harmonic function”. (T. Top)[8]  Here also, experts have a different outlook than the candidates. 

The candidates consider a difference in criteria for 1st and 2nd violin positions.  They generally expect a committee to be looking for a more “soloistic” type for first violin as apposed to a more rhythmical type for second violin.[9]  Candidates also consider that a violinist applying for a second violin position should be more adept at playing accompanying figures.[10]  Some candidates responded once again that their ability shown to fit into the particular group was also important.[11]

Judging a candidate’s flexibility

This is an aspect of an audition that I consider very important, as general flexibility in an orchestral musician is so important, and it is a quality that I find myself quite difficult to judge at an audition. Interestingly enough, this was the response which I also received from the experts.  They also find this all-important quality difficult to judge at an audition. (K. Hilton, T. Top)[12]  I was very curious as to the responses.

All experts state that although difficult to judge definitively, the flexibility and attention to detail in the orchestral experts demonstrate a candidate’s flexibility.  Asking for differences in tempi, dynamics or style adjustments in the orchestra parts (in the final round) demonstrates how quickly a candidate can react to changes.  A great sense of rhythm also shows great flexibility. (J. Briefjes, J. Walta)[13]   If there is chamber music in the final, experts all consider this a perfect moment to judge a candidate’s flexibility. Occasionally the concertmaster will play the orchestral excerpt with the candidate to be able to judge the level of flexibility.[14]

The candidates also state that how they react to requests from the jury to alter tempi, dynamics or style considerations in the orchestral parts shows how flexible they are.  A few candidates mentioned that how they react to their own mistakes or to those of the pianist reflects their level of flexibility.[15] (D. Bellido)

Chamber music at an audition

Since this was a closed question, many of the answers were just a clear yes or no.  I could have posed this question better.  Although some experts elaborated on why they find chamber music a real must at an audition, it would have been better if I had asked them all to defend their choice.

I consider having a great feel for chamber music playing a great asset in an orchestral musician.  I was very interested to hear that some experts feel that their chamber music experience starting at a young age was their greatest asset when applying and then sustaining an orchestra position. (G. Dicterow)[16]  It is clear that all experts feel that chamber music should be part of the final round of a violin audition and that both first and second violin parts should be asked in perhaps a string quartet situation.  They all feel that requiring chamber music will highlight the ensemble playing abilities or lack thereof of the candidate and also illustrate a candidate’s musical personality. (B. Treub)[17]

Most candidates also feel that playing chamber music should be made obligatory in the audition process.  However, a few times, it is stated by some candidates that playing chamber music is not a good idea as a “good chamber musician is not necessarily a good orchestral musician”. (Y. Sato)[18]

Extra criteria in choosing a suitable candidate

The question here was what extra criteria would be considered if more than one candidate appeared suitable for the job. I was curious as to which criteria both groups would name as being most important.  Considering that I myself am always looking for that little bit extra in a player as far as general artistry is concerned, I was wondering if my expert colleagues would agree.

Although some experts mentioned that this scenario had never appeared in their experience, they all mention in some form or other that “love of music and personality” would be the overriding factors in choosing someone. (G. Schwarz)[19]  “An inspirational player-someone wanted as a colleague” is also mentioned. (L. Bot)[20]

Personal style is mentioned quite often.  If an interview is part of the audition process, then personality and disposition as a colleague would also be important. (M. Chalifour)[21]  Previous experience is mentioned twice as an extra asset.  Podium presentation is also important to the experts. The quality of the instrument is also mentioned once. (P. Meyer)[22]

The candidates respond to this question very differently.  They almost all state that extra criteria would be someone playing in a fashion that matches the orchestra as far as sound and personality goes.  Fitting in, musically and also as far as background is concerned are considered by the candidates to be of utmost importance. (I. Bergenhuizen)[23]  Again, the one candidate recently successful at an audition, states that “conviction of style and stability” as the overriding factors. (W. Nuiver)[24] 

Social skills are also mentioned a few times and this would be demonstrated at the interview. (S. Otto)[25]

Advantage or disadvantage on the use of a screen

The use of a screen at auditions has always been a long topic of debate.  At the present time, it is common practice for orchestras to use a screen at pre-rounds and first rounds of auditions, but generally not in the final round.  The thought behind this is that it gives a sense of fairness to the procedure and that personal relationships between candidates and jury members do not factor into the decision-making. It will also exclude criteria such as age, sex and appearance to the voting.

Although all experts realize that using a screen gives a sense of fairness to an audition, they almost unanimously say that they would prefer not to use a screen at an audition.  Some experts even feel that use of a screen means “missing out on a good player”. (K. Hilton)[26]  Only one expert feels that a screen gives the same chances to everybody and this is of the greatest importance and should therefore be used in all rounds. (T. Top)[27]  All other experts wish that auditions were held without screens, but agree to using a screen in the pre-rounds but definitely not in the final.

Almost all candidates like the use of the screen and even find it an asset at an audition.  They mention it as “helping concentration” (M. Ibanez)[28] and “liberating”. (I. Bergenhuizen)[29]  Some of the candidates mention that playing behind a screen helps to remove some of the expectations which they feel from the jury.  It gives a great sense of “privacy” (S. Otto) enjoyed by the candidates. (S. Otto)[30]

Quality most lacking in candidates as found by the committee

Generally, experts feel that artistry is the most lacking quality in violinists at auditions.  They miss “excitement in playing, the feeling of spontaneous music-making”. (M. Chalifour)[31]  Broad knowledge of the orchestral repertoire is also a glaring gap in many violin auditions.  General lack of sense of understanding to convey the orchestral music as a whole and a feeling that the candidates do not really know the music are often stated.  Also, the subtleties and “delicacies of orchestral parts” (G. Dicterow) are often missed. (G. Dicterow)[32]  Candidates have too much a feeling that they have to fit in and are too busy with the thought “what kind of interpretation would the orchestra like to hear” (B. Treub)[33]  “Lack of consistency throughout the rounds” is stated a few times. (C. Koncz)[34]  “Let’s cherish diversity and reward individuality instead of uniformity”. (B. Treub)[35]

Candidates almost unanimously respond to this question, stating that they feel that committees find lack of perfection in intonation and rhythm as the quality most missing at an audition. (N. Frisssen)[36]  Candidates also feel that committees miss sense of style.  Mental strength is also mentioned by half of the candidates.  Only one candidate mentions “making music” as the quality most lacking in the eyes of the jury members. (N. Bach)[37]

Experts' advice to the candidates

All experts state the lack of artistry as a problem at auditions.  They feel that candidates pay too much attention to being perfect and should be much more busy with music-making in their preparation. (T. Top)[38]  Students think too much of technical issues and then “add” musicality.  This leads to bleak interpretations and stiff technique. Basically, candidates as students should be concentrating on a musical and creative approach to music with regards to their audition repertoire. “Learning music should be more about improvising and story-telling, for all musicians, also for an orchestral musician”. (B. Treub)[39]


What candidates consider their qualities most lacking at auditions

Candidates generally say that they feel that they feel their lack of perfection is what is holding them back at auditions.  Inconsistent intonation is often listed.  One candidate mentioned “bad tuning on the stage” as a negative point in her auditions. (R. Engelsberg[40])  Mastering nerves and lack of general mental strength is also mentioned very often as a problem at auditions.  “Keeping a cool head under unusual levels of stress” sums up the general feeling among candidates. (P. van Loenen [41] 

The same candidate who recently got a job mentions “really going for the music” as a quality lacking at her auditions. (W. Nuiver)[42] (The questionnaire was filled in before her successful audition).

What candidates have missed in their schooling

This is clearly a question just for the candidates, but I felt it would highlight what candidates find most difficult at auditions and therefore should be added to their preparation.  Almost all candidates state that they feel it would have been helpful to have received some training in mental skills to help deal with the stress associated with auditions. (E. Traa)[43]  They also feel that they would have liked to receive some training playing behind a screen. (W. Nuiver)[44]  Some candidates state that they would have liked to receive training in playing in a way in which they would fit in better in an orchestra.

Changing the procedure

As mentioned in my initial introduction, there is no “perfect” audition procedure. Although this question is not directly related to audition preparation, it reflects what both experts and candidates find difficult in the audition procedure, and therefore for candidates, what they perhaps need to focus on more in their preparation.

All experts would like to do away with the screen at auditions.  They are “looking for artists, not machines”. (P. Meyer)[45]  Some experts feel there should be more flexibility in the procedure and that the audition rules are too geared to being “fair as opposed to getting the best person”. (G. Schwarz)[46] Generally, the experts state that they are not in favour of selecting multiple candidates at an audition and then deciding on a candidate after a long trial period.

All candidates, except one, state that they would keep the screen at auditions or even add it to the final round.(N. Bach)[47]  The candidates almost all say that they would like to see an interview added to the audition process in which they can demonstrate their social skills. (S. Otto)[48]  Almost all candidates consider chamber music an asset to the audition procedure.  They would mostly like to see orchestras hiring more people at the same time and then have short trials in the orchestra to finally choose the candidate.  Some candidates experience auditions as being too chaotic and badly organized. (D. Bellido)[49] Almost all of the candidates say that they would like to see orchestras selecting more than one candidate at an audition, and then hiring someone based on longer trial periods.

Summary of Results in Chart Form


In this summary, I have listed the most common and striking responses per group.  I have added my own thoughts on the question, which I had initially, before receiving the responses from the experts or candidates. The chart, although lacking much nuance in the response, gives a clear view of the differences in the responses between the experts and the candidates.






What is an audition committee looking for in a violinist


-great musicianship


-someone who fits into the orchestra

-well prepared musician

Are the criteria the same for first and second violin


-second violinist even more brilliant

-generally not

-first violin should be more soloistic

-second violin should be more rhythmical


How to judge someone’s flexibility

-flexibility in details and finesse in orchestra parts

-impeccable rhythm

-reacting well to mistakes

-differences in orchestra parts

-nuances in orchestral parts

-good rhythm

Value of chamber music at audition

-of utmost importance in final

-good idea but possibly only for principals

-very valuable

Extra criteria considered if necessary to make decision between candidates



-social skills based on interview

-someone who would fit in

-sound matches orchestra

-interesting musician


Value of screen

-rather no screen but used for fairness in pre-rounds but not in final

-feel more free and comfortable with screen

-rather no screen but used for fairness in pre-rounds but not in final

Quality most lacking in candidates


-broad knowledge of repertoire

-technical precision

-good intonation

-general level of playing


Suggestions for change in procedure

-no screen

-more chamber music

-more flexibility in procedure

-add interview

-add chamber music

-more trials

-more flexibility in procedure and more direct contact with the candidate in the final


Further comments and recommendations relating to these results are written in my final chapter, Conclusions and Reflections.



[1] Stated by G. Dicterow in a Skype interview 29-3-17

[2] Based on email responses from K. Hilton 19-1-2017

[3] Based on email responses from M. Chalifour 19-1-2017

[4] Based on Skype interview with G. Dicterow 20-2-2017

[5] Based on email responses from W. Nuiver 3-2-2017

[6] Based on email responses from P. Meyer 12-12-2016

[7] Based on email responses from L. Johnston Taylor 2-1-2017

  Based on video interview with J. Walta 13-12-2016

[8] Based on email responses T. Top 8-3-2017

[9]Based on email responses S. Otto 5-2-2017

[10] Ibidem

[11] Based on email responses W. Nuiver 3-2-2017

[12] Based on email responses K. Hilton 19-1-2017 and T. Top 8-3-2017

[13] Based on email responses J. Briefjes 1-4-2017

    Based on video interview J. Walta 13-12-2016

[14] Based on email responses K. Hilton 19-1-2017

[15] Based on email responses D. Bellido 4-1-2017

[16] Based on Skype interview 29-3-2017

[17] Based on email responses B. Treub 17-3-2017

[18] Based on email responses Y. Sato 19-3-2017

[19] Based on email responses G. Schwarz 19-1-2017

[20] Based on email responses L. Bot 6-4-2017

[21] Based on email responses M. Chalifour 19-1-2017

[22] Based on email responses P. Meyer 12-12-2016

[23] Based on email responses I. Bergenhuizen 21-3-2017

[24] Based on email responses W. Nuiver 3-2-2017

[25] Based on email responses S. Otto 5-2-2017

[26] Based on email responses K. Hilton 19-1-2017

[27] Based on email responses T. Top 8-3-2017

[28] Based on email responses M. Ibanez 24-2-2017

[29] Based on email responses I. Bergenhuizen 21-3-2017

[30] Based on email responses S. Otto 5-2-2017

[31] Based on email responses M. Chalifour 19-1-2017

[32] Based on Skype interview G. Dicterow 20-2-2017

[33] Based on email responses B. Treub 17-3-2017

[34] Based on live interview 10-12-2016

[35] Based on email responses B. Treub 17-3-2017

[36] Based on email responses N. Frissen 2-2-2017

[37] Based on email responses N. Bach 29-3-2017

[38] Based on email responses T. Top 8-3-2017

[39] Based on email responses B. Treub 17-3-2017

[40] Based on email responses R. Engelsberg 20-3-2017

[41] Based on email responses P. van Loenen 9-4-2017

[42] Based on email responses W. Nuiver 3-2-2017

[43] Based on email responses E. Traa 28-3-2017

[44] Based on email responses W. Nuiver 3-2-2017

[45] Based on email responses P. Meyer 12-12-2016

[46] Based on email responses G. Schwarz 19-1-2017

[47] Based on email responses N. Bach 29-3-2017

[48] Based on email responses S. Otto 5-2-2017

[49] Based on email responses D. Bellido 4-1-2017

     Christoph Koncz

Bas Treub

Transcript of interview held with Christoph Koncz

December 10, 2016 at Renzo’s Delicatessen, Amsterdam


I met Christoph Koncz, Principal second violinist of the Vienna Philharmonic, at a noisy deli on the Van Baerle Street in Amsterdam, close to the Concertgebouw. It was a very pleasant interview, and Christoph was very forthcoming with his comments about his experiences being in audition committees.  I appreciate very much him agreeing to meet me.

I posed the questions included in chapter 7, entitled “Question for the experts”.

With regards to the first question about what committees are looking for in a violinist, besides being a great player, Christoph replied that he would try and imagine sitting next to the person in the orchestra and that this should be a pleasurable experience for himself.  So, beauty of sound, good rhythm, great intonation and also a sound which would blend well in the existing sound of the Vienna Philharmonic would be of utmost importance.

I shall now summarize the main points brought forward in the interview, in no particular order.

Criteria for first and second violin would be the same, although the orchestral excerpts required are of course different.  Candidates for first violin are asked to play in a chamber music setting of a Strauss Waltz, but this is not the case for second violin candidates.  So, chamber music is limited only to first violin auditions. 

An important factor in the overall audition impression of a candidate is the consistency in each round, but also the level of the concerti and the level of the orchestral parts.  Here, there should also be consistency and not that the concerti are much better than the orchestral excerpts or vice versa.

Good preparation is of course of utmost importance.  Christoph finds the knowledge of orchestral repertoire often lacking. Candidates should listen to the music much more to familiarize themselves with all voices in the orchestra, and not just practise their own part.

Being a good sight-reader is also very important.  Considering that an orchestra can play various programs in a week, with very little or no rehearsal, a student should include sight-reading practice in his or her routine.

Some members of the audition committee tend to be more inclined to hire younger players, if they would have the opportunity to choose between candidates of similar level.  Younger players are sometimes considered more flexible in adapting and incorporating the orchestra’s distinct style of playing. It is in any case wise to start preparing for orchestral life in all of its aspects at an early age and also to start auditioning soon after one's studies are completed.

Perhaps, most importantly, a violin audition candidate should be able to convincingly convey the music with true musicianship.  This applies not only to the Concerti but also to the orchestral parts.  Don Juan should be played as the masterpiece which it is and not as an etude.  Christoph considers it not impossible to hire someone who would eventually play a few wrong notes, but play with great conviction and understanding of style. 



Transcript of interview with Glenn Dicterow

Skype interview The Hague-Los Angeles held March 29, 2017


...They open Don Juan and say, “well, what is this and how do I do this?” or Midsummer Night’s Dream and Schubert’s Second Symphony, just the beginning, and have no clue how to play it or how soft they have to play it, and how much control it takes and it’s a totally different technique.  


In my case, I know I became a much better musician as an orchestral player.  As a concertmaster, but also as a soloist, having orchestral background was very important.

Wiesje Nuiver

Mikel Ibanez

Listen here to fragments of an interview with Glenn Dicterow, former Concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic

Yuka Sato

Interview with Jaring Walta, former Concertmaster of The Hague Philharmonic held on December 13, 2016

Marina Marsden

Martin Chalifour

Kirsty Hilton

Naomi Bach

Skype interview with Cécile Huijnen, Concertmaster of the Gelders Orchestra held on April 2, 2017

Inge Bergenhuizen

Lyndon Johnston Taylor

Leonie Bot

Tjeerd Top

Christoph Koncz, Principal Second Violinist                 Vienna Philharmonic

Read here a transcript of part of an interview with Babette v. den Berg held on April 9, 2017, speaking about playing behind a screen.

For me, it is more a feeling that you are less judged somehow because you are behind a screen, you cannot see who is there, you don’t have to see these people, you don’t know who they are, you don’t have time to think about it because you cannot see them.

Babette van den Berg