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Devotion to performance

TED KENDALL talks to
young violinist
Julia Sakharova


In the competitive world of solo violin, the clock is ticking and the pressure is on for young stars born of the new generation to rise above the rest and stake claim to a place amongst the elect.

On 20 March 2006, upon the stage of Steinway Hall, a young contender by the name of Julia Sakharova will be given her first shot at stardom on the highly critical, often cynical, New York City music scene. Last week, the young Russian violinist took time out from what can only be described as a grueling rehearsal schedule to chat over lunch about her upcoming début.

From across the table at the 107 West Restaurant and Café in Washington Heights, Julia Sakharova stared at me intently. Her dark eyes fixed upon my scribbling pen, and I looked up to meet a gaze that was alight with a startling intensity. Wavy brown hair cascaded down her shoulders, and she donned a salmon-colored sweater overlain with a silken lavender scarf, as decorative sequins twinkled in the dim light of the café. Sakharova certainly looked the part of a young starlet, but she spoke with the resolution of a seasoned artist far beyond her twenty-five years.

Sakharova first rose to attention at the tender age of fifteen, when she claimed top prize at the International Competition for Music of Eastern and Central Europe. 'Maestro Vladimir Spivakov was chairman of the jury,' she reflected, slowly stirring her soup, 'and during the awards ceremony, he presented me with his bow -- a gift, which has been very dear me and I cherish it to this day. So far, I have been fortunate in many ways concerning my career. Mostly, I am grateful to my parents for their continuing support and care, because nothing would be possible without them. And also, I am extremely grateful to my husband for his love and understanding. He is truly my best friend.'

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Copyright © 17 March 2006 Ted Kendall, New York, USA


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