It Takes a Village …

I attended an impressive concert yesterday!

Christina Nam is a 15-year-old violinist who is preparing to compete in Geneva, Switzerland in the Menuhin Competition. She is one of 44 of the world’s top young violinists competing before an international panel of judges, acclaimed musicians who have all gone through what Christina and her fellow competitors are experiencing now.

It goes without saying that Christina has tremendous musical talent — technical skills and beautiful tone. One does not qualify for a prestigious international competition without that! But there is so much more to say about her … she is poised and confident, focused and disciplined, and she has mature musicality. Maybe best of all, she is also (according to her teachers, and from what I have observed) a normal 15-year-old girl, albeit one who is currently playing on a priceless 18th century violin. She is a kind, funny, giggly teen with lots of friends. One of her most influential mentors described her as “grounded.”

I heard Christina play at a house concert hosted by family friends, and the audience included an extended network of friends and family, her teachers, and professional musicians in the community. We were all impressed.

Seeing young people on fire for classical music gives me optimism about the future of the genre. It is equally encouraging to see young people so passionately pursuing their hopes and dreams, musical or otherwise, supported by so many people in such healthy and meaningful ways. Christina’s parents (who are also musicians) have given her support, encouragement and guidance, as well as space to be a 15-year-old girl. Her teachers have given her excellent training and mentoring, while fostering a realistic and healthy attitude about the life ahead of her. And her circle of friends and family are eager to cheer her on! It really does “take a village” to raise great young people, whatever their strengths and passions may be. I can’t wait to follow Christina in her quest.

Here is a link to the Menuhin Competition website, in case you would like to know more.