Talented Perse Prep violinist performs at top international concert halls
Few musicians get the chance to play in prestigious international concert venues such as Carnegie Hall or Paris’ Cité de la Musique.
For Perse Prep pupil and gifted violinist Francesca (Year 6) just such a dream a came true after she recently performed Kreisler’s Tambourin Chinois on both of these celebrated stages.
A Grade 8 player, Francesca earned these amazing opportunities as rewards for success in the American Protégé International Music Talent Competition and Paris Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition respectively.
Francesca, who is also a talented pianist, was delighted to have played in such world-renowned concert halls, although her participation in the Paris recital had been touch and go.
She said: “Before I went to Paris, I actually got ill. I got this horrible lung problem where I could hardly breathe, but I managed to pull through.”
However, performing in New York on Christmas Eve was a particular thrill for Francesca, who counts Bach and Sarasate among her favourite composers.
“All the lights were up and it was really beautiful,” she said. “I went to America last year and stood outside Carnegie Hall and said to my parents ‘I hope one day to come here to perform’ and then I managed to go, so I was really happy about it.”
While some musicians may get nervous about performing in such venues, for Francesca playing in front of an audience feels like second nature.
She said: “The person backstage at Carnegie Hall asked me if I’d been there before because I seemed so relaxed, but I just felt really comfortable and happy.
“When I’m performing, I just tune everything else out and focus on my own playing. I just blend myself into the music, so I can feel more ‘inside’ it. When I’m on stage, I just feel at home.”
Listen to Francesca talk about her love of the violin and hear her play in our Perse podcast.
Our podcasts feature conversations from across the school and are available on all major podcasting platforms. Find out more at perse.co.uk/podcasts