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LaunchPad - [email protected]
Launch Pad
PIERRE LINDSTRÖM
For me, modern lutherie is about making
perfect copies of 18th-century masterpieces
Zygmuntowicz in his New York studio.‘He has opened my eyes
to making and has meant everything to my development.’
In 2000 Lindström set up a workshop in Falun. He continues to
make copies of the Stradivari and Guarneri models that he studied in
New York.‘For me, modern lutherie is about making perfect copies of
18th-century “golden era” masterpieces,’ he says.‘I’m currently focusing
on Stradivari’s late-period models, which compared with those from his
other periods have higher and fuller arches with different graduations,
giving the instruments a deeper and darker yet brilliant voice.’
He handpicks the wood for each instrument, ensuring that its grain,
flame, structure and texture match the original.‘When you copy a late
Stradivari, you work with wood that has a different texture and density
to what you would use for a low-arched Guarneri model,’ he explains.
Lindström’s instruments are played in Scandinavian orchestras and
at the Juilliard School. He insists that he still has a lifetime of discovery
ahead.‘Studying so many great instruments, the antiquing process, and
learning about acoustics all fascinate me,’ he says.‘But you wonder if
you have enough time to get through it all!’
Sarah Mnatzaganian
MARK HARRISON
SWEDISH MAKER PIERRE LINDSTRÖM WAS BORN INTO A FAMILY
of folk musicians, woodworkers and artists, and he has played the violin
since he was a child. In his late teens he decided he needed a better
violin, and since he couldn’t afford a new instrument, he bought
a broken one and started repairing it with the help of a local luthier
in his home town of Falun.‘That’s how I became hooked!’ he recalls.
It was during Lindström’s second year at the Leksand violin
making school in Sweden that he met luthier Sam Zygmuntowicz.
‘He’s been my mentor ever since,’ explains Lindström, and the young
maker now spends several months each year working with
SAYAKA SHOJI
DAN LINDSTRÖM
THE STRAD’S PICK OF UP-AND-COMING MAKERS AND MUSICIANS
THE YOUNG JAPANESE VIOLINIST SAYAKA SHOJI WAS BORN IN
Tokyo but moved to Siena, Italy, with her mother, a painter, when she
was very young. There she heard a recital by Uto Ughi at the Accademia
Musicale Chigiana and immediately asked her mother for a violin. When
she was five she was given one, and she went on to study with an
array of great teachers. Her lessons with Ughi in Siena were a ‘rather
spiritual experience’, she recalls:‘Probably because of him I still believe
music is a sort of occult science.’ With Shlomo Mintz, she ‘learnt how
to solve problems by thinking’. Then came Zakhar Bron in Cologne:
‘He was dynamite for me. There was absolutely no compromise:
it was “work, work and work” to improve.’ Shoji graduated from the
Hochschule für Musik in Cologne in 2004, by which time her career
was already flourishing. Her first major concert was with the Lucerne
Festival Strings under Rudolph Baumgartner when she was 14, and
she won the Paganini Competition in Genoa in 1999.
This month Shoji visits London to perform Prokofiev’s First Violin
Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) and Yuri
Temirkanov. It will be her debut with the LSO in the UK, but she toured
Asia with the orchestra and Charles Mackerras, and she has also
appeared in London with the WDR Symphony Orchestra and Semyon
Bychkov, a conductor whom she thinks of ‘like a father’. Temirkanov is
also someone for whom she has special regard.‘Making music with him
has always been magical,’ she explains.‘I’ve learnt a lot about Russian
culture from him.’ She also blames him for her addiction to Dostoyevsky.
One of the most significant conductors for her is Zubin Mehta, for whom
she auditioned in June 2000.‘Less than one month later I was doing
my first recording with him in Tel Aviv for Deutsche Grammophon,’
she says.‘He taught me responsibility and the spirit of professionalism.’
Shoji now lives in Paris and gives about 60 concerts a year. She is
careful to keep a grip on life outside the concert hall, through
painting, climbing mountains, or ‘watching people in supermarkets’.
‘I love life as much as I love music,’ she says.‘They’re both creative and
mysterious, and full of surprises.’
Tim Homfray
BORN Hudiksvall, Sweden, 1974
BORN Tokyo, Japan, 1983
TRAINING Swedish Violin Making School, Leksand,
Sweden, 1997–2000
VIOLIN 1715 ‘Joachim’ Stradivari (on loan from
the Nippon Music Foundation)
WEBSITE www.lindstrom-violin.com
WEBSITE www.sayaka-shoji.com
FEBRUARY 2008 THE STRAD
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