Blog / Meet Stefan Jackiw

Meet Stefan Jackiw

Posted on 21 Apr 2015 by Neall Kriete

Next month, violin virtuoso and YouTube Symphony Orchestra sensation Stefan Jackiw will arrive on our shores to tour with the Orchestra for #ACO15 Mostly Mendelssohn.

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If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would it be?
I’d like to help revive the idea, which, though not completely extinct, needs reiterating, that classical music can be enjoyed and loved by everyone, and that is not something that is only open to the initiated few. When talking to my non-musician friends, I find that there is often a feeling that one needs to be trained in or knowledgeable about classical music in order to enjoy a live concert or listen to a recording. Somehow, classical music is often perceived as intimidating, even to culturally curious people. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Sure, as with everything else, increased knowledge will deepen one’s appreciation, but it is certainly not a prerequisite for classical music to sweep you off your feet and move you profoundly. I’ve never taken a filmmaking class, but I love going to the movies. I know nothing about painting, but I feel transported when I see works of Matisse, Picasso, Cézanne, Klee, Kandinsky, Van Gogh – the list is endless. Why does one need to have studied an instrument or know about sonata form in order to experience transformation at the hands of Schubert?

If you had six months free to learn a new instrument, what would you choose?
Piano! I’m always jealous that pianists can play so much wonderful repertoire by themselves. All the harmony is at their fingertips. I’d love to even just play the opening few bars of the Arietta of Beethoven Op.111.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I’ve known since I was six or seven years old that I wanted to be a musician. Nothing else makes me feel the way music does.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I think my greatest achievement is that I’m to do what I love as my profession.

What would your super power be?
I wish I were the type of person who would choose flight, but the truth is I want mind control.

What’s your musical guilty pleasure?
Destiny’s Child.

Which non-classical musician would you love to work with?
Radiohead. So imaginative, so colorful, so much emotional depth.

Who would you invite (dead or alive) to your dream dinner party?
Mozart! Can you think of anyone else as brilliant, funny, irreverent, soulful, and full of life? He’d be great dinner company.

What’s the first thing you’re going to do when you arrive in Australia?
Sign up for didgeridoo lessons.

What’s the first album you bought?
The first album I remember buying was a collection of violin concertos played by the young Anne-Sophie Mutter. But, these days I almost never listen to recordings of violin concertos …

And finally: tell us a secret.
You go first.

14–25 May

American violin virtuoso Stefan Jackiw takes on Mendelssohn’s famous E minor violin concerto in an intimate arrangement for string orchestra.

MENDELSSOHN Violin Concerto in E minor
MENDELSSOHN String Symphony No. 9 in C major
BOTTESINI Gran Duo for Double Bass and Violin
WOLF Italian Serenade

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