The story appears on

Page A11

March 11, 2012

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Feature » Art and Culture

A trip through violin music history

VIOLINIST Ning Feng believes every composition is special. As such, he treats each piece equally, whether it's a more serious piece by Beethoven or something light by the Gershwins.

"Each piece is special in its own way, and I hope the audience can also feel this while listening," says Ning, who will perform at Shanghai Oriental Art Center on March 17 after completing a tour of Europe.

He plans to perform Mozart's Violin Sonata in D Major, Beethoven's violin sonata in A minor and his Kreutzer sonata, Shostakovitch's Prelude, Tchaikovsky's "Souvenir D'un Lieu Cher" and the Gershwins' "Porgy and Bess."

"I wanted to present an evening with violin works from different time periods and convey an overall view of violin pieces of different styles," says Ning, who started playing at the age of four. "The first half is more academic, such as the two classical violin sonatas by Mozart and Beethoven, while the second part is more 'fun' with shorter pieces by different composers like Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and Gershwin."

Ning says the violin sound is the closest an instrument comes to the human voice, which is what makes it so attractive.

While studying at the Royal Academy of Music, Ning's performance of Bach's "Chaconne" impressed famous violinist and conductor Yehudi Menuhin.

He later wrote a recommendation for Ning stating that Ning's performance touched him deeply, and his gifts and talents in music will lead him to a bright future.

Ning says he has long been a fan of Jascha Heifetz, who he believes to be the king of violinists. Heifetz set a standard for the modern violin almost 100 years ago.

All violinists now try to reach that standard. "Personally, every time I feel like I understand violin playing better, I will watch or listen to Heifetz," Ning says. "I become deeply impressed all over again and realize his greatness."

Winning numerous prizes over the years in different violin competitions, Ning received the top prize at the Paganini competition in 2006.

As a tradition, he was given the chance to play with Paganini's favorite violin - a Cannone made by Guarneri del Gesu in 1743.

"It isn't a very good looking violin, but it has a magical sound that I had never experienced before," says Ning. "It contains the sound of a beautiful soprano and grave baritone at the same time, and you can feel its sound traveling from the stage to the back row."

Many people have asked Ning about how it felt to play a Cannone. He always replies it is such a pity that he could not take it home.

Date: March 17, 7:30pm

Venue: Shanghai Oriental Art Center, 425 Dingxiang Rd, Pudong

Tickets: 80-420 yuan

Tel: 962-388


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend