Last week, I had the pleasure of performing with Stefan Jackiw. The young American violinist played the Beethoven Concerto with the Williamsburg (VA) Symphony Orchestra.
Jackiw’s playing is characterized by an unusual sense of elegance and refinement. He paints with a wide array of colors and dynamics. In the most intimate passages of the slow movement of the Beethoven, he was not afraid to play just above a whisper. Jackiw’s elegant and stylish approach point to the French school of violin playing. Among his teachers was French violinist Michèle Auclair, a student of Jacques Thibaud.
Here is Stefan Jackiw’s recent performance of two of Clara Schumann’s Three Romances for Violin and Piano, Op. 22, written in 1853. These miniatures were dedicated to the Hungarian violinist Joseph Joachim, for whom Brahms wrote his Violin Concerto. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear Clara’s passing references to a main theme of her husband’s tempestuous First Violin Sonata. Amazingly, the author of this passionately Romantic music once stated that “Women are not born to compose.”
Photograph by Sophie Zhai