String theory

Updated: 09 December, 2019 08:04 IST | Karishma Kuenzang | Mumbai

Western classical violinist Aisha Syed from the Dominican Republic will collaborate with Mumbai's Mehli Mehta Foundation choir and string ensemble in Girgaum this weekend

The MMMF choir
The MMMF choir

She picked up the violin as a five-year-old for the first time, when her sister had begun tutorials. Before she knew it, Aisha Syed, fell in love with JS Bach's compositions, followed by Paganini. By 11, Syed had made her debut with the Dominican Symphony Orchestra back home at Dominican Republic, and soon attended Menuhin School and Royal College of Music. She has since performed at the Carnegie Hall and Palau de les Arts in Spain, among other prestigious venues.

This weekend, Syed will make her Mumbai debut [she performed in New Delhi in 2007], in a collaboration with Mehli Mehta Foundation's choirs and string ensemble. "I'm excited about performing with this string ensemble," she tells us about the programme that will include pieces by Vivaldi and Frolov. She will also be performing JS Bach's Chacconne and Paganini's La Campanella.

Aisha Syed
Aisha Syed

While one can describe her journey as a life-long romance with Western classical music, how important is proper education in music in a day and age when picking up techniques from YouTube is on everyone's fingertips, especially when it comes to a relatively difficult-to-learn instrument like the violin? "Western classical music is not a speed career; it is a resistance-building one. For every success, you will have 10 failures. Over the years, I have become more aware of the importance of high-quality musical education, especially in the formative years.

To stand on the shoulders of giants we must pursue the journey of polishing our minds with the knowledge already given to us. We are living in an age where the young imagine that everything can be achieved in a short span of time with little or no effort. But, playing the violin is the opposite. You have to invest years before being able to perform," she explains. Syed also points out that one needs to make sure they portray the composer's wishes as well as their authentic interpretation, which can only be achieved via musical experiences, practicing and studying.

On December 15, 11 am
At Royal Opera House, Girgaum.
Call 23668888
Cost Rs 300 onwards

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First Published: 09 December, 2019 05:14 IST

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