Violinist Sergiu Schwartz has performed as a soloist all over the world for decades. His solo performances have been witnessed in major concert halls including New York’s Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, London’s Barbican Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and Wigmore Hall, Royce Hall in Los Angeles, Jerusalem Theatre and Rome’s Academia Santa Cecilia.
In addition to continuing to perform internationally, Schwartz holds the The William B. and Sue Marie Turner Distinguished Faculty Chair in Violin at the Schwob School of Music where he serves as a violin professor and the string area coordinator for Columbus State University.
This Sunday afternoon, Schwartz will perform a live concert in Legacy Hall with collaborative pianist Mari Ito. The performance will be free to attend and will feature some of the greatest works for solo violin from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Schwartz recently corresponded with arts reporter Carrie Beth Wallace to discuss the concert’s repertoire, what he’s looking forward to most, and what he thinks audience members should know about the concert before they attend.
Q: What is the repertoire for your concert?
A: The “Heart of the Violin” theme is reflected in the choice of repertoire representing the soulful, expressive, tender or passionate, elegant or bold contrasting characters featured through masterworks such as Beethoven’s stormy sonata in C minor op. 30, Brahms’s fresh and sparkling “Sonatensatz”, Franck’s uniquely romantic Sonata, and Bloch’s spiritual and passionate “Nigun.”
Q: What are you most looking forward to about this performance?
A: I am looking forward to communicating the depth and wealth of music values, esthetic of sound, and to becoming the medium that brings it to life for the benefit of our students. They look up to us artist faculty members not only as great mentors and teachers, but also as performing artists meant to inspire no less than their own performing idols.
Q: What inspired the title of the concert?
A: The title “The Heart of the Violin” is borrowed from a critically acclaimed CD, which I released a few years ago, underlining the nature of violin playing as a soulful, beautiful voice, which singers refer to as “Bel Canto”.
When I recorded CDs for many companies including Naxos, Vox, Arcobaleno, Gega, often I was assigned a theme decided by their producer. Having the good fortune to perform on a fine Italian 18th century violin, coupled with my own lifelong quest to bring forth the quality of sound attained by the great master performers of the violin, inspired me to chose my own theme and repertoire highlighting “The Heart of the Violin”.
Q: What would you like for audience members to know before they attend your concert?
A: What I would like to share with the audience is of course the powerful meaning of the music composed by some of the greatest masters of 19th and 20th centuries.
Also, it is worth mentioning that I am collaborating with pianist Mari Ito, who most recently graduated from our school and now is pursuing her work as collaborative pianist. It is rewarding to experience the positive outcome of teaching and supporting our students to become the professional musicians of the next generation.
If You Go:
What: ‘Heart of the Violin’
When: 4 p.m. March 11
Where: Legacy Hall, RiverCenter for the Performing Arts