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Violinist Philippe Quint performs with CSO on Saturday

Like many musicians, Philippe Quint has been performing since he was a child.

He started violin lessons when he was 4.

"I grew up in a musical family," he said. "My mother played piano and my uncle played cello."He said his grandmother had a plan to have a family trio and he was the third piece of that puzzle.

"It never actually happened," he said, but that didn't stop him from playing.

Growing up in Russia, he disliked going to lessons and having to practice.

"I wanted to be a chess player or soccer player or to pursue my goals in astronomy to become a cosmonaut. I grew up when kids wanted to astronauts or cosmonauts."

Instead of traveling around the world in space, he's traveling around the world in conventional planes.

Quint says he's constantly traveling.

"Last year was absolutely insane," Quint said. "I was in South Africa, Europe, Australia. I was coming from one place to another. I was gone for about three months, and then I'd spend one or two nights in my home in New York. This year, it's a little more balanced. I don't have to be Johannesburg one day, Paris the next and then off to London.

"I'm set in America right now."

But later, he'll have a tour that will take him to South America and Europe.

In Columbus Saturday, he'll be performing Piazzolla's "The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires," which he played earlier this year.

He's been all over the world, but he still wants to perform in Japan and Israel.

He calls the music world "very small," so it's no surprise that he knows Columbus State University violin professor Sergiu Schwartz.

"I have met him on many occasions. He's a very fine musician."

After performing in Columbus Saturday, he'll be in Atlanta performing with the Mozart Society.

Even though Quint does a lot of traveling, that doesn't mean he does a lot of sightseeing.

"If it's a place that I'm coming back to, then I've probably made a few friends. But if I don't know somebody, it can be quite a miserable existence in my hotel room. I end up going to a movie alone. Having a romantic dinner with myself."

But he said he really doesn't mind being alone because it gives him time to practice playing the piece he'll be doing or learning new repertoire.

"I don't really mind," Quint said. "My life is absolutely insane, so I treasure my time on the road. I can really concentrate and zoom into my work.

"I'll play in my hotel room until someone complains."

When he's not on the road and is finally at home, he says "I do my bills. I try to read. I try to meet up with my friends. It's very difficult to go to social events, but I try to live a regular existence."

Most of his friends are in the arts, but because he lives in the financial district in New York City, many of his friends work there, too.

"Those are the people who are interested in arts and culture," he said. "Those are the ones supporting arts and culture."

Even though he's Russian, his mother chose to name him Philippe because she was reading a book about French kings when she was pregnant.

"She must have been inspired," Quint said. "My last name has Italian roots. My great-grandfather was in Napoleon's army and he married a Russian-Jewish nurse. So here I am."

Just don't call him Phil.

"Let me tell you, that's not the name I respond to," Quint said.

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