The Blue Violin and its Magic in Point Loma with Pavel Šporcl
Any piece of music is not finished until it reaches its audience. And that is why we cherish and celebrate our wonderful audience! A composer writes the music with an idea he wants to convey, an interpreter adds his own set of understanding, and when the piece reaches the listeners, each is giving the music its own life, colors, shapes, emotions. And at the end of the concert there are thousands of musical lives floating above the audience, each piece transformed as many times as many listeners there are… And the audience feels as one, and that is the magic of music any performer and producer hopes for.
And without a doubt this magic happened at the September Saturday’s concert of a Czech virtuoso Pavel Šporcl in the charming Point Loma Assembly. And I was the happiest of all!
Paganini, Schubert, Milstein, Bach, original composition and a modern classic with an orchestra accompaniment were performed with bravura and sensitivities that are a privilege of a few. Talent must engage diligence of any international star, but it is the musical understanding, the musical knowledge, the charisma, the sensibilities, the passion, and especially humility & grace that are indispensable for a wholesome inspiring virtuoso. Pavel has it all.
With his pleasant, entertaining approach toward presenting classical music, he reaches wider audience than any Czech violinist ever before him without compromising the classical music realm. He has created for himself an attractive unpretentious image and modus operandi that helps debunks the myth of classical music as being an elite entertainment for those in a white shirt and a black tie. And to that image belongs the talk about the blue violin everybody was so interested in!!
It was Pavel's own idea to add to the music some colors!
His unique instrument comes from a prestigious Czech luthier Špidlen, a workshop with the history from the late 1800's.
In 2003 the current luthiere Jan B. Spidlen won in a top violin-makers competition in Cremona the first and the second place. This particular violin was built in 2005 with a special blue varnish. The varnish is equally important for the violin quality as any other aspect of the violin building. It is the special skill of Špidlen workshop to achieve the same sound quality as the traditional varnish violin has. (It is believed that the Stradivarius’ famous violins’ quality actually lies in his varnish that is still a mystery!) Read more details about the violin in my older post Blue Violin Pavel Sporcl
Pavel Sporcl's musical road starts many years prior the blue violin time: He strated being trained in his charming native city of Budweise, Ceske Budejovice, from the age of 5 by his first teacher Mr. Havel who gave him a gift precious of all, the love for classical music. Pavel moved on studying at the Conservatory, then at the Academy with Vaclav Snitil, on the way winning numerous of competitions and appearing regularly at concerts. After a completion of the studies home, he went, along with his brother, an accomplished cellist, to continue to study to the USA. Pavel was heard by one of the best violin pedagogues Ms. Dorotha Delay, who offeredher lessons while Pavel studied at the Brooklyn College, later attended Jullliard, taught on the way by another accomplished teacher, Mr. Itzak Perlman. Upon arrival back to the Czech Republic, his dazzling career, that will make him the most accomplished violinist of his time, started.
Today, Pavel uses his status as an ambassador of classical music through many channels as is an intriguing classical musicTV programs for children (Perličky), narrating his concert in a pleasant engaging humorous, unpretentious way that appeals to all audience. Pavel presides at prestigious competitions, is a patron of festivals, represents the Czech Republic at the international projects, participates in many charities, and the list goes on. Next to the role of an ambassador of classical music he also spends hundreds of hours in the archives, mapping out the Czech musical history, revealing to his audence in the documentaries forgotten or less known Czech virtuosos or composers who had to, for whatever reason, leave Bohemia, or later Czechoslovakia and who made an indelible impact on the world classical. His television document about a world Czech virtuoso Jan Kubelik, filmed at many international locations, is one of the examples.
We may be a small country, but we certainly have created over the centuries till today quite a presence on the world stage of
classical music. And by commemorating the centennial anniversary of the independent Czechoslovakia by a concert of a Czech classical super star in America, was a noble and mostly inspiring way how to do it. That celebration belongs as much to the Czech Republic as it belongs to America. It was the President Wilson who presided the effort to create an independent Czechoslovakia, finally being responsible of the creation of our first own state declared on October 28, 1918,
What can be more poignant way for such celebration than a Czech team inviting a Czech violinist to a cozy concert hall in the middle of America, the land that for so many times showed the incredible solidarity, empathy and understanding of historical circumstance of many nations. I am happy my country was also recipient of such a rare special gift and I hope that this country will not loose its course as being the most integral nation I know.
And this concert was as much a celebration of music, as it was a celebration of solidarity, good will, friendship and joy that can be triggered with music so well. Thank you all, thank you Pavel, see you all soon!
Enjoy photos by Tomas Majek