Sarah Chang

Sarah Chang

Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Wed 24 Oct


Glasgow’s International Classical series has some impressive names attached to it this season. Alfred Brendel, Kurt Masur, Ian Bostridge and Antonio Pappano are just a few of those who are in the company of the sensational young violinist Sarah Chang. Appearing with the English Chamber Orchestra as part of a mammoth European and UK tour in which she plays Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons in no less than 19 performances, the 26-year-old Chang is a force to be reckoned with. Her stamina alone is staggering. ‘No, it’s not the best tour planning,’ she says, as she tells of having to return to the US for three dates with the Philadelphia Orchestra and there’s even a short Japanese tour as well. ‘I sleep everywhere’, she says, ‘at anytime, on a plane, car or train. Catnapping works for me.’

The Four Seasons is music that everyone loves, but, surprisingly for a violinist who has performed with major world orchestras since the age of eight, it was not a piece that formed part of Chang’s concerto repertoire. ‘I purposely did not learn it as a student,’ she says, ‘but it was always on my wish list. I wanted to wait until I felt comfortable about it and with the right group at the right time.’

In the wake of her recording of the Shostakovich Violin Concerto No 1, which Chang describes as a ‘monster of a piece’, the Vivaldi is a welcome contrast. ‘It’s so beautiful, and, although it was initially terrifying, I am actually looking forward to working without a conductor.’ Directing from the violin, Chang will not only play the solo part, but the tuttis too. ‘Working with the ECO is very collaborative,’ she says, ‘and, within reason, we do it differently every time.’

Sarah Chang with the English Chamber Orchestra

Violinist Sarah Chang was the youngest person to be awarded the Hollywood Bowl's Hall of Fame Award, and has come through many performances and appearances to become an acclaimed player. Tonight she is soloist and director for Vivaldi's 'The Four Seasons' alongside the ECO, who, led by Stephanie Gonley, also play JS…

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