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Spotlight on Emerging Soloists

15 artists to watch


Isn’t it amazing how the string world continues to evolve? Just as you think that your shelves could never accommodate one more CD, you find yourself squeezing in yet another recording of your favorite work by an artist who seems to bring it new life. Well, make sure you clear out a section for the following musicians, because not only is their playing incredible, they’re sure to be names you’ll hear again and again. These 15 players—from a wide range of stylistic disciplines and listed in alphabetical order—are rising stars of the string world. All have the passion and talent to make their way to the top. These featured players were recommended by established performers and string faculty, several are winners of the Borletti Buitoni Trust Award, and others are included on the roster of Anne-Sophie Mutter’s Circle of Friends Foundation.

Would you like to add a player’s name to this list? Join the All Things Strings Community at and post your suggestions. There you’ll also find links to videos of many of these artists playing. Enjoy

—Megan Westberg


Ann Marie Calhoun

Age: 29
Instrument: Violin
Primary Genre: Rock
Hometown: Charlottesville, Virginia
* National Symphony Youth Fellowship program
*University of Virginia
*Informal study at the University of Virginia, learning to improvise by playing with jazz bands, touring with a bluegrass band, and sitting in with rock bands
*World tours with the rock band Jethro Tull and guitarist Steve Vai
*Toured with Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) and Ringo Starr
*Performed at 2008 Grammys as a soloist with the Foo Fighters
*Performed and worked with Mick Jagger, Jon Bon Jovi, the Dave Matthews Band, Widespread Panic, Switchfoot, Colbie Caillat, Joss Stone, Damien Marley, A.R. Rahman, Glen Ballard, and others
Current Projects:
*Starring in an animated short (Mass Animation) as a violin named Vanessa
*Designing a line of violin cases with TKL cases
*Collaborating with motivational speaker and author Deepak Chopra (music and poetry)
*Recording in Los Angeles with various artists
“My advice is to remember to combine the discipline of practice with the sheer joy of making music. Look for inspiration from your teacher, other students, and other performers. See how music brings happiness into your life and into the lives of others. When you enjoy playing your instrument and invest in yourself as a musician, you make your life richer, even if you never become a professional player.”
To Learn More:


Vilde Frang

(Photo by Niclas Jessen)

Age: 22
Instrument: Violin
Primary Genre: Classical
Hometown: Oslo, Norway
*Barratt Due Music Institute (in Oslo)
*Kolja Blacher
*Ana Chumachenco at Kronberg Academy (in Germany)
*Debuted at age 12 with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor Marriss Jansons
*Debuted with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 2007
*Chamber-music collaborations include work with violinist Gidon Kremer, violist Yuri Bashmet, violinist Maxim Vengerov, and pianist Martha Argerich
*Anne-Sophie Mutter Circle of Friends Foundation scholarship holder
*2007–08, toured Europe and USA with Anne-Sophie Mutter and Camerata Salzburg in Bach’s Double Concerto
Current Projects:
*Recording her debut CD (Sibelius and Prokofiev concertos with West Deutsche Rundfunk Orchestra) on EMI (tentatively scheduled for autumn 2009)
*Re-engagement with London Philharmonic Orchestra under Vladimir Jurowski in Royal Festival Hall, London
*Engagements booked with the Czech Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, and Strasbourg Philharmonic orchestras
“Never just rely on a teacher’s judgment or restrict yourself to a teacher’s decisions. After all, personal experience is the best way of learning, so go for your ideas, cross borders, and break rules!”
To Learn More:


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