Christopher Coritsidis

We had the pleasure if interviewing violinist Christopher Coritsidis, hailed by the London Times as an artist possessing a "flawless technique and boundless imagination…" who is based in New York and in the midst of a very exciting project...

We all know HELLO STAGE's favourite colour! What's yours?

I love them all! But, if I had to choose, I’d probably say gold.

What was the best advice a teacher ever gave you?

I don’t know if any of my teachers gave me straight-out advice, per se, but they definitely made an impression on me by their example. My first teacher, Manuel Tsynman, was a WWII soldier for the russian army and had lost both of his legs in the war. Afterwards, he picked up the violin from where he left off, started a family, joined an orchestra, emigrated to the United States etc., so his strength and perseverance is something which has really stuck with me. I guess the lesson there would be: “never give up!”

How has your practice changed with time?

My practicing has changed over time in that I do so less and less of it. I appreciate spending more time with the score than the instrument now, since I find that repetition of phrases doesn’t mean or do anything without that spark of inspiration behind it. It’s important to have direction in your music making.

BUT, to the joy of my previous teachers’ ears, I do practice my scales far more thoroughly than I did as a student.

What do you think is the most important trait of a successful artist in today's modern world?

That’s a hard question! There are so many traits that are necessary nowadays to be successful in an artistic profession - a complete technique, an on- and off-stage personality, good business sense – and the list goes on.

I would say, for me, the most important trait that one should possess is a constant desire to contribute to one’s art and society. Coming from a place as simple as that, I believe, brings with it a real understanding of what it means to be a true artist.

How much time do you spend every day on Facebook, Twitter and which other ways do you use to promote yourself?

Honestly, not at all. And that’s where HELLO Stage steps in, right? ☺

What are your other interests, apart from classical music?

Oh, so many! I love all kinds of literature and have a not-so-secret desire to pen a novel or a series of short stories one day.

Tell us more about your upcoming project, ‘BACK2BACH’ :)

‘BACK2BACH’ is my lovechild and a recording project, which, I had thought about for a number of years. It is a collection of sonatas for violin solo, including the first one by J.S. Bach, and those that were inspired by his sonatas in the 20th Century, by Ysaye and Bartok.

I began and recorded the album back in 2013, but before signing to authorize the release, I realized that I just wasn’t 100% satisfied with my interpretation of these pieces in that moment. So, to make a long story short - the album went unreleased.

Now, after some time has passed and I have revisited these sonatas, I feel that I have come to a more mature and insightful view of them - namely Bartok’s Solo Sonata. It’s fiendishly difficult to play and studying it for performance, let alone a recording, was and is a real mountain to climb. The G-minor Solo Sonata by J.S. Bach changed for me after I started analyzing period performance techniques and experimenting in playing with a Baroque bow. I don’t use it for the recording but it definitely opened my eyes (and ears) to what was possible and impossible with the tools of the times. Ysaye, for some reason, always felt right at home and I think his set of solo sonatas are brilliantly composed and I hope to record that entire set one day, as well.

I am planning to release the set digitally this coming fall as, both, a visual and audio set. We are currently looking for the ideal locations for the video recording half of the project, which are, both, aesthetically and acoustically appropriate.

All in all, it’s been a very exciting journey and I can’t wait to share this great music with everyone. Stay Tuned!

Follow and keep up to date with Christopher Coritsidis on HELLO STAGE.
Author: Nina HELLO STAGE
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