This week violinist Ray Chen made the news when his E string broke mid-way through the first movement of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, which he was playing with the Seattle Symphony. They even got it on video!
Following protocol, concertmaster Noah Geller gave Chen his instrument, and various violins were passed back and forth until Chen's fiddle landed with violinist Mae Lin, sitting fourth chair. During the tutti that followed, Chen produced a spare E string that he was carrying in his pocket, and Lin commenced changing the string, right there on stage. Meanwhile, as he played the cadenza on the concertmaster's violin, Chen nodded in approval at the newly borrowed instrument. Well-played! Chen had his fiddle back, with a new E, by the beginning of the second movement.
So the question is, does this happen to us mere mortal violinists? The answer is, yes it does. But not always on a stage, in front of a live audience!
Has it happened to you? I thought it might be fun this week to share our "broken string" stories. Please participate in the vote, then tell your own story (or stories!), or you can tell us about a broken-string incident you witnessed from your chair in the orchestra or in the audience.
* * *
We wanted you to read this article before we make our newsletter pitch, unlike so many other websites. If you appreciate that — and our efforts to promote excellence in string playing, teaching, performance and community — please click here to sign up for our free, bi-weekly email newsletter. And if you've already signed up, please invite your friends! Thank you.Tweet
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.
Violinist.com is made possible by...
Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.