Yes and no
Does the quality of your instrument really matter? Musicians form an intimate relationship with their instruments. This week I have been playing in an orchestra concert with cellist Inbal Segev, performing Anna Clyne’s Dance for Cello and Orchestra. While I feel somewhat ambivalent about the piece, the cellist and cello are fabulous.
She plays on a Rugieri
Francesco Rugieri was a 17th century maker in Cremona, Italy. It is a beautiful instrument to say the least which she plays beautifully. We string players can fall hopelessly in love with our instruments. However, considering the cost of “fine” instruments, it feels out of reach for most musicians to have the opportunity to play on such an instrument. Luckily, there are many modern makers producing instruments rivaling the quality of the older instruments.
The instrument or you
As a part time public school strings teacher, most of my students play on fairly low quality instruments. The irony is that I have heard some amazing performances played on them. My advice is to seek out the best instrument you can acquire. Find one that is comfortable and has the sound you are looking for but remember that, ultimately, the music is in you.
Violinist Linda Beers is the creator of the Inspiration for Violinists, a 50 card deck. Each card has a unique image and text inspiring musicianship, mindfulness and spirituality.
Thank you to Manny Becerra for the image.