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Gifted, young violinist made his return to China

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2018-03-31 12:43

Daniel Lozakovich, violinist. [PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY]

After making his debut in China by performing with Mariinsky Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Valery Gergiev at Harbin Grand Theater in August, Swedish violinist Daniel Lozakovich returned to China, joining in the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra's tour in the country.

From March 23 to April 1, the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra visits Chinese cities, including Beijing, Guangzhou, Xi'an and Nanjing. Under the baton of Hungarian violinist and conductor Gabor Takacs-Nagy, who is also the music director of the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra, Lozakovich performs J.S. Bach's Violin Concerto No 2 BWV 1042.

"I have performed the piece many times. I try to find the composers' characters in their works. When I play, I try to become the composers," says Lozakovich in Beijing recently.

At 17, the violinist, who was born in Stockholm, Sweden, is hailed as one of the most exceptional young musicians in the world. As he recalls, he decided to become a violinist when he saw the instrument for the first time as a child.

"My mother wanted me to become a tennis player, and I tried hard to convince her that I want to become a violinist," he says. "I tried to compose a violin concerto at 9 years old but I am still not finishing yet."

He started his violin studies at 6 years old in 2007, and made his concerto debut with the Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and Russian conductor Vladimir Spivakov two years later.

Performing as a soloist throughout Europe with orchestras now, including Vienna Chamber Orchestra and the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, he has signed an exclusive recording deal with Deutsche Grammophon in 2016 and will begin his cooperation with the label by recording two orchestral albums and a recital album.

Since 2012, Lozakovich studies at the Karlsruhe University of Music, and he is mentored by German violinist Eduard Wulfson. Currently, he is a student at the College du Leman in Geneva.

In his spare time, Lozakovich enjoys playing football, boxing, tennis and chess. Musically, he is also inspired by jazz.

"I enjoy different kinds of sports, which makes me more flexible," he says. "I don't practice for long hours. The brain needs to function and it's much more effective to practice with your head."

"My goal as a violinist is to help people with music. No one hates classical music. Some just don't know it," he adds.

Lozakovich has a long time relationship with Verbier Festival, an international annual music festival, which takes place for about two weeks in late July and early August in the mountain resort of Verbier, Switzerland. The violinist has been performing at the festival since 2015.

Founded by Martin Engstroem in 1994, Verbier Festival also has an academy, which nurturing young musicians from around the world, including Lozakovich. In 2000 and 2005, Engstrom set up the Verbier Festival Orchestra and the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra, which tours worldwide with young musicians aging from 15 to 29 years old.

"This is our fourth tour in China and we perform with these young soloists, who best show our ambition to promote the young talents," says Engstroem in Beijing. Besides Lozakovich, Chinese-American pianist George Li also joined in Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra's tour in China.

Born in 1953 in Stockholm, Engstroem obtained his degree in Music History and Russian at Stockholm University. In 1975, he moved to Paris and became a partner in the artistic agency Opera et Concert, working closely with Austrian conductor Herbert von Karajan (1908-89) for many years. In 1986, he moved to Switzerland.

"All the rehearsals and master classes at the Verbier Festival open to the public. We want to present young musicians," says Engstroem, who has invited Chinese musicians to perform at festival, including Chinese pianists Lang Lang and Yuja Wang. "Those musicians are willing to come back to the music festival since we have a long relationship since they were teenagers."

Engstroem came to Beijing for the first time in 1997 as a production team member of the opera Turandot by Giacomo Puccini, which saw a joint collaboration of conductor Zubin Mehta and Chinese film director Zhang Yimou.

He was impressed by the fast development of the country and the classical music scene here.

"Many great orchestras have performed in China but for Verbier Festival, it's more youthful and it shows a different way of making music," he says.

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