Nadja Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg

q and a

    Dear Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg:
    My name is Eric Siepkes and I'm a freshman (piano performance major) at the Eastman School of Music, in Rochester, NY. First I would like to tell you how much my colleagues and I enjoyed your performance of the Mendelssohn violin concerto on Saturday, the 28th of September!!!!!!! I won't even try to explain how moved and inspired and excited you made me feel!!!!!! Your playing is of a beauty that myself and I'm sure many other young musicians try to strive for---and it seems impossible to reach this beautiful height!

    I would like to ask you if you have considered giving a master class at the Eastman School of Music?! It would be beyond wonderful if you could come here again, not only to perform, but to conduct a master class! You couldn't realize how great that would be for us young musicians!!!!!!

    I also have a sort of favor to ask---If you were to come here to give a master class, would it be possible for me to play something for you? As I'm a pianist, I wouldn't have the chance to play in the master class, as it were, but I would sincerely love for you to hear me play, give me advice, comments, inspiration.....etc. etc....

    Thank you so much for sharing your gift with us the other night!! I feel so privelaged to have heard you! Thanks!!! warmest gratitude - Eric Siepkes
    Hi Eric
    First of all thank you so much for coming to my concert in Rochester and how refreshing to hear from a pianist! I give master classes all the time and I love doing them. In fact I am surprised that Eastman has never asked me to do one while I was there playing. I grew up listening to piano music....my mother was a wonderful pianist...so yes I would love to hear you and give a master class. The next time I am anywhere in the area, have the school contact my management in advance and it shall be arranged. Thank you for asking and thanks for writing in, NSS

    Dear Nadja,
    I was the kid at the concert on sept 28 that asked what you were learning when you were eleven-cause I'm eleven. I play the violin too. I'm learning the Bruch Violin Concerto in g minor, 1st movement, and a Bach Sonata, also in g minor. It was cool that you wore pants in the recital. I HATE dresses. I don't like practicing, either. Just playing really fun, fast music once I've learned it. I can't do that without practicing, but who cares if that's illogical. That was an awesome concert. Your fan, - Rachel

    Hi Rachel
    Thanks for coming to my concert in Rochester and for asking me a question too. I'm sorry you hate dresses....I don't hate dresses, just panty hose. And yes if you want to play fast, you're going to have to keep practicing alot. But once you've learned the Bruch and the Bach, may I suggest you play something not in G minor? How about A major? Thanks for writing in, NSS

    Dear Nadja,
    I am planning on seeing you in January with the Assad bothers playing the World Premiere of some Triple Concerto. I was wondering if you could possible tell me more about the piece you are playing? I own your CD with the Assad bothers and I just love it! I am a huge fan, and I am also seeing you in Milwaukee playing the Mendelssohn. Thanks! Ryan Prijic

    Hi Ryan
    I am very happy to hear you love the CD I did with the Assads. I guess you'll be happy to hear that the Triple Concerto we are premiering was written by Sergio Assad. I'm learning it right now and it's so wonderful. I am really looking forward to playing it with the boys in january. Hope you like it too. Thanks for writing in, NSS

    Hello! My name is Alyssa Wegelin. I am 15 years old and and a violinist for the Pinellas Youth Symphony in Florida. In November we are holding an auction fund raiser to raise money for our orchestra. My idea for our fundraiser was to get signed CD's by professional musicians I admire! Joshua Bell has signed a CD and VHS of The Red Violin, Bela Fleck signed his Perpetual Motion CD for us, and Eileen Ivers has also donated two signed copies of Crossing the Bridge. I was hoping if I sent you a copy of one of your CD's with a returnable envelope. Would you be able sign it for me? If you could, please tell me the address I should send the CD to. Thanks, Alyssa Wegelin
    Hi Alyssa
    I would be honored to participate in your fundraiser. Thank you for asking me. You should send the CD to my publicist with a cover letter okay? The address is...

      M L Falcone, Public Relations
      155 West 68th street
      Suite 1114
      New York, N.Y. 100023

    Thanks for writing in, NSS

    My wife, two teenage daughters, and I attended last night's performance at the Kennedy Center. WOW!!!!!! (from all of us) It is so refreshing to watch you enjoy the music, feel the music, and just let it go. Tis a blessing to love what you do; but it is a true blessing to allow your audience to watch you while you do it.

    It was the 3rd time (in the last 8 years) I've been priviledged to watch your magnificent talent on stage.....looking forward to the 4th.

    While we have most of your CD's, we do not have you playing Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto. Any plans to record it ?????

    Finally, as we were leaving the Kennedy Center, I was dumbstruck to see you and Lynn Harrell approaching us. Unable to speak, I began to applaud both of you, which encouraged those around us to do likewise.

    I wanted to ask you both for an autograph, I wanted to invite both of you to a late dinner with my wife and children; but being unable to speak, I did neither.

    Perhaps on your next trip through DC or Baltimore, I will be prepared to expect the unexpected; and find my tongue. Best regards, Philip & Miriam German
    Dear Philip
    I am so pleased you enjoyed the concert I played with Lynn last night and it's wonderful that you brought your whole family. As a rule, it's not a bad idea asking any artist if they want something to eat after a performance because we are all usually starving at that point in the evening. Maybe next time. Thanks for writing in, - NSS

    Dear Ms. Salerno-Sonnnenberg,
    I have just returned tonight from your performance of the Brahms Double Concerto for Violin, Cello with Lynn Harrell and the National Symphony Orchestra here in Washington at the Kennedy Center. I cannot express to you how much that performance meant to me...But do bear with me if in my own inadequate way I feel I must try.

    You know when I first got to that performance, I really did not feel very well physically. But that all changed when soon, I forgot about it. Quickly I found an indelible smile plastered across my face as your spirit and love for the music in turn, began to move mine...You ALWAYS make me smile, (even if through my tears), when you play!! Tonight I found that I had to constantly control my tendency to audibly gasp from the sheer wonder of so much beauty in such a short time.

    I have always felt that there was something so intrinsically beautiful in EVERYTHING that you play...Something so intangible and yet unique to you that I have never before had the privilege to hear in any other musician. But this time, after u finished playing, I knew from the comments of those around me, that these inextricably compelling moments I had been so fortunate to experience many times, as well as for the past three nights, were not just in my mind's eye. From the comments that I overheard, all making use of such expressions as "truly phenomenal," "brings tears to my eyes," "my friends who have never heard her keep asking me why I continue going back to hear the same person," etc.etc., my feelings were finally validated!! I knew at that moment that even the best reviews you have received over your entire career could never, EVER, really do you justice.

    I feel truly blessed to have heard you that first time back in the summer of 1999 at Wolf Trap Farm Park. Thank you for your unbelievable courage and perseverance in the face of what really is still primarily "a man's world." Thank you for refusing to be anyone but the beautiful "you" that you are and for insisting on speaking through music not only just with a lot of hard work but also, and very importantly, WITH THE DEEPEST PART OF YOUR HEART...My Best, Dorothy
    Dear Dorothy
    Well all I can say is thank you so very much for this beautiful letter. - NSS

    My wife and I just watched "Speaking in Strings" and were very moved by all that you have experienced in your life. We were fortunate to attend your concert at Orchestra Hall in Chicago several years ago. We really enjoy how you get involved with the music that you are playing and that you get emotional about it. I couldn't believe that people in the business prefer an unemotional performer !! If the performer is so detached that they experience no feelings while they are playing, why do they do it ? I am a fan of Jazz, and Blues, where most performers move around and really get involved with their music to a great extent. Can you imagine Ray Charles sitting still while performing ? NOT POSSIBLE !!

    You are an extremely important violinist and we look forward to your long, prosperous career. I hope that you can come back to Chicago again, although Milwaukee isn't too far away..... William H. Hudecek
    Dear William
    Well I must say that I agree with your comment about Ray Charles.....although there may be different reasons for his movement on stage.

    As far as playing Chicago or Milwaukee...hey where were you this summer when I was at Ravinia? Well, I'll be there again next summer and I believe Milwaukee is on my schedule this season too. Hope to see you and thanks for writing in, - NSS




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