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Violin superstar plays Beethoven on 1701 Stradivarius

Thursday, 11 May 2017

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In January this year, world-renowned violinist and WAAPA’s brilliant Head of Strings Alexandre Da Costa was privileged to be awarded a decade-long loan of a precious 1701 Stradivarius violin.

“To have this violin – which is one of the best ones I’ve ever played – loaned to me for 10 years, that’s one of the biggest prizes I could ever win in my career,” says Da Costa. “It’s an honour to play this violin and to have access to it for such a long period of time is really what makes it very special.”

Previously, Da Costa has played on a 1730 Guarneri del Gesù violin and the 1727 Di Barbaro Stradivarius, both incredibly precious instruments.

“Such incredible violins are not easy to come by and to convince people to put them in my hands for a long period of time is also not an easy task,” explains the Montreal-born virtuoso. “In the past I’ve had various loans ranging from one to three years and, even though the loans were usually renewed, there’s always the possibility of a loan finishing so it’s a constant pressure on the player.”

“This 10-year loan allows me to develop long-term projects in the knowledge I will have a great instrument to play for all the concerts, tours, recordings, videos, everything I need to do to blossom as an artist.”

Da Costa, who is renowned for the peerless technique of his playing, describes the 1701 Stradivarius as a very powerful instrument. “It has this raw power that I’m looking for in a violin because it allows me to play in very big halls without having to press on the violin or squeeze the sound out. It’s very comfortable for me to play this violin.”

Perth audiences will get to hear the sublime sounds of this extraordinary instrument in the hands of a virtuoso violinist when Alexandre Da Costa brings Beethoven’s dramatic Violin Concerto in D Major Op. 61 to life with WAAPA’s Faith Court Orchestra in three inspiring concerts of orchestral masterworks at venues across Perth.

This outstanding classical music program will also feature the famous Overture to Tannhäuser by Richard Wagner, which Da Costa will conduct from the podium and the thrilling Symphony No. 40 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Alexandre Da Costa’s professional debut at age nine on violin and piano brought him recognition as a musical prodigy. By eighteen he had a Masters degree in violin from Quebec Conservatory and he went on to study in Madrid with legendary violin teacher Zakhar Bron. He completed his post-graduate studies at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst of Vienna and is currently completing a research PhD. In 2014 he was appointed Associate Professor of Classical Performance at WAAPA.

As a virtuoso violinist, Da Costa has won numerous prizes, including the International Pablo Sarasate Violin Competition and the 2010 Virginia Parker Prize. He hasgiven close to 2,000 concerts and recitals throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, and has performed in the world’s major concert halls. He has played with more than 100 different orchestras including London’s Royal Philharmonic, the Vienna, Berlin, Montreal and Toronto Symphony Orchestras, among others, under internationally renowned conductors.

Earlier this year, Da Costa performed in Canada at the sold-out premieres of his multi-media show, Stradivarius at the Opera, which he will tour internationally from November 2017 through to March 2018. He also recently toured to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane for a series of concerts and masterclasses.

Da Costa has a prolific recording career, with 25 albums to date, and in 2012 won the Juno Classical Album of the Year Award for his recording of the concertos of American composer Michael Daugherty with the Montreal Symphony under Pedro Halffter. In April, Da Costa released his first two recordings on the Sony Classical label: Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and other works, and Stradivarius at the Opera with the Vienna Symphony. On the latter recording, Da Costa holds both the conductor and soloist roles.

His future engagements include guest soloist with the Montreal Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada, the Winnipeg Symphony and Germany’s Staatskapelle Halle Orchestra; touring Canada with the Orchestre de la Francophonie; recitals in Darwin, Perth and Port Fairy; and performing at Musica Viva’s Huntington Festival. At the end of this year, Da Costa will be guest concertmaster with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra for the New Year’s concerts under Music Director Philippe Jordan.

For now though, it’s Perth audiences who get to enjoy Alexandre Da Costa’s incredible talent at the helm of WAAPA’s Faith Court Orchestra, with the added bonus of hearing a 1701 Stradivarius violin in all its magnificent glory. Tickets will sell fast so book now to ensure you don’t miss this exciting program of orchestral masterworks.

WAAPA is extremely grateful to John Court and his family for their generous and ongoing support of  WAAPA’s Classical Music program and in particular of The Faith Court Orchestra, founded at WAAPA in 2005.

For all venue and performance details, please visit the Alexandre Da Costa Plays Beethoven performance web page.

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