Second Violin

Grit D. H. Westi

My education: I graduated from high school in 1976 and afterwards studied musicology at the University of Copenhagen 1976-78, mainly to prepare myself for The Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen: I had decided to become a violinist!  In 1984 I received my Masters Diploma from the Academy after 6 years with our wonderful Prof. Milan Vitek. Ready for studies abroad, I chose to move to Vienna. Those 4 years  turned out to be the most important in my musical life. Wien, du Stadt meiner Träume! I Practised the violin, listened to operas and concerts in the evening, played chamber music and chamber orchestra, went on tours, and took a higher education 1984-88 at ”Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst” with Prof. Ernst Kovacic.

My favorite musical composition: Most music… If I land on a deserted island and could only choose one piece to bring, it would have to be by Brahms. One of his violin sonatas, they consist of so many layers, enough work for years!

My greatest musical experience: Playing Brahms B major piano trio with passionate Italian collegues – a rare moment of symbiotic feeling, a perfect sound in a split second, we all felt it and catched the eyes of the others, I live for that moment!

My most memorable/funny/unusual experience in the Kapel: When our strict, great and serious Finnish chief conductor Paavo Berglund took one of our violins and played the 1.violin part in a whole string quartet – left-handed and therefore reversed. It was at late night in the bottom of a cruise ship, our fabulous Balticum-tour in 1992, going to Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Riga.

When I’m not playing in the Kapel:  I love creating contact with the audience; speaking about the pieces and expanding people’s understanding when I play a chamber concert. As a student I was in several theatre productions in Caféteateret in Copenhagen and in Wiener Masken- und Musiktheater. The idea to combine different arts and crafts, to work with crossover, appeals to me and I hope to be able to work more in that direction in the years to come. I read newspapers and good books and explore and enjoy the Danish language. Archeology has my great interest – I could have been an archeologist specializing in Danish ancient times, but instead I chose to dig with my violin in musical scores!