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Sebastian Bohren: “The Thing About Violin Playing Is That It’s Like a Fresh Dish; It Has to Be Prepared and Served à la minute”


Sebastian Bohren, a distinguished violinist, traces his musical journey back to his familial roots, where the influence of his grandmother, herself a violinist, sparked his interest in the instrument. Despite early inclinations towards the electric guitar, exposure to classical music, particularly Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, ignited his passion for the violin. Moving to a village near Zurich at the age of 10, Bohren encountered his first influential teacher, Markus Lehmann, whose impact resonates in his memory, shaping his aspiration to become a violinist.

Bohren’s dream of a soloist’s career faced skepticism during his pre-college years in Zurich, yet his steadfast commitment led him to cultivate a distinctive voice over a decade. Reflecting on his formative years with teachers such as Jens Lohmann and Zakhar Bron, Bohren acknowledges the profound impact of their guidance, emphasizing the importance of maintaining the freshness and quality of violin playing akin to a freshly prepared dish.

Joining the renowned Stradivari Quartet in 2013 marked a pivotal period for Bohren, offering him a unique platform and the opportunity to play the “King George” Stradivarius violin. His departure from the quartet in the wake of the pandemic prompted a shift to a Guadagnini violin, unveiling new challenges and nuances in his artistic expression. Bohren’s collaborations with Chaarts Chamber Artists, evident in his 2021 release of Mozart Concertos 3 and 5, underscore the dynamic interplay between familiarity and novelty, akin to unwrapping a distinct Christmas present with each performance.

As the artistic director of Stretta Concerts in Brugg, Bohren reflects on the series’ evolution from humble beginnings to a thriving venture, briefly interrupted by the pandemic. Operating on a unique donation-based model, the series seeks to bring high-quality performances to the community while embodying Bohren’s vision of fostering a musical gift exchange between artists and audiences in Brugg. Despite the challenges, Bohren remains passionately committed to expanding the series into a long-term festival, envisioning its growth and impact over the next few decades.

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ISSN: 2792-8349

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International Journal of Music