Esther Abrami is one of the young promises of violin who at the same time is a quoted model signed by brands of great prestige. She plays like an angel and it looks like an angel, powerful combination although it has managed to maintain a balance with which she does not allow that its physical beauty goes ahead of its musical talent. Her sound and her ability to play the most difficult violin concerts have opened up many possibilities for this 21 years old beauty.
Por Roberto C. Palmitesta R. | @rpalmitesta | ESPECIAL PARA VENEZUELA SINFÓNICA
She won Vatelot Rampal International Competition, she got the third place at the Salzburg Grand Prix Virtuoso in 2016 and received the «Honorable Mention» at the Grand Prix Music International Competition in Berlin. She has been a student of great violin masters such as Jan Repko and Leonid Kerbel. Esther uses a violin Carlo Giuseppe Testore manufactured in 1700 under the brand Giovanni Grancino.
She plays and moves with such a grace that is able to inspire poetry, but at the same time impresses an overwhelming passion. Esther admire and respects the work of the National System of Orchestras of Venezuela (El Sistema), and states she would love to work with maestro Gustavo Dudamel, the conductor of orchestras the most she would like to play.
Venezuela Sinfónica had the opportunity to talk with the talented Esther Abrami who has also won many awards as a professional fashion model, posing for designers of great prestige. This muse, through her honest answers allowed us to know more about her interesting career and future plans, in which she would like to include Venezuela.
French by birth she studies at the Royal College of Music in London, being one of the most outstanding students of this important house. This Goddess shares the philosophy that music should be at the service of society to create a better world. She also love teaching and often do charities and social works such as playing in hospitals and schools.
1 Do you know or have you heard about the National System of Orchestras and Youth and Children’s Choirs of Venezuela (known worldwide as El Sistema)?
Of course I know El Sistema, which in my opinion has brought a real revolution in the world of music education. The musician’s profession, which I know well, pushes us in a constant quest for perfection that sometimes prevent us to have many other reflections. The result of this approach creates a very elitist professional environment that is often reserved to a limited number of children. El Sistema does a job that I admire a lot because it combines this quest for perfection with an opening of the music world by offering the possibility for everyone to flourish in music.
2 From the System have arisen important conductors like Gustavo Dudamel, Christian Vásquez Diego Matheuz, Rafal Payare and Manuel López among others. Would you like to be led by one of them? What do you think of the work as conductor of maestro Gustavo Dudamel?
Opening the world of music is one of my main goals as a musician, so of course working with one of these conductors would be an extraordinary experience for me and I would go further and say that my dream would be to work with El Sistema and to contribute as a musician to the development of this global action.
4 Would you like to come and play in Venezuela with one of our orchestras like the Simón Bolívar Symphony?
I have never been to Venezuela and would love to go there. Working with the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra is on my bucket list!
5 Many world-renowned Venezuelan violinists like Alexis Cardenas or Eddy Marcano have used their experience to play Venezuelan folk music and have taken it to important international venues. Do you know his work? Would you like to play world music with your violin?
Of course I know the work of Alexis Cardenas and Eddy Marcano. I love experiencing popular music with my violin. Since my childhood I have been listening to a lot of Klezmer music and this is perhaps what made me sensitive to all the music of the world.
6 How do you divide your time between two professions that demand so much time: violinist and fashion model?
I am often asked how I manage my studies (being a student at the Royal College of Music in London), my concerts, my social networks and my modeling activity. Dividing my time has always been a priority for me and my activity as a model and influencer is added after my career as a violinist.
7 Could you briefly explain how is your study system and method of working as a violinist is?
I have been building a working method for several years now, it can of course be flexible but here’s a breakdown of my typical day:
I start my day with a yoga session, then start my practise working on technique in the morning (scales, arpeggios, double stop, studies etc..) followed by several hours work on my repertoire in the afternoon. I usually finish my practice session by running through pieces and sometimes recording myself which I find extremely useful!
8 You have a very emotional sound that reaches the emotions and feelings of the people. How have you done to develop this sublime sound?
That’s a tough question! I am not too sure, of course like all musicians I work on my sound using technical exercises but I personally believe that every musician has a sound of his own, like a voice, which comes from the depth of our soul and that we have since we begin to play.
9 Who are the violinists who influenced you the most and why?
The violinists who have influenced me the most are:
– Yéhudi Ménuhin for his musicality and his humanity, he has always been a model for me.
– Jascha Heifetz: for his work ethic and his constant seek for perfection.
– Anne-Sophie Mutter: for her energy and refinement.
10 Who are the orchestra conductors you most admire?
The conductor I admire the most is Gustavo Dudamel. This quote from his interview published by the French magazine Le Figaro in January 2016 summarizes very well why he represents for me the conductor with whom I most want to work with: «You can have a flawless technical knowledge, but if you do not inspire others, you will not do anything special. No one likes to listen to a clean, perfect but soulless piece of music. «
11 What do you prefer: to play with orchestras or to dedicate yourself to chamber music?
I take as much pleasure playing violin solo, chamber music, or with an orchestra and I also love teaching!
12 According to your opinion Do you think that chamber music has a future? How do you see the future of chamber music?
I do! Chamber music is much more intimate than orchestral music, it can be played in places allowing more proximity with the audience than in huge concert hall which means a stronger bond can created with the public. It is in my opinion what gives chamber music a great possibility of development in the future.
13 Which are the most exciting moments you have experienced throughout your career?
In my life as a violinist, I had the chance to experience many exciting and extraordinary moments: the strange feeling I felt the first time I put my fingers on the small violin my Grandmother gave me, the emotion of learning after a competition that the jury appreciated my playing to the point of awarding me a prize. The most recent of these extraordinary moments, was my last concert in the entrance hall of the Chelsea and Westminster hospital in London. In order not to disturb the routine of the hospital, there was no special provision to accommodate the public, so that the staff, the patients and the people awaiting an appointment could circulate as they wished.
I started playing a Bach sonata in the middle of the hall. I often play with my eyes closed and when I opened my eyes I discovered a crowd of people gathered around me. Emotionally it was an extremely strong moment for me as well as for the public and it is this moment of sharing that remains in my memory.
14 Would you like to play other musical genres like pop or rock, as David Garret has done? What other type of music do you like to listen to?
I like to discover and play all types of music. It is generally through meetings with other musicians around the world that I have the opportunity to do these experiments. I like to listen to Jazz, Klezmer and Pop music mostly after classical but I am very open to all kind of music and love discovering new styles!
15 Many violinists have left the instrument to switch to electric guitar, claim that the sound and power they transmit are similar. What’s your opinion about it?
Even if I remain open to all kinds of sound experiments with electric instruments, the sound of my violin, which was made in 1700, is so much a part of me that I cannot find anything like it in an electric instrument.
16 Which are your touring plans? Do you have plans to come and play in Latin America?
After my concerts in France in July, I’m traveling to York to work as a violin tutor with the Yorshire Young Sinfonia, an orchestra of very motivated young musicians. I’m really excited to work with them! I then leave to America at the end of August.
17 How has your career been in recordings? Do you have plans to record records with a record label?
Although I have had several proposals from record labels, I am still in reflection to constitute the repertoire that will suit my first CD. I think a first recording should perfectly reflect the personality of a musician and I still need time to choose what will be on this CD.
18 Which is your favorite violin concert?
My favorite concerto is Mendelssohn Violin Concerto E Minor OP.64, a bit cliché but it was when listening to this concerto at the radio when I was a child that I decided to become a violinist.
19 What is your Everest? How far do you plan to become a violinist?
My Everest is to be able to combine humanity and music in order to, as Yehudi Ménuhin did in his time, make the world a little bit better.
20 How did you get into the world of fashion? What was it that drew your attention to becoming a model?
I am an open-minded person and I make contacts easily which gave me the opportunity to pose for several fashion photographers. My social networking activity then expanded my network.
21 Being a fashion model is also a sacrificed profession, do you follow a diet and exercise routine?
No diet! I am a big foodie! But I have a good work ethic and I practice yoga regularly.
22 Who are your favorite fashion designers?
My favorite designer is Elie Saab, I love his super gracious and refined creations and I love the materials he uses such as organza and lace.
23 Have you ever been told that you have excellent conditions for modeling shoes? You have very good taste in choosing your shoes. What is your shoe size?
Ha!Ha! You have guessed that I love shoes! I am size 4.
24 I congratulate you because you have known very well how to combine and choose your clothes for the concerts. Then you look like an angel and you play like an angel: a magic combination how do you do it?
Thank you for the compliment! Being a big fashion fan, I love shopping at independent’s designers shops to find beautiful and original dresses that I know I will be the only one wearing!
25 Would you like to be an actress or appear in movies as David Garret has done? You are a very beautiful woman.
I would love to. I had the opportunity to pose in the role of Audrey Hepburn for the international exhibition ICONIC realised by photographer Etienne Clotis and I had a lot of fun!
26 You are very young, with just 21 years old you have managed to get far in the world of music and fashion. What’s your secret?
I don’t know if it’s really a secret, but my recipe is pretty simple:
I always go ahead and never get discouraged, I am very passionate about what I do and I have in my life people that I love and that support me in all my projects.
27 Apparently you like to use your social media and networks and you really use them very well. What role has social media played in your professional career?
At first sight, social networks give me of course a lot of visibility.
However, the essential role they play is to offer me the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, and build projects with them as well as share and open classical music to the younger population.