‘Beckham of violin’ coming to Korea

By Korea Herald

Crossover violinist Garrett to dazzle local audiences in movie, album and concerts

  • Published : Apr 17, 2014 - 20:30
  • Updated : Apr 17, 2014 - 20:30
David Garrett, a crossover violinist, is set to dazzle local audiences with a movie, new album and concerts.

With devilish good looks and a knack for blending the genres of classical, rock and pop music, the 32-year-old musician enjoys superstar status in classical and crossover music. He is called “the David Beckham of classical music” and a “rock star violinist.” People magazine named him the “hunkiest musician alive.”

But, don’t let his looks fool you. The German musician was a famed child prodigy who performed in his first concert at age 10 with the Hamburg Philharmonic. At 13, he signed an exclusive contract with prestigious classical music label Deutsche Grammophon. 
David Garrett. (SI Cultureview)

In his teen years, Garrett mastered major violin works, playing with top orchestras and conductors including Claudio Abbado and Zubin Mehta. He is also a Guinness world-record holder for the fastest violinist playing ever with Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee.”

Since 2006, he has ventured into crossover territory, releasing a series of highly successful albums: “Free,” “Encore,” “Rock Symphonies” and “Music.”

In 2013, he made his acting debut in director Bernard Rose’s film “Paganini: The Devil’s Violinist,” playing Nicolo Paganini, considered the greatest violinist ever.

The film will be released locally on April 24, setting the tone for his concerts scheduled for June.

In the film, Garrett portrays the legendary Italian fiddler rumored to have made a deal with the devil because he played so well. The love of his life, journalist Ethel Langham, is played by Joely Richardson, star of “Anonymous” and “The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo.”
A scene from film “Paganini: The Devil’s Violinist.” (Focus Entertainment)

In interviews, Garrett talked about the similarities between himself and the 19th-century figure.

“Paganini was someone who was very good very early on, and always tried to bring innovation and his own style into his playing,” he said. “What’s the difference between us? Not that much. He was maybe slightly more eccentric.”

The film’s music, written and played by Garrett, is included on his new album, released here earlier this month.

“Caprice” has 14 tracks, including “Io Ti Penso Amore,” which features former Pussycat Dolls member Nicole Scherzinger.

To top it all off, the musician will perform this summer in Seoul and Busan.

He has played here before, but the upcoming concerts are his first crossover performances in the country.

At the concerts, he is expected to play some of his most beloved crossover numbers, such as Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida” and “Vivaldi vs. Vertigo,” which he created by mixing U2’s “Vertigo” with the “Winter Concerto” from Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.”

The Seoul concert will begin at 8 p.m. on June 18 at Olympic Park. Tickets are available on interpark. Prices range from 70,000 won to 120,000 won.

The Busan concert will be held on June 19, but the venue is yet to be decided.

By Lee Sun-young (