Have you ever had a chain break?
This week, violinist Ray Chen made headlines when his E string snapped midway through the first movement of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, which he was playing with the Seattle Symphony. They even got it on video!
Following the protocol, principal violin Noah Geller gave his instrument to Chen, and various violins were exchanged until Chen’s violin landed with violinist Mae Lin, sitting in the fourth chair. During the ensuing tutti, Chen produced a spare E string that he was carrying in his pocket, and Lin began to change the string, on stage. Meanwhile, as he played the cadenza on the violin of the first violin, Chen nodded in approval for the newly borrowed instrument. Good game! Chen had picked up his violin, with a new E, at the start of the second movement.
So the question is: does this happen to us mere mortal violinists? The answer is yes. But not always on stage, in front of a live audience!
Has this happened to you? I thought it would be fun this week to share our “Broken Chain” stories. Please participate in the vote, then tell your own story (or stories!)
* * *
We wanted you to read this article before we pitch our newsletter unlike so many other websites. If you appreciate this – and our efforts to promote excellence in string playing, teaching, performance and community – please click here to sign up for our free bi-weekly newsletter. And if you’ve already registered, don’t hesitate to invite your friends! Thank you.
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.