He’s 21 and accomplished, but Matthew Hakkarainen still calls himself an ‘aspiring violinist’ | Entertainment/Life

If you sneak a peek at Matthew Hakkarainen’s Facebook web page, you can see his profession indexed as “aspiring violinist.”

Fans of the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra could have a possibility to be part of that aspiration when Hakkarainen takes the degree because the featured soloist at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 7, within the Raising Cane’s River Center Performing Arts Theater.

You would possibly ponder whether Hakkarainen’s aspirations are a funny story.

While there is not any doubt that Hakkarainen is a full-fledged violinist, and moderately an achieved one at that, there is some reality hooked up to his Facebook occupational description.

It does not subject that the 21-year-old has been the winner of globally song competitions or that he is been the solo artist at a large number of song gala’s and symphony concert events.

Things at all times exchange when he hits the observe room.

“I have to be brutally honest with myself,” he mentioned.

And that honesty pushes him to be higher. So, sure, he aspires.

That’s when the symphony plays its 2nd Orchestral Series of the 2022 season, this time with visitor conductor Kazem Abdullah on the helm. Hakkarainen will solo in Jean Sebelius’ “Violin Concerto.”

The symphony additionally will carry out Gioachino Rossini’s “Overture to La Gazza Ladra” with Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 6, Pathetique” because the finale.

The live performance will mark Hakkarainen’s first efficiency with the Baton Rouge Symphony, however it would possibly not be his first seek advice from to the capital town.

The younger violinist used to be a scholar of the symphony’s concertmaster Borislava Iltcheva when she taught at Indiana University. He has since visited her all through different degree appearances in Louisiana.

See, he is performed New Orleans with the Louisiana Philharmonic, and he is carried out with the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra in Lafayette. Now he will in any case play his violin at the similar degree as his former instructor.

“We think of Borislava as part of our extended family,” he mentioned. “We keep in touch, and I’m so excited to have this chance to be on stage with her.”

Hakkarainen grew up in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, the place his folks nonetheless are living and his mother is a scientific physician. His mother additionally performs violin, and she or he signed up Hakkarainen for classes when he used to be 3.

“She started playing violin at 9, though she never played professionally,” he mentioned. “But she heard that children who start playing at an earlier age are better on the violin.”

But it wasn’t love to start with sight.

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“Some people will say they loved the violin when they first picked it up, but that wasn’t the case for me,” he mentioned. “It was a struggle at first. It was really tough. But I’m glad my parents stuck with it and supported me, because I grew to really love playing the violin.”

At age 9, Hakkarainen used to be invited to Indiana University to check violin with Mauricio Fuks, a professor of song who taught violin. This, in fact, used to be the place he met Iltcheva. 

“She was my teacher’s teaching assistant, and she’s also a former student of his,” he mentioned. “I met her when I met my teacher at a summer program. I was studying with my primary teacher back home, but over time, I gradually  transitioned to studying with him, and that’s when I started working with Borislava more regularly.”

Hakkarainen graduated from the Alexandre W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida, sooner than enrolling within the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, the place he is operating on his bachelor’s level in song in violin efficiency. He’s been showered with musical accolades alongside the way in which, however he hasn’t ever overlooked what he considers an honor to play classical song.

“I always feel incredibly fortunate to be able to do what I do,” he mentioned. “It’s a bit cliche to say, but music is really something that brings us all together, and it has this certain power that is harder to communicate in words. I think about this classical music tradition going on for years, and I believe we’re really lucky to have it.”

And Hakkarainen is operating to cross his love of classical song to more youthful musicians.

“I’m reaching out to local communities, and I’ve had a couple of opportunities in the past to work with younger students,” he mentioned. “From a personal standpoint, I feel like music is something that we all connect with on the individual level, and it’s something that can hold a lot of power.”

That similar musical energy now has Hakkarainen exploring different genres of song.

“I think for a long time I was purely focused on classical,” he mentioned. “I just grew accustomed to hearing it. It wasn’t until later that I’m now starting to branch out a little bit more and appreciate other kinds of music.”

And time and again, he can pay attention classical composers’ affect in different genres. 

“Of course, even classical music, at one point, was the new music of the age, right?” Hakkarainen mentioned. “It’s hard to imagine it, but I guess back in the late 1600s and then early 1700s, Bach’s music was coming up for the first time, and that was the hip stuff. It was like our modern stuff. So, yeah, you can sort of trace how things happened and how they evolved. And if you look at stuff like jazz or even pop music, you can sort of see how classical still plays a big role, and it’s cool, you know?”

Hakkarainen will likely be arriving in Baton Rouge early and staying a couple of days after the live performance.

His plan?

“Oh, I’m going to eat some good food,” he mentioned. “I always love eating Louisiana’s great food.”

He might also absorb some attractions in and round Baton Rouge and most likely New Orleans. But his first precedence would be the concerto with the symphony. Not unhealthy for an aspiring violinist.

Not unhealthy in any respect.

Tickets are $35-$65 by way of visiting brso.org.

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