Fabulous Fiddle

David Garrett to meld classic music and rock at the Holland

David Garrett was born in Germany to an American ballerina mother and a German Lawyer father. By the time of his fourth birthday he had already began exploring the violin and forging a deep connection with an instrument he would come to master (he quips in his press release that he has probably spent more time playing the violin then sleeping). At the ripe age of 13, Garrett signed a record contract with one of the world’s foremost classical labels, Deutsche Grammophon. With a grueling schedule of performances, rehearsals and out of town shows, he was growing weary of the classical performer’s life. By this point he had already performed with the London Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Russian National Orchestra and by age 12 had performed several concerts with the legendary violinist Yehudi Menuhin. By his later teens the pressure was too much and Garrett fled to New York City without telling his parents. During this period his life revolved around clubbing, rock ‘n’ roll and youthful rebellion. He had given up on classical violin. The instrument however, has not given up him. Finding himself called back to his childhood passion, Garrett auditioned at the world famous Julliard School. He was accepted and soon was invited to join the studio of one of the most respected violinists in the world, Itzhak Perlman. While studying at Julliard, Garrett was forced to pick up several side jobs to pay the bills, including modeling. His handsome looks and chiseled features soon found Garrett on the cover of Vogue magazine and gracing the catwalk for Armani during Fashion Week (People called him “the classical hottie”). His music found success, too, and in 2009 he was both Billboard’s No. 9 overall new artist in any genre and had his Decca Records debut album David Garrett was released, grasping the No. 1 position on the Classical Crossover charts and maintaining that hold for 31 weeks. When the time came to start thinking about his second record, Garrett wanted a project that would satiate his older fans and maybe even bring some younger fans into the fold as well. He began trying out all sorts of various rock songs in a reimagined classical form and the resulting record, Rock Symphonies has been a smashing success. Along with earning Garrett a PBS special, he has been featured on Oprah, CNN, the Today show, Good Morning America and NPR’s All Thing’s Considered. “I basically did two crossover albums,” Garrett said while waiting for a flight at Heathrow International in London. “The second one was definitely more diverse in its direction. I was mostly intrigued by the more rocking arrangements. So when I was thinking of which direction to take the project I aimed for the songs that were fun but were also the most challenging. I narrowed it down to about 50 or 60 songs but there were just too many ideas. So then I had to decide which of these songs works better for the instrument. So of course you drop certain pieces. It was just a narrowing down process.” The record became a sort of love letter to the rock artists who moved Garrett. Rock features songs by Metallica (“Master of Puppets”), Nirvana (“Smells Like Teen Spirit”), Led Zeppelin (“Kashmir”), U2 (“Vertigo”), Aerosmith (“Walk This Way”), Guns N Roses (“November Rain”) and more. The album, which was recorded with help from the City of Prague Orchestra, does an excellent job of capturing the subtle drama and variance present in most worthwhile rock music. As far as what to expect when he plays Omaha, Garrett says “expect music, expect a great time. Sixty or 70 percent of the material will be from the new album. It’s going to be a good show.” David Garrett plays The Holland Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $19-$55. For more info or to purchase tickets visit omahaperformingarts.org or call 345.0606.

posted at 05:30 pm
on Monday, February 07th, 2011

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