Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Violinist Ray Chen Nods to Elvis

Ray Chen is a young classical violinist who's got both a golden tone and the kind of catholic taste I find all too infrequently in conservatory trained musicians.

Chen is the latest subject of my Influences column: Here he talks about his love of J.S. Bach, Yo-Yo Ma and Elvis Presley.

The Taiwan native also wrote to me about his love of friends and family, food and drink, and exercise. For a touring musician, especially one who plays repetitive motions on an instrument like a violin, it's serious business. He told me had just gotten back from the gym.

I love keeping myself healthy and in shape, especially if it means that you can eat more! But on a more serious note, exercising is a great way to provide stress relief, keep one's endurance on the road, and also prevent common problems that musicians can get, like carpal tunnel syndrome and other muscle-related injuries.  My goal is to still be playing violin when I'm 85 years old - like my former teacher Aaron Rosand who can still give me a run for my money when he takes out his violin!

Chen plays tonight here in SoCal at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.

Photo courtesy Ray Chen.

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