Aged 15, the Armenian violinist Diana Adamyan from Yerevan is a protégée of Pinchas Zukerman. Next Thursday she stars in a concert in London to mark the centenary of the Armenian Genocide, playing the Bach Double Concerto with Zukerman and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Diana, how did you first get interested in music and start to play the violin?
I was born in a family of musicians and brought up in a musical atmosphere. I always went to classical music concerts, and regularly listened to my parents’ rehearsals.
When I was three years old I got a light purple-colored toy violin as a present from my parents. That was an important moment for me, and it became my most treasured toy! When I grew up I started to attend violin lessons with my favorite teacher, Petros Haykazyan.
I gave my first concert when I was six. I remember so looking forward to that day, mainly because I longed to have the opportunity to wear my most beautiful dress. Of course now I look back at those feelings and smile. It was only a few year afterwards that I began to feel the real joy of playing on stage.
You’re playing in a very special concert in London next week to mark the centenary of the Armenian Genocide? Tell us about this?
The concert scheduled in London has a great importance for me, as it will be my small way to support the process of recognition of the innocent victims massacred in the days of the Armenian Genocide. This concert will bring together people trying to ensure that the cruel past is not forgotten, in order to help to keep the world free from such crimes in the future.
How did you get to know Pinchas Zukerman? He’s been a vital influence for you – what do you feel you’ve learned from him?
I first heard about Mr Zukerman from my parents. And I heard his recording of ‘Passacaglia’ with Mr Perlman, which has stayed in my memory forever. All that time ago I could not even dream that one day I would play with one of these geniuses.
I met Pinchas Zukerman in 2013 when he came to Armenia for a concert. After auditioning me, he invited me to take part in the Young Artists Program in Canada. This is now my second year participating in these master classes. The most important thing he has taught me is to feel freedom and confidence when playing on stage.
Zukerman is a very kind and good-natured, wonderful man, also with a wonderful sense of humor. He is truly a great musician – very gifted, with a special freedom to his playing, and incredible sound and musicality. He is master of his instrument.
It’s a great honor for me to play with him and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and I’m extremely excited for the day to arrive!
What violin do you play and how did you come to have it?
My instrument is a new one. It is made by the German master Urs Mechler, which I recently got from him in 2014 on loan.
Which pieces are at the top of your wish-list?
The Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and Khachaturian concertos.
What are your plans for further study?
I have a very big wish to study abroad in Pinchas Zukerman’s school. And I would dearly like to have his personal tuition and continue to learn from him.
Now I study in Yerevan’s Tchaikovsky Secondary Special Music School. They supply to us everything you could need for the daily life of a musician.
Do you think classical music needs to be ‘saved’? What would you do to save it?
In my belief, the closer you are to classical music, the more your soul is filling with kindness. We musicians must do everything possible to raise the public’s interest in art and classical music – music where God Almighty always exists.