A violin’s personality: Timothy Chooi and his 1729 Guarneri del Gesù

When musicians perform they become one with their instrument. For violinists, the bow is an extension of their arm, and the sound communicates their emotions and interpretation of the score.

While training at the National Arts Centre's Summer Music Institute, Timothy Chooi (age 20) took some time to speak about his relationship with his violin, a 1729 Guarneri del Gesù on loan from the Canada Council Instrument Bank. Chooi has formed a strong connection with the legendary, nearly 300-year-old instrument that changes, slowly, through his touch.

"I think my personality influences the violin as I play it more," he said. "So I feel like the more time I am playing on it, the more it is starting to be a little bit brighter, and a little bit happier."

The Canada Council's Instrument Bank was established in 1985 through a private donation and has since grown to include over twenty string instruments. Every three years, Canadian musicians are invited to participate in competition to win the opportunity to select an instrument.

The deadline for applications to the Musical Instrument Bank competition is April 1, 2015. Guidelines are available at instrumentbank.canadacouncil.ca.

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Music: Andante from Sonata No. 2 in a minor BWV1003 by Johann Sebastian Bach


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