Life Lessons: Kyung Wha Chung

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Take a leaf out of Brahms’s book, says the South Korean violinist, who also explains why perseverance is so important

Ivan Galamian and my mother both told me the same thing – that the worst moment is always a blessing in disguise. When I arrived in New York to study with Galamian, I was struggling so much with my sound and felt terribly frustrated. He said to me, ‘Don’t worry, you make the most improvement when you don’t play well.’

Of course, you need those moments when you’re happy with what you’ve done, but you also need to know what it is you should work on. I remember hearing Szymon Goldberg and thinking ‘My God, if I can make that sound before I die I’ll be happy.’ It’s torture living with a goal like that…

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