Participants are invited to upload their performances of Braunstein’s free arrangement of ’Blackbird - Six Variations on a Theme of John Lennon and Paul McCartney for Solo Violin’, with the chance to win special prizes

Guy Braunstein 1 c Boaz Arad

Guy Braunstein © Boaz Arad

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Alongside the release of his sheet music arrangement of ‘Blackbird’ by The Beatles, violinist and composer Guy Braunstein is calling for violinists to participate in his ’Blackbird’ Challenge.

Participants are invited to download for free Braunstein’s highly virtuosic rendition entitled ’Blackbird - Six Variations on a Theme of John Lennon and Paul McCartney for Solo Violin’ from 24 February 2024. He asks violinists to learn the piece and upload their performance to social media (Instagram, Facebook, Threads, X and YouTube), tagging Braunstein to be considered for a raffle of prizes.

Among the prizes up for grabs are a special arrangement of a song by Braunstein, to be chosen by the winner, online lessons with the violinist, and signed copies of his upcoming album, featuring his ’Abbey Road Concerto’ for violin and orchestra (release June 2024).

Braunstein spoke about why he wanted to arrange the song: ’I knew the original song “Blackbird” was written in 1968 by John Lennon and Paul McCartney in direct relations with the civil rights movement,’ he said.

’In 2020, with the horrible death of George Floyd, Black Lives Matter demonstrations began in the US and abroad. I felt a need to say something, too. So one night around midnight, I went to my studio with my violin, a piece of music paper and a pencil. By sunrise, I came up with this: “Blackbird - Six Variations on a Theme of John Lennon & Paul McCartney for Solo Violin”.

’It is not only a reminder of the things that happened in 2020, but should be a constant reminder for all of us to care for each other, for equality and for peace. These are things that will always be relevant.’

The deadline to post performances is 7 June 2024, the release date of Braunstein’s Abbey Road Concerto album.

Get your free download of Guy Braunstein’s arrangement of ‘Blackbird’ here.

Watch Guy Braunstein’s performance of the work here:

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