The British violinist speaks about Yehudi Menuhin, the importance of a good violin and meeting her hero - the late Ida Haendel
British violinist Tasmin Little has many fond and formative memories of Yehudi Menuhin from her time studying at the Menuhin School, including a masterclass where they were working on the Bach Chaconne:
'At one point he took my violin and played a great chunk of the first section. I was astonished at the sound he made. There was such concentration and intensity; he was locked into the music and I had the very powerful experience of standing next to somebody whose entire body was being used to create this incredibly powerful music. One very important thing I learned that day is that it's the player who makes the sound. A very fine violin will make a difference to your playing, without question, but a really great player can make any instrument sound reasonable.'
Alongside Menuhin and Fenyves, another of Little's heroes is Ida Haendel. 'She has been a major influence since I was eight - some of her recordings are my absolute favourites, the Britten and Sibelius concertos in particular. Also I admire her because she was a very strong woman at a time when there were comparatively few great women soloists. I love the strength and passion in her playing and find it extremely inspiring. I only met her in person when I was 22, but it was lovely to meet her at last. And she's tiny - even smaller than I am and I'm 5ft 2in!'
Photo: Melanie Winning