An interview with the late violinist and pedagogue Alice Schoenfeld

Alice Schoenfeld cr Schoenfeld International String Society

Alice Schoenfeld
Photo: Schoenfeld International String Society

The following is taken from a June 2014 interview with the internationally acclaimed violinist and pedagogue Alice Schoenfeld, who has died aged 98.

Another with Eleonore in the 1950s

Alice with her cellist sister Eleonore in the 1950s

‘When young people see their elders enjoying something, they want to do it too. My sister and I saw how our parents loved making music together and wanted to copy them. That’s why it’s so important for parents to encourage their children in music as early as possible. It also makes practising a natural part of their lives, and something they want to do.

In my years on tour I’ve witnessed first hand how music gives people a better understanding of societies and make them more well-rounded citizens in the world. Never forget that what you do is a cultural necessity for people around the world – especially youngsters.

To get students in the right frame of mind before a competition, I tell them that all music making is a joyful experience. Mixing with like-minded people and performing in front of them is an opportunity that they can treasure.

Every country has its own songs, art forms and modes of expression, and musicians can learn so much from each tour and competition they travel to. But two things are universal: the enthusiasm they have for the music and the pleasure they take in playing it.’


Read: Violinist and pedagogue Alice Schoenfeld dies aged 98