Charlie SIEM – Young world talent - virtuoso on the violin

We met Charlie SIEM during the press release for the fall shows. Charlie played as a solo a Capricio of Paganini, and at the end, together with Geert Keysers, Rogier van Wegberg and Patrick De Smet, ‘Mac the Knife’.

Caught by his performance, we first asked Patrick De Smet if this guy really is such a talent. 'Indeed' he confirmed, 'if you look at his techniques, the flageolet and the double grips, he is indeed very talented. As he touched the strings with his fingers at the end of Paganini, is an absolute class".

With that, Charlie Siem really honored Paganini. In the beginning of the nineteenth century, Paganini made a lot of craze with violin performances throughout Italy. He was an unsettled and colorful person, absolute virtuoso and very much appreciated guest in the higher circles; although some claimed he possessed evil powers.

His violin concerts and capriccio’s are famous and notorious. Throughout a century they were almost unplayable. but with the current control of techniques and the perfect instruments, top violin players know how to handle them. And it's clear Charlie Siem is such a top player.

we present the biography of this 24 year old violin player already before. So, time for a little interview.

NotPfan Mister Siem,...

CS Call me Charlie...

NotPfan Do you know the NOTP shows? Is this famous in the United Kingdom?

CS Not really. I've seen some video clips, but that's all I know.

NotPfan In 2002, David Garrett was a guest on NOTP. Do you know him?

CS David is about 5 to 6 years older than me, but I do know him since we had the same teacher, Yehudi Menuhin.

NotPfan During the show, will you play with the violin of the Elderberry Foundation, trusted to you by Yehudi Menuhin?

CS No. I will be playing with a specially build violin, and specially after what I just heard about Roby Lakatos (editor's note: he dropped his violin just before his performance at NOTP and smashed it to pieces!).

NotPfan Today, you played Paganini. Congratulations! It a very difficult piece; will you also bring this during the Proms?

CS Most definitly. Probably I'll be bringing the Caprices numbers 1 and 5.

NotPfan Did you select the pieces you will be playing yourself?

CS Of course we discussed it together. But naturally you end up with the most important pieces from the violin art. Monti's Czardas for example can't be left out (editor's note: The beginning of Czardas is played as 'normal' but later on, the piece is full with natural and unnatural flageolets).

NotPfan Meditation from Massenet's Thais was also mentioned.

CS Indeed. A very tender piece. And as a contrast, we'll be sparkling with the Summer of Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

NotPfan Will you also be playing with other artists?

CS That's not decided yet. Perhaps I will try something with Patrick De Smet, but that's not sure yet.

NotPfan Well, we'll be looking forward to the NOTP shows and wish you lots of luck.

Meditation from Thais (Massenet)
Paganini on Wikipedia
Caprice nr. 1 (Paganini)
Caprice nr. 5 (Paganini)
The Summer from the Four Seasons (Vivaldi)
Czardas (Monti)(NOTP 2002 and interview with David Garrett)