FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Is it possible to hire you to play for a private occasion?
Yes. I am happy to play for anyone who appreciates music.
2. What kind of music do you play?
I am a classically trained violinist, so I can play almost any piece of music written for the violin, such as Mozart quartets, Vivaldi Four Seasons, and Brahms sonatas. I also have a large repertoire of light classical, Jewish, klezmer, jazz, popular, gypsy, and even tango and Irish tunes. Take a look at my repertoire sample, and if you don’t see what you are looking for, let me know. With a little advance preparation, I can play probably just about anything you come up with!
3. What will you wear?
My standard is elegant dark clothes, or whatever is appropriate to the situation. However, you can request anything from formal floor-length to simple casual.
4. I’m not sure if I need just a solo violin, or violin with other instruments. Can you advise me?
Much depends on what you like and what your budget allows, and I can certainly help you to make a decision, and here is what I have learned from years of experience:
Concert (music as the main event, not background): duo of violin with piano or harp, trio, string quartet
Chuppah: solo violin is possible and sounds very pretty
Romantic occasion for a couple, such as a marriage proposal or anniversary: solo violin is possible, easy to transport and set up even outside, and doesn’t overwhelm the couple
Background music for a reception or party: violin with harp, piano, or cello, trio, string quartet work better than solo violin
5. Do you know other musicians you could play with?
I know many of the finest musicians in the area, and have played with many of them.
6. What are your rates?
For just a violin, the cost is usually between 300-1500 NIS. The rates depend on a number of factors: how long I will play, size and nature of the event, number of musicians if I am not playing alone, and travel distance. I charge an average amount for the area for a professional musician, but if you have special circumstances (for example a new oleh or retired with a small pension), let me know and I will take it into account. You will receive a tax receipt for every payment to me.
7. Can you play outside?
If it’s not too cold or too hot for you, most likely it’s fine for me, too. The only thing I ask for is some shade to protect my violin and me from sun or rain.
8. What should we provide?
It helps to have a designated person at the event who could tell the musicians where to leave our cases, where to set up, and pay us afterwards. This way you can enjoy your event without having to think about the technical details. Sometimes chairs are necessary, and lighting may be an issue.
9. Do you play on an acoustic or an electric violin?
I prefer the natural sound of an acoustic violin. When the venue is big, I have a microphone for the violin if necessary and I would need to coordinate with the person in charge of your sound or the venue administrator. If you don’t have a sound technician already at the event, I may be able to recommend one.
10. Do you ever use a previously recorded soundtrack (“playback”) as accompaniment?
A special event deserves the spontaneity of live performers. While occasionally a soundtrack is practical, I much prefer to make music with other musicians.
11. Is it customary to feed the musicians if it is a big event and food is served?
I certainly do not expect it, but most people do feed a hungry musician, especially in Israel.
12. Will you need a break?
If the musicians are playing continuously for more than an hour, we will need a short break after about every hour. We can time our breaks with speeches, etc.
13. What languages can I speak with you?
I am bi-lingual in English and Russian. I manage very well in Hebrew, and my French is a bit rusty. My Finnish is fluent, but I don’t get to speak it much nowadays, so if you will speak Finnish with me, I will be very happy!