Northern Ireland

Violinist Jennifer Pike conducts master class for Belfast students

Violinist Jennifer Pike with her Belfast students Scott Lowry, Susanna Griffin and Georgia Begley
Image caption Violinist Jennifer Pike with her Belfast students Scott Lowry, Susanna Griffin and Georgia Begley

Teaching is a two-way street according to leading violinist Jennifer Pike.

The former BBC Young Musician of the Year was speaking after conducting a master class for three teenage students in Belfast.

She said: "Teaching really teaches you a lot, because it forces you to analyse things. I find it helps me in that way. It forces you to think very carefully, so I do enjoy it."

For most of the time, however, Jennifer is extremely busy performing as a soloist with major orchestras.

Her international career blossomed after her acclaimed debut at the BBC Proms aged just 15.

At 12, she was the youngest ever Young Musician of the Year and the youngest major prize winner in the Menuhin International Violin competition.

She said teaching younger players was always a valuable experience.

'Character'

"They can teach you lots of things as well from the way they play," she said.

Georgia Begley from Sullivan Upper School said: "I really learned a lot about how to phrase things and how to really get the character of the piece."

Susanna Griffin, a pupil at Strathearn School said she had enjoyed learning more about the physical aspect of performance.

"Your body language can tell a lot about the character of the music," she said.

Scott Lowry from Grosvenor Grammar School said the class had helped him to gain a better understanding of how to present a mature performance.

"My ultimate ambition is to play in a really big symphony orchestra and play great works of music," he said.

Jennifer stressed the importance of silence.

"It's amazing what you can do with silence, especially in cadenzas," she said.

"A little pause makes all the difference. Silence can say more than words sometimes."

Jennifer was in Belfast for a concert with the Ulster Orchestra, which arranges a series of master classes.

The next master class is on 25 March with the clarinettist Emile Jonason.

The season's final master class is on 20 May with the cellist Elisa Weilerstein.

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