The black sheep of violin music conquers the stage

Bad day for powdered wigs! A totally eccentric artist, debuted as a wunderkind, not caring about rules and expectations at all, is coming to Budapest soon. No, it’s not a screening of Forman’s Amadeus, it’s Ara Malikian giving a concert. Here are seven reasons to join it – for beginner and advanced rebels, fans of classical music, popular music, even world music… Sharpen your ears!

  1. His hair

I don’t know about other families, but in mine, “How can you wear your hair like that?!” is a recurring question. My grandfather tends to ask my uncle, my mother myself. (Sorry, dears!) Well, Ara Malikian proudly wears his shaggy hair on stage. Is classical music something boring and snobbish that requires flat hair and formal attire? Of course not!

  1. His sexy rockstar vibes

Which girl can survive teenage years without dreaming of such a man? I couldn’t. Apart from his rich black locks, he wears black leather-like pants, loose black robes, and his style is dirty, outrageous, as if he was a member of the local garage band whom you listen to with a can of beer in your hand. I keep reminding you that we talk about a classical violinist. Or what…?

  1. Mixing of genres and styles

Ara Malikian is a musician who is able to play literally everything on his violin that we associate with this instrument, and even much more. From Vivaldi’s Seasons through klezmer, Gypsy music and flamenco to Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir, he has a repertoire of lots of different musical compositions. Classical and modern, traditional, progressive and popular – it’s incredible how these are all connected through a violin and a slim little fiddlestick, and the genius who lets them speak.

  1. A transcultural background

Where does this variety come from? Maybe from the cultural influences that Ara Malikian experiences since his early childhood. In short: he’s a Spanish musician of Armenian descent who was born in Lebanon and studied in such institutions as the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover in Berlin and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He currently lives in Madrid, but travels around the world to attend international festivals and concert halls all the time.

  1. The Wunderkind-narrative

“How can they let this migrant hem, shaggy-haired, ragged, tramp-like garage band player in those elegant concert halls?”, the bourgeois might ask. No worries, dear ladies and gentlemen: Ara Malikian is also famous for being the youngest pupil of the mentioned German musical university, being invited there with only 14 years. I told you this is exactly like Amadeus, and Ara Malikian, just like Mozart, started his musical development with his father… So, if we forgive Mozart his eccentric attitude, then we have to forgive Ara Malikian as well. It might be very hard to be a genius.

  1. His performance

No further comments needed after all. Check out the video!

  1. These pictures

I fell in love with them right at the moment when I found them on his website. Yes, after mixing all kinds of genres, styles and cultural heritages, Ara Malikian mixes visual arts in his ongoing project ‘The Incredible Story of Violin’, the one he brings to Budapest soon. In the collection box, we find thirteen musical pieces and seven beautiful artworks like these:

So, now you are either convinced to visit Ara Malikian’s concert at the Budapest Summer Festival, or completely scared away from it. (Like my poor colleague who told me in the office lately to switch that crazy violin music off for at least half an hour, because he can’t concentrate on his deadline work like this.) What is sure that nobody can stay untouched by Ara Malikian. I’m absolutely enchanted by his multi-coloured attitude and the mixture of so many different elements. OK, I also tend to listen to his music outside the office – but only for the reason that at a diverse workplace like mine, we have to mixture our elements peacefully…