Violin Virtuoso Niccolo Paganini’s Work Celebrated At Paganini Honors Paganini Preview Party

November 1, 2019

Maria Elena Paganini, a descendant of famed Italian Violinist Niccolo Paganini, hosted a special VIP and media preview party for “Paganini Honors Paganini” at the Ascent Lounge in the Time Warner Center. Musicians and participants of the “Paganini Honors Paganini” Carnegie Hall concert were present and gave guests a taste of what they can expect to hear, while enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

Notable attendees included: Maria Elena Paganini, Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin, Detlef Vormschlag, Music Director/Violinist Edmond Fokker van Crayestein, Violinist Elly Suh, Violinist Stefan Milenkovich, Violinist Kevin Zhu, Violinist Sabrina-Vivian Höpcker, Florian Leonhard, Patricia Leonard, Violinist Ezinma, Dr. Mingi Choi, Heather Choi, Boh Yeon Han, Robert Hoogkamer, Walter Francia, Silvia Frieser, Camillo Stepanek, Jean Shafiroff, Maria Lagos Paganini and Carlos Lagos Paganini.

Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin opened the presentation, introducing Maria Elena Paganini who in turn introduced the audience to the history of Niccolo Paganini before welcoming Florian Leonhard and Music Director/Violinist Edmond Fokker van Crayestein. Florian and Edmond spoke about the detail and rarity of the instruments that will be played during “Paganini Honors Paganini”, which combined are worth about $70 million. Edmond Fokker van Crayestein then discussed the musical innovations of Niccolo Paganini, as well as the challenges of playing his compositions. Violinists Elly Suh, Kevin Zhu, and Sabrina-Vivian Höpcker each played a small part of the pieces that will be played at “Paganini Honors Paganini” on one of the selected rare violins.

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Maria Elena Paganini hosted and presented, “Paganini Honors Paganini”, a tribute to her ancestor Niccolo Paganini, a famous virtuoso violinist who received the nickname “the violinist of the devil”. The historic concert event took place at the elegant, intimate, and timeless Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall.

Niccolo Paganini’s compositions of diverse works, including violin concertos, sonatas for violin or guitar and violin, and the 24 caprices were performed by 5 highly accomplished violinists accompanied by the piano. This was for the first time a relative of this great violinist has organized a performance in his honor.

Musicians who performed were: Music Director/Violinist Edmond Fokker van Crayestein, Violinist Elly Suh, Violinist Stefan Milenkovich, Violinist Kevin Zhu, Violinist Sabrina-Vivian Höpcker, and Pianist Jochem Geene. The difficulty of the compositions will present a significant challenge to these artists, although being professionals, must project the emotion and the internal fire that Paganini transmitted. There is no doubt, the selection of musical pieces will be very attractive to the public. Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin will start the evening with a special introduction.

This was the first stage of a tour that anticipates visiting cities on different continents in the year 2020 under the name “Paganini Honors Paganini.”

Niccolo Paganini (1782-1840) was an Italian violinist, violist, guitarist, and composer. He was the most celebrated violin virtuoso of his time and left his mark as one of the pillars of modern violin technique. His 24 Caprices for Solo Violin Op. 1 are among the best known of his compositions and have served as an inspiration for many prominent composers.

Photo credit: 1) Maria Elena Paganini. 2) Boh Yeon Han and Heather Choi. 3) Jean Shafiroff. 4) Camillo Stepanek and Silvia Frieser. 5) Sabrina-Vivian Hopcker, Kevin Zhu and Elly Suh. 6) Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin. 7) Detlef Vormschlag and Maria Elena . 8) Atmoshere. Paganini. By Patrick McMullan.

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