MUSIC MONDAY: Violinist for Bach’s birthday

Concert violinist Anne Akiko Meyers performed a batch of Johann Sebastian Bach’s pieces in her 2012 classical recording “Air: the Bach Album” which debuted at number one on the US Billboard Charts.

Born in San Diego, California, Meyers has been performing since she was 11 years old (appearing in Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show). She debuted with Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic the next year. She has enjoyed a successful concert career and has also performed popular song standards and movie music.

To commemorate Bach’s birthday 331 years ago today, these videos feature two performances of the composer’s music from that album.

[Anne Akiko Meyers / YouTube] Anne Akiko Meyers Bach Concerto No.2 in E Major BWV 1042

 [Anne Akiko Meyers / YouTube] Anne Akiko Meyers Plays Bach’s ‘Air’ on the ex-Napoleon/Molitor Stradivarius Violin

Learn more:

  • [NPR] Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers: From Playing In Knee Socks To Owning Two Strads: “Meyers calls the Double Concerto “one of the most fascinating compositions,” and says that many people were curious to hear how two violins that, as she says, “suddenly came into” her possession would sound together.” Read more
  • [AllMusic] Review by James Manheim: “Meyers‘ playing is a throwback to a style of Bach playing that was common a couple of generations ago but isn’t much heard anymore: flowery, heavy on the vibrato, a bit sentimental, with moments of slight tempo rubato in both the violin and the orchestral accompaniment of the English Chamber OrchestraRead more
  • [AllMusic] Artist Biography by James Reel: “Upon her graduation from Juilliard in 1990, she signed an exclusive recording contract with RCA and began touring extensively. In 1993 she received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, signaling that she was more than an over-age child prodigy.” Read more
  • [WQXR] Café Concert: Anne Akiko Meyers: “When you have such a powerful instrument you want to dig in deeper and soak in the juice. But with this instrument, almost less is more. It’s counterintuitive.” Read more
  • [The Violinist] Anne Akiko Meyers apologizes for racially insensitive Facebook post: “I think, if anything, it’s really made me aware of the critical nature of this issue, and I really am and will be a big advocate for the cause of promoting greater diversity in music. ” Read more
  • [Baltimore Sun] Violinist’s passion and beauty inspire awe all around the globe Center of Attention THE BSO’S ASIA TOUR: “Born in California, Meyers is the daughter of a Jewish-American college president and a Japanese artist. As a young woman growing up in suburban Los Angeles, she was often ridiculed because of her Japanese heritage and her looks. “We hated the way we looked,” she says of herself and her younger sister, Toni. “We didn’t look like anyone else, and other children would call us slant-eyes — and worse. They even made fun of the lunches my mother made for us. She put them together in the intricate Japanese style. When I thought of the care that went into them, I’d cry.” Read more
  • [Anne Akiko Meyer] Website | YouTube
  • [CBS Sunday Morning]


Photo: Screenshot from [Anne Akiko Meyers / YouTube] Anne Akiko Meyers Plays Bach’s ‘Air’ on the ex-Napoleon/Molitor Stradivarius Violin

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