Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, one of the world's most pre-eminent violinists, recently performed Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35 to an astounded audience. Famous for the vigor in which she performs, Ms. Sonnenberg played without hesitation and almost brute force. These characteristics have often lead to much debate between her critics, who feel that the dramatic way in which she plays, practically dancing around the stage, leads to distraction from the music itself. Although this often is be true in many players, I believe that her performance style is what makes her truly unique in her field, rather than conforming to the traditional standard that audiences are accustomed to.
One aspect that is delightful about Ms. Sonnenberg 's playing is that she is very playful with her audience as well as the symphony surrounding her. In many places of the third movement, she often looked to the concertmaster in a manner that suggests they were sharing an inside joke while still bowing her violin at break-neck speed. She also often stomps the stage to emphasize a particularly dramatic section of the music, with her bow flying and her face screwed up in raw effort. She even will stare at her audience in an almost intimidating glare, as if they should dare to judge her even just one bit. The character that she brings to the stage is a spectacle to behold, and her unique traits should never be sacrificed, for it's her creative expression that delights audiences everywhere as she performs.