This is the sixth interview in a series in which we will be featuring great talents across a range of professions that touch the beauty world and who inspire us with the simplicity, authenticity and elegance they bring to the work they love.
Today, we are honored to introduce you to Anne Akiko Meyers, one of the world's most celebrated concert violinists and recording artists whose rare talent is matched only by her remarkable beauty and joie de vivre.
T: Anne, we are honored to have this opportunity to share your story. By all accounts you were a child prodigy with the violin and have since gone on to touch so many people around the world through your breathtaking performances. Can you share a little about your evolution and inspirations as an artist?
AAM: My life began with my mother feeding me and playing David Oistrakh’s Beethoven violin concerto. I think this connection of nourishment/food with music helped set my brain up for a lot of music in my later life. When I was 7 years old, I studied with Alice and Eleanore Schoenfeld at the Colburn School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles, and they taught me the importance of chamber music and sharing thoughts, ideas with my classmates. This was truly inspiring and I feel this core to this day when I perform. Making music is such a collaborative effort, chamber music enforced my love of the violin repertoire and how important it is to listen to one another when playing. My studies continued with Dorothy DeLay and Masao Kawasaki at the Juilliard School, and helped shape the musician I am today. It is incredibly important to share music with my audiences, no matter what form it comes in (jazz, blues, rock, classical, opera). Expanding my audience is important to me as most people come away so surprised that they had one of the best, most memorable listening experiences of their lives at a classical concert.
T: The stories you’ve shared in interviews about your family’s support are so touching. Your mother is Japanese and your father is American. How has your multicultural heritage influenced your artistry?
AAM: I love Japan and spent many summers there as a child. I love the different cultural traditions and have played a lot of music by Japanese composers. I also love that I was raised in America and have also played many American composers music. My point is, I don’t think your nationality influences your choices but being open and appreciating of your heritage and traditions is paramount to all individuals. This is what makes each of us so entirely unique.
T: An amazingly talented violinist needs a worthy instrument to bring to life. Can you tell us about your famous Molitor Stradivarius violin and what it means to you to have such an exquisite, historic instrument?
AAM: The history and provenance of the ex-Molitor/Napoleon Stradivarius, dated 1697, is incredible. Just think of all the wars big and small it has survived, the different temperatures, the handling by so many people. That it has survived over 300 years but is such a necessary part of my day, just boggles my mind. Also, knowing that it once was played and belonged to everybody from France’s legendary beauty, Juliette Recamier, to Bonaparte Napoleon, to Count Joseph Molitor (who was a general in Napoleon’s Army) to violinist, Elmar Oliveira and is now in my hands, is quite something else. It will be interesting to see who plays it next.
T: You are as beautiful as you are talented – no small feat considering that you are also a new mother. What is the secret to your effortless beauty, especially given your jet setting lifestyle?
AAM: I try to take care of myself by eating healthy, exercising when I can and enjoying time with my family. Laughing is definitely the best medicine!
T: We could not conclude the interview without mentioning your adorable baby girl, Natalie. If you could have one wish for Natalie, what would it be?
AAM: That she play the cello! I love the cello! (sorry, Jason-my hubby)
To learn more about Anne Akiko Meyers and her music, please visit http://www.anneakikomeyers.com
Follow Anne on Twitter @anneakikomeyers