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VC VOX POP | “Do You Have Perfect Pitch? Were You Born With It?” [Q&A]

The Violin Channel recently caught up with 30+ of the world’s top string players to find out …

Do you have perfect pitch, and if so, were you born with it ... or did you develop it?

The Violin Channel recently caught up with 30+ of the world’s top string players to find out …

Russian-American Violin Soloist, Philippe Quint:

“Yes ... and ... definitely born with it!"

German-Japanese Concert Violinist, Arabella Steinbacher:

“When I was a child I used to play a game with my parents to correctly guess the piano keys ... so I guess I was probably born with it ...”

Canadian Violin Soloist, Lara St John:

“My brother and I were almost certainly born with it ... because we would get upset, even before we knew note names, like at age 2 and 3 … when someone would sing or play something in the wrong key”

VC Artist Dover Quartet Violist, Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt:

“Yes ... I do have perfect pitch ... my mom realized when I was 5 years old and I would correct her if she sang 'Twinkle Twinkle' in a different key than how it sounded on my violin ..."

Dutch Violinist, Noa Wildschut:

“Yes, I do ... as far as I can remember I’ve had perfect pitch all my life ... but I’m not quite sure whether I was born with it or if I developed it when I was really young ..."

VC Artist Violinist, Paul Huang:

“I do have perfect pitch ... and as far as I can recall, I’ve always had perfect pitch”

VC Artist Violinist, Benjamin Beilman:

“Yes ... and I think I was born with it ... it's most accurate in the violin range ...  gets a little iffy lower down ...”

Israeli-born Cellist, Matt Haimovitz:

“I do have perfect pitch ... we discovered it early on when I began to get serious about the cello at about age eight ... from the start, I could identify pitches played at the piano ...”

Russian-born Violinist, Dmitry Sitkovetsky:

“Yes ... I do ... I suppose I was born with it, but ... it fails you with age – you remember the pitches lower than they actually are ..." 

American Violinist, Stephanie Chase:

“Actually, I’ve never heard that perfect pitch can be developed ... although relative pitch can be noticeably improved ... in any case, yes, I have perfect pitch ... I recall feeling rather surprised when I first realized that it is quite uncommon"

VC Artist Violinist, Ray Chen:

"Yes, I do ... but I'm not entirely sure what the use of it is? ... I still have to work hard on good intonation ..."

VC Young Artist Violinist, Timothy Chooi:

“No, I don't have perfect pitch ... at all ..."

VC Young Artist Violinist, Marc Bouchkov:

“Oh ... I've never had it ... but always dreamt about having it ... but, I don’t think I enjoy the music any less than the ones who do have it ..."

Korean-American Violinist and New England Conservatory faculty member, Soovin Kim:

“No ... no perfect pitch ..."

VC Young Artist Violist, Timothy Ridout: 

“I don't have perfect pitch at all!

Colburn School of Music Violin Professor and Co-Director of String Chamber Music, Martin Beaver:

“I do not have perfect pitch ... I have relative pitch, which I have found useful over the years”

American Violinist, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg:

I have relative pitch ... I absolutely know where A is ... then I find any other note from the A

VC Artist Cellist, Kian Soltani: 

“I have relative pitch ... which i assume I developed over time ...

Australian Funster, TwoSet Violinist, Eddy ‘Shreddy’ Chen: [PICTURED]

“Perfect ... yes ... developed it ..." 

Australian Funster, TwoSet Violinist, Brett ‘Bang’ Yang: [PICTURED]

"Nope ... denied ..."

Violin Virtuoso & Fashion Model Filip Pogady:

“Yes, I do ... it can help with some things, like improvising and just playing things from your ear ... but it can also be bothersome if an orchestra or piano is tuned lower ... 

VC Artist Violinist, Igor Pikayzen:

“Yes ... it seems like I was born with it ... but it probably also helped that I was surrounded by music even in the womb ...”

VC Rising Star Violinist, Kevin Miura:

“I don’t ... however, I can tell what note it is when it’s in a violin’s normal playing range”

VC Rising Star Violinist, Yesong Sophie Lee:

“I was lucky enough to be born with perfect pitch ... but I do still work to refine it”

VC Young Artist Cellist, Aurélien Pascal:

“I don't believe anyone is born with perfect pitch ... I was just very lucky to develop it early, by having received a good and natural musical education from my family”

Ariel Quartet Violist, Jan Grüning:

“Not over the entire range, but within the cello, viola and dog-whistle register I would say I'm quite secure ... I believe it's something one can train to have ...”

VC Artist Violinist, Jennifer Pike:

“I have a learned sense of pitch ... which may be partly due to the different tone colours of the instrument”

VC Artist Violinist, Francisco Fullana:

“I do have perfect pitch, yes ... though I don't remember ever not having it ... I believe my first solfege teacher in Mallorca helped me develop it - around age 4 ..."

VC Rising Star Violinist, María Dueñas:

"Yes ... I was born with it ... my first teacher tested me when I was 6"

VC Artist Violinist, Tessa Lark:

“I do ... and I was born with it ... a blessing and a curse!"

VC Artist Violinist, Stefan Jackiw:

“I do ... and was born with it ... but, I'm less and less convinced of its usefulness ... "

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