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Violinist Dmitri Berlinsky takes to the sky with the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra

Violinist Dmitri Berlinsky
Violinist Dmitri Berlinsky

One of Dmitri Berlinsky's first major performances took place in the presence of armed guards.

When he was sixteen, he won the Paganini International Violin Competition. Part of the prize was getting to play Paganini's own violin, Il Cannone del Gesù.

The instrument is kept under heavy security at the Town Hall in Genoa, Italy, and so Berlinsky had to practice on it in the presence of guards armed with machine guns.

This weekend, Berlinsky will perform with the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra, playing his own violin and with no security guards present.

He'll be the soloist in "The Lark Ascending" by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

"The violinist is trying to create the beautiful sound of the lark," Berlinsky explained. "It's not the typical way to play the violin."

The theme of this weekend's Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra concert is "Take to the Sky," and the program includes a variety of music about and inspired by birds.

It's happening Saturday, April 23 at 7 p.m. at the Great Lakes Center for the Arts. Music director Libor Ondras will give a free pre-concert talk at 6 p.m.

Click here for more information and tickets.

Berlinsky also shared a recent recording he made with pianist Rohan de Silva of Leopold Auer's transcription of Lensky's Aria from Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin.

Dr. Amanda Sewell is IPR's music director.