September 18, 2015
An Interview with Rui Du
Earliest musical memory: When I was 6, my mother gave me a violin and took me to my first classical concert. They played Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, and I thought, “Wow!” I was overwhelmed. It’s hard to believe something as simple as those four notes—the famous dah-dah-dah-DAH theme—could produce such a tremendously exciting experience. I was also amazed by the great sound of the orchestra.
I knew I’d make a career in music when: I was in middle school at the Shanghai Conservatory when I met a gifted teacher who taught me so many remark- able things I’d never imagined. It was pure joy to learn about music from her, truly thrilling.
If I weren’t a professional musician I’d be: A chef cooking authentic Chinese cuisine. At home I like being a virtuoso in the kitchen, creating authentic Chinese dishes and culinary adventures for my wife and myself.
Lately I’m listening to: Piano music! One summer at the Aspen Festival I was paired to play concerts with a beautiful pianist named Hyun Jung Kim. I ended up marrying her! Because of her, I enjoy listening to piano more than before. We perform chamber music concerts, so it’s no cliché to say the two of us make beautiful music together. Choosing the works and learning the music is something we love doing together.
Other interesting facts: I absolutely love watching old videos of Leonard Bernstein conduct. Not only did he make great music, he also connected with audiences in a way that is not so common anymore.