Music gives soul to the the universe, wings to the mind,
flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and everything.
Plato

History of the Recording

There’s an incredible story behind this recording, a story of a small town in Kentucky with a venerated performing arts series and a young Polish violinist with a dream. Their mutual love of music and common ideas of beauty in art brought to life the album “Virtuosity”.

When Anna Karkowska won the WGUC International Radio Competition and the listeners started calling the station to ask where they can buy her CD, they couldn’t – she didn’t have one. When she performed with the Lexington Philharmonic Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and won standing ovations, the audience demanded a recording, but she didn’t have one. It was the founder and the former president of the Fine Arts Association of Southeastern Kentucky who changed it all. Through her tireless efforts a fundraiser was born. The financial foundation of this project was built on checks from American philanthropists and the Fine Arts Association of Southeastern Kentucky. Some of them as little as ten dollars! It took almost three more years to amass the remaining two thirds of the necessary funds but with such an amazing beginning and with so much faith behind it there was no doubt of the success! And finally, we at Starlight Classics are proud to present Anna Karkowska’s two CDs album Virtuosity.

More about the recording:
From Introduction by Anna Karkowska:
About the World Premiere

“When I commissioned a violin concerto from Robin Hoffmann I did have some hopes and general ideas of what I’d like to hear and play. The squeaking, knocking, and other “interesting” noises that very often welcome us in concert halls, in the guise of modern music, aren’t my idea of beauty. Tonality is today treated like a prehistoric animal in all areas of classical music except one: film industry. I listened to samples of Robin Hoffmann’s compositions and I found something quite special and unique there. Since Rozsa and Castelnuovo-Tedesco there hasn’t been any film composer who would have undertaken the project of writing a violin concerto. It was quite a risky venture for both of us with a short deadline of only four months but I loved every minute of it! Working with Robin was a wonderful experience: there’s nothing like seeing “flights of inspiration” in the making. While it wasn’t easy, he isn’t a violinist so I had to be ever present in the creation of my part; in the end it was very rewarding. The rest is music and I will let it speak for itself but one thing is for certain: this violin concerto is in my opinion quite an achievement, balancing virtuosity and great orchestral writing with emotional depth reminiscent of the Golden Age of Virtuosos”

Links for video footage from the making of the "Virtuosity" CD:
part 1    part 2   part 3   part 4