The world’s top string players were asked about the essentials they keep inside their instrument case. More than 30 of them were caught up with the question. Let’s find out what they would say.
Itzhak Perlman said he has extra strings, mutes, rosin, two extra bows and glasses for reading music.
According to Ray Chen, a Violin Channel Artist an Australian Violin soloist said, he would have rosins, spare sets of strings, handkerchiefs, and an assortment of Sharpie pens that according to him he has stolen accidentally from the signing desk.
Another violin soloist Lara St. John from Canada said, that aside from the basics like strings, rosin, etc. she had a letter from Brian Johnson a Saskatchewan bowmaker citing that the frogs of her two bows are made from mammoth ivory and buffalo horns.
Violin Channel artist Charles Yang the violinist from “Time for Three” said he had a violin, rosin, 2 bows, Xtra pack-o-strings, travel mute and a nail clipper.
For Kian Soltani, a cellist and one of Violin Channel’s artists shared that he would always have extra strings, mutes, rosin, and a nail clipper which according to him he would dangerously cut his nails short before performing. Lastly, his favorite little white blanket which serves as his lucky charm is included inside his case. He said he would never go on stage without. He likes its texture because it gives him a sense of security.
Ida Kavafian, a violinist and a Faculty Member of Curtis Institute, said that her case is small, so she had very little to fit. Aside from all the necessities, she would always have a nail file and clippers, a spare pair of earrings, eye drops, a “pickboy” 5 line staff liner pen, and
Violin Channel Artist Violinist and Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Concertmaster Nikki Chooi simply said that he has breath mints, nail clippers, and alcohol swabs.
Concertmaster Alexander Ker from Dallas Symphony had plenty of stuff such as rosin, music, shoulder rest, extra chin rest, strings, additional shoulder rest feet, dampits, and Advil.
Sensational violin soloist David Garret said that when he plays a lot, he would usually have a few extra bows, especially during the crossover shows because the hairs would often rip. He said he also has lots of strings with him. He said every two to three weeks he would like to change strings and sometimes he would keep a necklace inside his case.
Russian-American violinist and soloist Philippe Quint have several sets of string, rosin, cloth, shoulder rest and a copy of the FAA instrument on board regulations which is very important.
For violinist Paul Biss who is also a faculty member of New England Conservatory, he claimed that he had an array of eclectic, unusual things in his violin case such as steel wool which he used to clean his strings, his favorite good luck charms – three miniature elephants which were given by his family and close friend. He said he loves elephants and has been collecting figures of them for years, and he would have Bach solo sonatas and partitas in a miniature manuscript version.
Steven Isserlis, a famous British Cello Soloist, have hotel mute, rosin, strings, and photos.
Another famous cellist Zuill Bailey said he would always have plenty of extra strings. He also carries a protective clip with him to help ensure that his bows don’t go on top of his cello inside while the case is shut. He also put a piece of music that he is working on safely at the back of the case for safe keeping.
French Violinist Augustin Dumay would prefer to have a family photo, some scores, strings, and four bows. He said he would always use a double violin case because it allows him to have an official part in his box.
As for Laurence Lesser, a Veteran New England Conservatory Cello Pedagogue; rosin, spare of strings, peg dope and mutes are the things you can find inside his case.
Aaron Rosand from Curtis Institute Violin who is also a pedagogue said that he had in many strings inside his case, a cleaning cloth, rosin, heavy and regular sound mutes, tweezers for changing strings and a hazelnut which he used to lubricate the gut strings.
For James Ehnes a Canadian violin soloist, he keeps rosin, 3 or4 bows, nail clippers, at least two sets of new strings, tweezers, a clamp, and several mutes. He also has a couple of pencils in his music pocket, a Sharpie and some pictures of his family.
According to Violin Channel Artist Violinist Augustin Hadelich, an Italian-German Soloist said, he would put in three sets of extra strings in his case with one set of used strings for emergency purpose. He would also put his passport and other things he doesn’t want to lose since he keeps his eye only on his violin case at all times.
For Sarah Chang a Korean-American Violin Soloist, she keeps her passport, some makeup, cough drops, sewing kit which she used for last minute emergencies and a print out of her schedule.
Arnaud Sussman who is also a violin soloist, his case contains all the essentials such as: lots of spare strings, dampits, nail clippers, rosin, peg dope, chinrest key, all kinds of mutes, a nail file, lots of extra pencils and all kinds of cloths which he use for cleaning and maintaining the cleanliness of his instrument.
For the Violin Channel American violin soloist Stefan Jackiw who says he is a minimalist, he had his violin, shoulder rest, bow, extra strings and rosin in the case.
Violin Channel’s young artist and violinist In Mo Yang had his violin, shoulder rest, three bows, strings, mutes, a stretto humidifier, rosin and two pictures of his family.
Noah Bendix-Balgley another Violin Chanel Artist Violinist and concertmaster of Berlin Philharmonic said that aside from having the usual items such as rosin, shoulder rest, set of strings, etc. He would make sure to have mutes which he emphasized that you should never show up to an orchestra rehearsal without a mute, alcohol wipes for cleaning his strings, a comb, and a few pencils.
Violinist Bella Hristova always has her Bakers Rosin, strings, nail clippers, mutes, hair ties, and photos inside her violin case.
Paul Huang, a violinist, packed his case with rosin, strings, iPhone charger, music, super glue for cuts, passport, and soap.
Violinist Angelo Xiang Yu packed his case with some inspiring things like a photo of his mom and him when he was 5 years old at the Great Wall of China. But of course, essentials like strings, rosin, metal mute, wool cloth, and humidifier are always there.
According to Violinist Igor Pikayzen, aside from having the basics, his case is packed with a nice set of cufflinks and nail clippers at least two sets. He said he was a bit obsessed having his nails cut in perfect length. It annoys him to see that his nails are too long even just a millimeter.
Fedor Rudin, a violinist and a young artist of Violin Channel, would have his passport, cufflinks, pencils, and his comb. Other usual accessories, bows, strings, and violin are those that are always there inside his violin case.
Violin Channel Young Artist Violinist Kerson Leong would prefer to keep his case light and free. So he would prefer to have the most essential accessories, excluding anything that is not to provide less weight on his shoulders.
Another young artist and violinist of Violin Channel William Hagen said he would keep all things violin related inside his case. He also added some general first aid stuff like ibuprofen and band-aids. And for an emergency, he keeps a sugar inside his case because he had type 1 diabetes.
So there you have it! Now we know the things they are keeping inside their case and of course the essentials that string players shouldn’t be missing out.