German Violinist David Garrett Encourages Digital-Music Makers: Interview

David Garrett
Philipp Mueller

David Garrett

The idea that classical music is the last refuge of musical snobs is a cliché thankfully long buried in the past. Certainly, one of today’s most firm proponents of this thesis is German violinist David Garrett. "It is a wonderful time these days: People are not typecasting music," he told Billboard Argentina.
The soloist and former Guinness World Record honoree (fastest violin player between 2008 and 2011), who was born David Bongartz, follows the path of Andre Rieu and other virtuosos who crossed over from the classical realm into pop culture.

He too brings composers such as Piotr Tchaikovsky and Antonio Vivaldi to the masses. However, he carves his own niche in influences as he caters to people who enjoy the likes of Coldplay, <a href="/artist/303248/guns-n-roses/chart">Guns N' Roses</a> and other more contemporary acts. "I tend to play the music of people I enjoy listening to in their original versions and try to give them my twist," he explains.

Here, David Garrett talks to Billboard Argentina:
You're coming back to Argentina, this time to a bigger venue. What do you remember from your last visit and what do you expect on this occasion?

Well, last night we played a classical show, so I'm super excited to be coming with my dad and it should be a fun venue. I've only heard great things about it; I already looked it up online. We have a new program. It's gonna be some stuff from the last record, Explosive, some things from the new record, Rock Revolution, and it's gonna be a fun evening and anybody who loves music will have a wonderful time.

We're going to play lots of different genres. I'll bring my electric violin. We're also going to play some Tchaikovsky and some of my own compositions. We're going to play some movie soundtracks, and good old fashioned rock 'n' roll. It's going to be a family music show.
Everybody is listening now to all kinds of music. You combine classical with pop and rock. Would you consider yourself to be a pioneer of this musical blending?

It is a wonderful time these days: People are not typecasting music. They have a broader musical taste. To me, it comes down to good music or bad music. Great music can come from any genre, and so can bad music. So, I tend to play the music of people I enjoy listening to in their original versions and try to give them my twist, and just have a great time making music onstage, hopefully getting the public excited. 
Kids can make music very easily now, using stuff like Ableton Live, Garage Band -- is this a dangerous thing or a good thing?

Times change. You don't necessarily need the skills in order to make great music. It's also like old-fashioned thinking. If you have great musical instincts and you can produce music and not necessarily play an instrument great, you're still a great producer and you're full of great musicians, you can do it!

Of course, for me, being an instrumentalist, it's fun also to play my instrument but I'm not going to be that arrogant to say that somebody who doesn't play an instrument is not a musician. Music is from the heart and from the brain, a good combination and it's not necessarily about playing an instrument great.