Artist of the Month: Amelie Martin

Sophomore Amelie Martin found her passion for the violin when she was 4 years old. Throughout her 11 year music career, Martin has performed numerous pieces including her five favorites. She plans to continue playing her instrument in college through minoring in music performance.

Sophomore Amelie Martin plays Mozart’s “Violin Concerto No. 4” for the Rivers Concerto competition in 2019. “It was exciting and nerve-wracking,” Martin said. (Credit: Courtesy of Amelie Martin)

What instrument do you play?
“[I play the] violin.”

What drew you towards your instrument?
“My parents played instruments when they were younger. They gave me violin lessons for Christmas one year, and I’ve stuck with it ever since.”

How often do you play and practice your instrument?
“It really depends how much time I have. I practice whenever I can. For example, if I have a free period [I practice], but it can be hard to fit it in. Some weeks that means only one hour a day, but right now I manage to practice two to three hours a day.”

Are you a part of any programs (band, orchestra, etc.) at WHS?
“Yes, I’m part of the Honors Sinfonia Orchestra.”

What is your favorite piece and why?
“I [can’t] choose, so here’s a top 5 list instead.

One: ‘Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1’. The one word to describe this piece would be majestic. The whole piece is very rich, and the solo piano blends so seamlessly in with the strings and brass.

Two: ‘Bach Partita No. 2 for Violin in D Minor, Chaconne’. This is one of the staples of violin repertoire, and for good reason. Using just one instrument, Bach creates a seemingly never-ending flow of intertwined harmonies.

Three: ‘Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet’. This ballet explores a variety of textures, from light and airy to a wall of rich sound, while keeping you captivated with strong melodies.

Four: ‘Debussy Danses pour harpe et cordes’. I love the sound of the harp, and this piece makes the harp shine through while interweaving melodies through the strings. It’s a lot calmer and more mysterious than other pieces on this list.”

Five: ‘Sibelius Violin Concerto’. I could watch this for hours. It’s so captivating and dramatic. Some spots, like the opening, somehow sound cold, and the orchestra compliments the solo violin extremely well.”

Do you have a favorite composer? If so, who is it and why?
“Tchaikovsky, definitely. What an icon. His works are always very passionate and rich, while also being delicate and just stunning. His ballets span such a wide variety of texture, and his symphonies are so powerful. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a sucker for the harp, which he uses abundantly.”

What ensembles are you a part of? Which one is your favorite?
“Along with Honors Sinfonia, I’ve been part of the Senior District festival for the past two years, and this is my eighth year in the Rivers Youth Orchestras. My favorite ensemble would have to be the Rivers Youth Symphony. I love the repertoire we perform, and the atmosphere is really friendly, which makes playing all the more enjoyable.”