Most parents rightfully complain about our generation’s lack of interest when it comes to classical music: for lyrics, we prefer foul language over poetry, and we’d rather bounce up and down to hip-hop than be mesmerized by the beauty of a concerto. Introducing the cure: Charlie Siem. We have a breathtaking reason to understand our parents’ taste.

It’s a rare case for a writer to have a block when depicting something, however the way you play the violin is almost indescribable. Somehow, “otherworldly” comes to mind… How would you describe your talent?

It’s hard for me to describe myself as I find being self-conscious hinders one’s ability to be a great artist.

Five is a very young age for having chosen what you want to do for the rest of your life. How did your childhood affect your decision of becoming a violin player?

I don’t know that I decided to be a violinist when I was a child – I just was a violinist. I never thought where the road was heading at that stage I just enjoyed playing every day.

What was the concerto that first influenced your urge to play?

Beethoven’s violin concerto.

It seems as if there is a constant dichotomy occurring within you while playing the violin; retaining control versus the need for improvisation. Which side would you say has to conquer to be a successful violin player?

It’s a balance between the two. Classical music has many demands in terms of serving the composer’s vision as well as mastering the technical aspects of the music.

For such a classical instrument, the way you play creates a perfect balance between the old and the modern. How would you say you achieve that?

I suppose it’s because I am young and of today’s world and yet I love playing music from the past on an instrument that is almost 300 years old.


How is it that you grow as a violin player? What makes one “better” than the other?

I don’t know that there is ‘better’ than another necessarily – only better than you were before. I think the only person to improve on is yourself – looking around you only distracts and slows you down. I am on a constant mission to improve and be able to do justice to the music I love more effectively.

Unexpected collaborations create a unique synergy between different realms of art. Which type of art fits music the best do you think?

To me, music is perfect on its own.

What has been your favorite collaboration that you’ve done so far?

I have loved so many of them, it’s hard to single one out, but I played Vivaldi concerto for 4 violins with Shlomo Mintz and Ida Haendel when I was 11, which was special.

The great Guarneri made your violin in 1735. What is the rush of emotion you get from grabbing it each day?

It’s a privilege and an honor to play this violin – I never forget that.

With a trans-like concentration on your instrument, how do you create a connection with your audience when you are up on stage?

The audience creates an energy that allows me to access a higher state. Once I’m there I hope the audience will follow – that’s all I can do.

And the inspiration? Where does the constant need to play come from?

It’s the human desire to improve and expand. I am able to do that with my violin and making music.