How did you get started in music?
My connection with music is very much related to my being Jewish. My father was a cantor in the synagogue where we grew up, so the sound of Jewish music is always in my ear and the back of my head. He was a great singer, and that was really influential for me. I started playing violin at age 5.
How did that early exposure to music shape you?
When you hear music as a young child, it’s different because it forms the way that you feel music and how you’re going to hear music for the rest of your life. I also have an aunt on my mom’s side who was a folk musician — she played Yiddish folk music — so I have an aural knowledge of what that music sounds like as well. I think that’s been influential in the way that I approach classical music.
What’s a goal you’re working toward?
I’m performing a Mendelssohn concerto at the end of October. It’s a huge highlight for me, as it’s really one of the greatest concertos written for my instrument. I can’t wait to work on it and perform it for you all. I’ve never played it with an orchestra before; it’s a bucket-list piece. It has it all — it’s exciting, it’s beautiful, it’s tuneful. You can be an average Joe audience member and walk away humming the tune for that. It’s one of those pieces that humanity would like when they hear it, it’s just that good.
Is there anything that might surprise people about what you do?
I still get nervous every time. You still feel the excitement about going on stage — that never goes away.
Noah’s 3 Favorite Composers
- I really love playing Bartók. It’s extremely complex in its counterpoint, and it has an unmistakable Hungarian flavor to it.
- Brahms is the most sensuous music; every note has deep feeling.
- With Stravinsky, it’s the most imaginative music out there.