Current Issue #488

Natsuko Yoshimoto and the limitless colours of ‘The Adelaide’ violin

Natsuko Yoshimoto and the limitless colours of ‘The Adelaide’ violin

The recently-appointed custodian of ‘The Adelaide’ Guadagnini violin, Natsuko Yoshimoto, is still discovering its magic.

A rare chance to hear ‘The Adelaide’ in an intimate chamber music setting comes up in September at Ukaria. This glorious golden amber violin, made by Italian luthier, Giovanni Battista Guadagnini, in 1753–57 and purchased by the people of South Australia in the 1950s, is currently on loan to Natsuko Yoshimoto. The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s concertmaster, she says that she has found it to be very different to her own prized 1650 Nicolo Amati.

“I feel like I’m still getting to know and discovering all the magic and the mysteries of this beautiful violin. The amazing thing about instruments of this calibre is that it’s up to you to unlock and find its limitless colours and sounds that it has to offer. I’m particularly drawn to its more mellow and deeper sound of the violin,” says Yoshimoto.

“Amati was a very influential luthier at the time and taught many of the master luthiers including Andrea Guarneri and Giovanni Rogeri. It’s a fantastic instrument and I love my violin, of course. But ‘The Adelaide’ has that extra quality and extra depth that I was searching for at the moment.

‘The Adelaide’ violin (Photo: Claudio Raschella)

“In the end it comes down to personal taste, too, and how you connect with the sound of the instrument. You need to fall in love with the sound and the feel of the instrument.”

Yoshimoto says she still regularly gets to hear her Amati violin, because it is being regularly played by her colleague Cameron Hill, the ASO’s associate concertmaster – “which is great for the instrument,” she says.

Previous custodians of ‘The Adelaide’ have included William Hennessy, Jane Peters, Sophie Rowell and Paul Wright.

Yoshimoto’s upcoming Ukaria concert also sees the debut of Adelaide’s newest chamber group, the aptly named Adelaide Virtuosi, in a program of Vivaldi and Piazzolla.

“I’m very excited with this group,” Yoshimoto says. “It’s made up of friends and colleagues who are all fantastic musicians and lovely people. I do obviously work closely with all of them in ASO and in chamber groups. This is the first time we’re performing as ‘Adelaide Virtuosi’ but hopefully not the last!”

Natsuko Yoshimoto and Adelaide Virtuosi
UKARIA Cultural Centre, Mt Barker Summit
1 September

Header image:
Claudio Raschella


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