“I can hardly imagine a more exciting birthday present”

On March 6th, 2019, world-famous violinist and co-founder of Keshet Eilon Professor Ani Schnarch ascended the stage in London to receive from Prince Charles the title of Fellow of the Royal College of Music. The Award was given to her by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales in appreciation of her outstanding services to music and to the Royal College of Music. In an interview with Keshet Eilon’s website she told us about the ceremony, about her first teacher, and about the teacher who influenced her and her career more than any other. She also spoke about her career and, in honor of International Women’s Day, which took place last week, she also offered some advice for young women musicians.

– Tell us about your title as Fellow of the Royal College of Music
When I learned in August that I was to be made a Fellow of the college, I was tremendously excited. The precise date of the ceremony is kept secret for security reasons, but around December, when we were in Israel, I got a message that it would take place on March 6th, 2019, which – quite by chance – is my birthday. I can hardly imagine a more exciting present.

– And what was the ceremony like?
Prince Charles, who is President of the Royal College of Music, visits it once a year. This time, too, a reception was held for him in accordance with all the rules of protocol. At the ceremony I was described as having been awarded the title for my services to music and to the college itself. The recipients were called up to the stage one by one, and the prince presented it to me. Afterwards we met him personally, actually face to face. He’s a very knowledgeable man who knows a great deal about music.

– Tell us about your career as a musician
I started playing when I was six years old. My first teacher had been personal assistant to Ion Antonescu, who was Romania’s head of state during the Second World War and an ally of the Nazis. Eighteen years after the end of the war this man taught me, a Jewish girl, to play the violin. My parents knew all about him, but they didn’t tell me until I was eighteen. Of course I was surprised and shocked. I could never have guessed from his attitude towards me. He showed no emotion, neither love nor hate, but related only to my playing.

– And who was the teacher who influenced you most?
The teacher who enabled me to spread my wings was Dr. Felix Andrievsky, who nurtured my professional individualism and personal musical expression. In communist Romania, that was like a breath of fresh air.

– Last week International Woman’s Day was celebrated worldwide. What advice would you give young female musicians striving to develop a career like yours?
I would tell them to persevere. There is time for everything, and you can do everything, but you have to devote time to it all. Without perseverance and self-discipline, there is no achievement. That’s what I do in both my personal and my professional life.

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