An interview with BSO violinist and WPO soloist Victor Romanul

WPO’s “Romantic Journey”:  Victor Romanul Plays Paganini

In 2015, BSO violinist Victor Romanul played as a guest soloist in the WPO’s “Bouquet of Brahms” concert.   At Music Director’s Michael Korn’s invitation, Victor has agreed to perform again at this season’s inaugural concert, “Romantic Journey,” on Sunday, October 29th, this time playing the thrilling Paganini Violin Concerto No. 1.   Recently, Victor kindly gave us his thoughts about once again appearing with the WPO:

A few years ago, you were a WPO guest soloist. How was that experience, and how did it affect your accepting the invitation to play with the WPO again?

Maestro Michael Korn has been exceptional. I love working with him, and the Orchestra is so kind and gracious.  

You’re the father of five grown children.  Are any or all musicians?  Would you say that music has been influential in all their lives?

My five children have all gone on to living their own beautiful lives. As Paganini himself vowed to never let his own son touch the violin, I have enjoyed each of my children’s enjoyment of finding their path, uniquely their own.   

In your wide experience, do you have any special memories or stories that stand out that you can share with us?

Being a student of the most famous violinist of the past 100 years, Jascha Heifetz, would be one of the highlights. Playing throughout the world in dozens of countries has also been amazing. Whenever I perform as soloist with an orchestra or in recital, I feel a special magic which is palpable, if however hard to quantify. 

You’ve been named “Best of Boston” in category “Soloist with Orchestra.”  Have there been any outcomes for you as a result of that honor?

Most of my engagements have come from when someone has heard me perform and then invited me. I try to do my best or even better every time I play. 

You’ll be playing Paganini’s Violin Concerto No.1, Op. 6 with us on October 29th. Tell us about what the piece means to you, and how you feel about playing it with the WPO. 

Music is a mystical experience for me, and I always view it that way. I am unabashed about expressing the spiritual nature of music as it has always been at its most elemental level.  Paganini used to be seen howling at the wind while walking alone outside cheerfully, and also said that giving out the “special electricity” he gave out while performing exhausted him for days and that he had to prepare for it for days.  Paganini had a lot of pain in his life and the search for joy in his music and his own internal passion for music and its overriding expression played a huge role in his life. Playing was not just a job for him!  I find that I bring a parallel and no less energizing expression from my own life and see that as my mission.   

I have 54 works by Paganini in my repertoire: arias, sonatas, caprices, etc. I love the six Concerti he wrote, of which No. 1 is the most familiar. I study all the works of Paganini before playing one of his concerti. This gives me a broad view of his character, and helps me to give the most authentic and personalized performance.  

Thank you, Victor!  We hope all of you come to experience Victor’s own “special electricity” on October 29th, along with the rest of the wonderful program that also features Schubert’s Fierrabras Overture and Schumann’s Symphony No. 2, the “Rhenish.”  Add extra enjoyment by coming to the pre-concert lecture!

Waltham Philharmonic Orchestra
“Romantic Journey”
Sunday, October 29, 3pm
Pre-Concert Lecture 2:30pm
Kennedy Middle School, 655 Lexington St, Waltham MA  02452

SCHUBERT: Fierrabras Overture,D, 796
PAGANINI: Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 6
Featuring BSO Violinist Victor Romanul, Soloist
SCHUMANN: Symphony No. 3, “Rhenish”

Tickets $20 Adults
$15 Seniors & Students
Children Free with Paying Adult

Ticket Line:  857-919-1385     wphil.org
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Twitter: @WalthamPhil