ARTICLE: Philippe Quint’s tribute to Charlie Chaplin
April 4, 2021
In La Jolla Music Society concert, violinist pays homage to the comic legend and celebrates his genius
On the surface, acclaimed violinist Philippe Quint does not appear to have much in common with the late comic legend Charlie Chaplin, whose movie-making career flourished between the 1920s and mid-1950s.
Twice a Grammy Award nominee, Quint has traveled the world, playing with top orchestras and conductors. His 2019 CD, his 17th, is titled “Chaplin’s Smile,” which Quint developed into a multimedia show.
The La Jolla Music Society will present the Russian-born violinist’s livestream performance of “Charlie Chaplin’s Smile” Saturday. While researching for an album he thought he would devote to soundtrack composers, the song “Smile” caught his ear.
After discovering Chaplin wrote “Smile” and most of the music for his films, Quint pared the list of composers down to one: Chaplin. The project triggered childhood memories for Quint. Last month, the naturalized American turned 47 and celebrated his 30th anniversary of living in the U.S.
“I remember, as a child, watching Charlie Chaplin movies when in the Soviet Union, which was a very isolated country,” he recalled. “I dressed up like Chaplin for some kindergarten event. I’ve come full circle!
“I can’t dig into the mysterious psychology of it, but I see parallels in my growing up with his films. In many ways, the ‘Smile’ project incorporates my childhood, my music training and everything I’ve learned over the years.”
Quint’s chamber-music version of “Charlie Chaplin’s Smile” — there’s also one for orchestra — features him on violin and Jun Cho on piano. With the combination of music, spoken word and video clips, the show seems well-suited for livestream.