UT San Diego
By James Chute
March 23, 2014

Just as every individual has a distinct speaking voice, every musician has a distinct sound on his instrument.

We may think that a violin sounds like a violin, but in fact, as the members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center demonstrated Saturday in the third of a series of four concerts presented by the La Jolla Music Society at Sherwood Auditorium, a violin can sound like Ani Kavafian or it can sound like Arnaud Sussmann.

How does that sound reflect a musician’s personality? Does it change, like a singers voice changes, as an instrumentalist ages?

And are there regional aspects as well? Is there unconsciously a New York sound, that is just a little more aggressive, a bit more biting, than you’d find in a West Coast musician?

Saturday’s strong program of Mozart, Sebastian Currier, Villa-Lobos, and Joan Tower by members of the most prominent chamber music organization in the U.S. provided something of a case study.