Philippe Quint, violin
Philippe Quint, whose mother Lora is a noted composer and whose uncle Mischa is an established cellist, was born during the 1970s (he does not publish the precise year) into the rich musical culture of Leningrad. He studied at Moscow’s Central Music School for Gifted Children with Andrei Korsakov, making his orchestral début at the age of nine with Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No. 2. Quint emigrated to the USA aged seventeen, attending The Juilliard School where he received instruction, as did many from this period, from Dorothy DeLay, along with Cho-Liang Lin, Maseo Kawasaki and Felix Galimir. He also participated in masterclasses with Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman and Arnold Steinhardt.
Quint has become known as a champion of American composers: in 2005 he gave the première of a violin concerto dedicated to him by Lera Auerbach, and his discography includes Grammy®-nominated recordings of Bernstein’s Serenade and violin concertos by William Schuman and Erich Korngold. His disc of John Corigliano’s Red Violin Caprices is a world première recording. He has appeared with numerous orchestras (many in the USA) and several of his performances have been broadcast. In 2005, he featured on the soundtrack of David Grubin’s film Marie Antoinette and more recently, having studied acting with Sondra Lee, has taken a lead rôle in another Grubin film Downtown Express (2011), playing a young Russian violinist who studies at The Juilliard School. Although there is a long tradition of performers appearing on the big screen as themselves or famous violinists of the past, Quint’s rôle is the first lead played by a classical musician.
His playing is representative of the Juilliard School’s best alumni of this period. A bright tone in the higher registers is unified with a warm vibrato, making the sound in lower reaches of the instrument full and resonant. As might be expected, his left-hand technique is superb, and stylistically his playing fits the mould established by many prominent players of the current age.
Recordings selected here include a buoyant Bériot Violin Concerto No. 5 (2006), which includes many expressive uses of vibrato and portamento. Paganini’s ‘La campanella’ finale (2008) uses the kinds of regular, small-scale manipulations of tempo that not only respond to the different possibilities afforded by a violin and piano arrangement, but also point to a natural and supple musicianship. Bernstein’s Serenade (2005) integrates instrumental agility with beauty of sound, especially at the opening of the first movement (‘Phaedrus’). A dark, sensuous tone is created in Rózsa’s Duo, Op. 7 (2007), counterpoised by vitality and accuracy, whilst the tense energy of Rorem’s large-scale Violin Concerto (2005) is delivered with conviction and is an excellent example of Quint’s enthusiasm for works by American composers.