Born in 1996 and raised in Aix-en-Provence, Esther Abrami knows how it feels to grow up in a culture far from towering classical institutions. “I had a countryside childhood” she says. “I went to a small, country school and I was always outside as I loved nature. We had a wild garden at home; my dad built me a little bench up on the hill where I could go to read and play my violin”.
Aged just three, Esther was given her first tiny violin by her grandmother, who herself had been a gifted violinist but, as was the custom at the time, gave up her own music-making when she got married. “I remember her trying to teach me how to hold the little violin” Abrami recalls. Although enchanted by this small, beautiful object, it would not be until the age of ten before Esther started to learn how to play in earnest, taking to the violin immediately. “I loved the feeling of the violin tucked in so close to me, like a living creature. I loved the sensation of the warm sound traveling through my body. After just half an hour with the bow in my hand, I knew that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life”, she recollects fondly.
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