Memories - David Grimal

… from an interview to Ilze Medne, latvian radio, Riga, 2007

I have many memories with Philippe Hirshhorn, but the one I would like to tel now is when I met him. I didn’t know about him. He was such a great player but not so famous, to compare to some other violinists. I went to a masterclass in Holland, it was in 1989 or something, to work with professor Victor Liberman, who was working with Philippe Hirshhorn, at the same place.  I went to the class of Philippe and I saw him for the first time. All the students were there listening to the lesson and he just looked at me like this and I felt that something very strange was happening in the air… I can’t explane this to you. Then I sat down just behind and there was a violinist whose name was Marco Rizzi who just won at that time a prize in Tchaikovsky competition and he was playing Brahms concerto. He was a very good player. Very nice, you know, very professional violin playing. And then Hirshhorn took the violin from the piano… he grabbed the violin and started to play. At that time I thought that if I would have had a dream of violin playing, I could not have thought of such a great thing. It was beyond my brain, what he just did, and this I will remember all my life. With him I saw the greatest violin playing on this planet, really. I met all the greatest violinists living, believe me, and he was really out of this world. That was the first time I met him and I felt that, immediately.