Memories - Giovanni Radivo

An Italian violinist, now the concertmaster at National Symphony Orchestra in Lyon, France.

I think a great deal about him, especially in the month of November. How shall I describe my first encounter with Philippe?

 Perhaps “special” is the word best suited to describe it, since it may be understood in several senses.
For example my first impression of him was ‘bizarre.’ He seemed strange to me, somewhat mad, turning all his lessons into a session of psychoanalysis by seeking and sometimes going very far to find a sense in everything one does.
After completely throwing us off balance, what he gave us seemed exceptional: depth of musicality, variety and refinement of technical solutions which always aimed at providing a maximum of expressiveness.
For me, this encounter was certainly unique. Under his direction, I saw the violin transformed from a simple musical instrument into a direct link to the soul.
Philippe was someone extremely demanding, who accepted no compromises.
For him, music was not something comfortable. Bringing it to life bore great risk, carrying us always to the brink of catastrophe, of an abyss. But it was exactly that which renders it so moving, exciting, great.
Thank you, Philippe, for having pointed out to me the way and shown me how music can be brilliant.