Loan with strings attached
MUSICIAN Alexandre Da Costa is professionally accomplished in both piano and violin, but it is the smaller string instrument that has given him the opportunity to travel from his home of Montreal.
“You’re kind of a guest at a piano but for the violin you can really feel like it’s a part of you,” Da Costa said.
“I guess the bond was stronger with violin and it’s what I’ve used to push my solo career all over the world.”
Da Costa lived in Europe for 14 years, including Austria and Spain, before a position as head of strings at WAAPA brought him to Perth 18 months ago.
“I’d never been to this part of the world; I love it, so I think I’ll be staying here for quite a while,” he said.
“I know the city pretty well and can now say I don’t need my GPS to drive around anymore.”
Da Costa will perform with his 1727 Stradivarius violin as special guest at WA Youth Orchestra concert Beethoven’s 5th on September 24 at Perth Concert Hall.
The violin is on loan to him from a Canadian company that supports musicians with valuable and rare instruments they would never be able to afford otherwise.
“We don’t know its history exactly because most of the trades and links to this violin have been discrete,” he said.
“Of course it comes from Europe and I think it was in a French family for some time, but other than that it’s been difficult to pinpoint who had it and who played it.
“It’s in perfect condition and is like playing one of the most beautiful pieces of art in a museum.”
Da Costa said he agreed to perform with WAYO, whose members are aged eight to 24, as it was important for him to mentor the next generation of musicians.
The concert will include music by Grandage, Vitali, Monti, Sarasate, Smith and Beethoven.
“We’re going on tour with this same program in December to Singapore and Japan,” Da Costa said.
“For many of them it will be their first opportunity to see what life on a professional tour is like.
“It’s a great opportunity to push their limits and I’m glad to accompany them.”
Alexandre da Costa will play one of the rarest makes of violins around, a 1727 Stradivarius at WA Youth Orchestra's next concert.