It will not be just another violin recital when 12-year-old Montrealer Lea Glubochansky tucks her beloved instrument under her chin Jan. 19 to perform Fritz Kreisler’s Rondo.
Glubochansky will be performing the work in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall as a first-place winner of a Crescendo International Music Competition.
The competition involved fledgling musicians from Canada, the United States, Russia and Europe.
“I am really excited about it,” Glubochansky, a Secondary I student at Brébeuf High School, told The CJN 10 days before the New York event. “I am very happy.”
Glubochansky’s poise and calm on the telephone, however, seemed to belie her actual achievement.
The Israeli-born Glubochansky comes from a family with a firm pedigree in classical music – her mother, Yana Miklin, has played piano since age four, and her grandmother, Janna Miklin, is a well-known pianist in Israel.
But it is Lea, her mother said, who appears to display a level of maturity, insight and personal idiosyncrasy in her playing that make her performances her own.
“It’s divine,” Miklin said, “extraordinary.”
Miklin is doing an ongoing search for a patron who can help sponsor Lea as she pursues her musical ambitions.
At the Fortissimo Academy of Music in Cote St. Luc (www.academyfortissimo. com), Lea’s teacher and mentor is Luciné Chaglassian-Balikian, an accomplished violin instructor in her own right, who, like virtually all the other members of the faculty, comes from a high-level musical background in the former Soviet Union.
Unusually, Fortissimo has acquired charitable status and receives support from Agence Ometz, the Federation CJA agency charged with helping immigrants adapt to life in Montreal.
“I have known Lea for almost seven years, when she began her studies in our Academy,” Fortissimo principal Svetlana Klempner said in an email exchange.
“This is a young person of exceptional abilities and great potential. Lea possesses great understanding of musical style, sensitivity and emotional maturity – unusual for such a young age,” Klempner said.
Predictably, life for Lea involves juggling a rigorous schedule of school, lessons, “Russian school” and practice.
But while practice is obviously essential, it’s not only about that, Miklin said.
“It’s also about how the piece was created, trying to understand how it was written.”
She said the first signs of Lea’s interest in the violin emerged when she was two years old in a household continually exposed to classical music, and studies began in earnest several years after the family arrived in Montreal from Israel.
The background in her home – besides the piano virtuosos – offered her Itzhak Perlman, Jascha Heifetz, Yehudi Menuhin, Isaac Stern, Nathan Milstein and many others, including her own favourite, David Oistrakh.
Lea has since graduated to her first full-sized violin and performed at a number of local venues. Her talent is such that she is already an honours Grade 6 graduate from McGill University’s Conservatory of Music and has taken masters classes at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.
“That was fantastic” Lea said of her experience there.
Miklin insisted that she makes it a point not to exert pressure on her daughter to pursue a career in violin, but if that’s what Lea wants, she thinks the potential is there.
“I think she is made to become a soloist,” Miklin said.