Master Class with Violinist Iryna Krechkovsky: Saddleback violin students master the art of playing with the help from a professional

Jose Garcia Velasquez plays alongside with Canadian violinist Iryna Krechkovsky.

Jose Garcia Velasquez plays alongside with Canadian violinist Iryna Krechkovsky. (Denisse Hobson)

Canadian violinist Iryna Krechkovsky visited Saddleback College on Nov. 18 to give violin students a master clas, held in the Fine Arts building where violin students Berett Phillips, Ryan Fogal, and Jose Garcia Velasquez received first hand appraisal from Krechkovsky.

The master class began with Gaucho violinist Berett Phillips playing the cello, in which Krechkovsky gave the first critiques of the night, lending her support to his performance.

“Students often think classical music has to be boxed in,” Krechkovsky said.

After Phillips finished his performance, Krechkovsky said that she really thought he could improve on the type of character that Phillips portrays while playing the cello. It was a point she made also that he should extend his arm more as it is the breath of the cello.

“Your kind of a walk in the park,” Krechkovsky said.

Wanting him to maintain the stormy character that she worked on with Phillips, she also noted that he try and pretend that he be a wind player to soften the character at the same time.

Berett Phillips awaits critique in the master class with Canadian violinist Iryna Krechkovsky.

Berett Phillips awaits critique in the master class with Canadian violinist Iryna Krechkovsky. (Denisse Hobson)

Following Berett Phillips’ performance, Ryan Fogal also playing the cello, stepped up to the front of the crowd to present his talents on stage.

Fogal began his performance by closing his eyes, in which Krechkovsky declared that it showed the kind of emotional violinist he is.

She also commented that he was able to withstand the nature of the dramatic song, in a way that was expressive from the soul.

“To keep the overall shaping of the piece,” Krechkovsky said. “Everything is more clearly heard.”

If there was something that she thought Fogal should focus his attention to, it’s that he needed to prioritize his speed, as it was narrow. Her question was also about the kind of character a fast narrative vibrato means and how he could adhere to it.

What Krechkovsky spoke upon Fogal’s performance, was also that he needed to ask the questions of how each phrase are different from the one he played before. Because for her, it’s important that each phrase, is uniquely different in order to make the music feel alive.

For Fogal, he mentioned that at times his fingers get stuck in a position that makes it hard to fully play each phrase at it’s best.

Ryan Fogal plays the cello in front of the audience and master Canadian violinist Iryna Krechkovsky.

Ryan Fogal plays the cello in front of the audience and master Canadian violinist Iryna Krechkovsky. (Denisse Hobson)

For that, Krechkovsky indicated that she too has the same problem at times.

“Fingers get into this weird habit and you just have to untangle them,” Krechkovsky said.

To close off the master class, Jose Garcia Velasquez appeared on stage last, this time playing the violin.

For Velasquez, it was a different kind of critique from his fellow stringed classmates.

She more so focused on the technique of particularly his index finger placed on the bow, something she said was causing for the sound the violin echoed.

Both Berett Phillips and Ryan Fogal mentioned after the master class that it was a great learning experience for them both.

“It’s one of those things where you’re nervous all day, and then after it’s done you feel good about yourself,” Phillips said. “I’m really glad that we do these at Saddleback because Yorgos always knows these super prestigious people, that teach you a lot.”

For Fogal in particular there was a great knowledge he underwent from the master class.

“It’s always a great opportunity to perform in front of an audience and getting some great feedback is always great to get better as a musician,” Fogal said.   

 

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