My Musical Heroes

Label : Compilations, Feature

Anne Akiko Meyers:
My Musical Heroes

Great performing talent doesn’t appear from nowhere. Anne Akiko Meyers, one of today’s finest and most celebrated violinists, thrived on a diet of great classical music from a very early age, she tells Apple Music Classical. “My mother would feed me while playing David Oistrakh’s incredible version of the Beethoven Violin Concerto,” she explains. “As a result, I developed an early appreciation and ravenous appetite for the true genius of great composers and performers who inspire, motivate, and stretch our hearts and souls.”

This playlist is a personal guide to the music that has both carried Meyers to where she is today, and which continues to influence and shape her as musician. We start with the simple beauty of Arvo Pärt, whose Spiegel im Spiegel (Mirror in Mirror) “challenges the player to reach into the core of each note, creating a feeling of space and release,” says Meyers. “Much like meditation, this music calms the soul.”

Also featuring are two pieces by the Mexican composer Arturo Márquez, whose joyful music incorporates Latin American rhythms and melodies. “Hearing Márquez’s Danzon No. 2 inspired me to ask him to compose something for violin and orchestra,” says Meyers. “Soon Fandango was born, which is an amazing violin concerto incorporating mariachi and flamenco rhythms.”

We go back centuries in time, too, to Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” in a beautiful arrangement for violin, orchestra, and chorus. And Meyers’ 2014 recording of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons was, she explains, “the first made with the legendary Vieuxtemps Guarneri violin, made in 1741, the same year Vivaldi died.” Here, she showcases the Italian composer’s thrilling Concerto for Three Violins in F Major that also appears on the album.

Elsewhere, we encounter piano music by Chopin and Robert Schumann, film music by Ennio Morricone and John Williams, Eric Whitacre’s exquisite choral miniature The Seal Lullaby, and Philip Glass’ “dreamy, haunting and beautiful” Violin Concerto No. 1. All in wonderful, often legendary performances. “The expression and emotion that these musicians create through their music,” says Meyers, “are the backbone and soul of my musical journey, which I am so happy to share with you.”

2023 © Anne Akiko Meyers