Last week the Eton College Music Society welcomed Yuri Zhislin, master violinist, who hosted a masterclass and concert. Mr Zhislin, who was described by The Strad as a ‘virtuoso with a truly Romantic temperament’, worked with student musicians who specialise in the violin and viola.

In 1993 Mr Zhislin won the BBC Radio 2 Young Musician of the Year competition and has since performed across the world, in settings as prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York. He has collaborated with many of the world’s premier artists, such as Maria-Joao Pires and Maxim Vengerov, and currently combines his busy international schedule with a professorship of violin and viola at the Royal College of Music in London.

The masterclass began with Mr Zhislin and Eton music teacher Ms Lomeiko’s stunning performance of Mozart’s Duo for Violin and Viola in G Major, K.423, and an arrangement of Handel’s Passacaglia in G Minor. The latter was particularly virtuosic with highly contrasting variations and techniques, such as pizzicato, performed at a dizzying tempo.   

Following this short concert, Mr Zhislin taught four Eton music scholars, students whose place at school is supported by a music scholarship.  These four musicians played  Scherzo Tarantelle by Wieniawski, the Allegro movement from Brahms’ Sonata in F Minor, York Bowen’s Viola Concerto in C Minor and Playera from Pablo De Sarasate’s Spanish Dances. Mr Zheslin worked with the students to improve their ability to convey the pieces musically. It was a real privilege to receive such advice and support from a master of his craft.