German violin prodigy shines at debut in mum’s hometown
IT’S been said that if one’s good enough, then he or she is old enough — for age is never a barrier when one has the ability.
Ten-year-old German violin prodigy Elias David Moncado is one who typifies that notion, having often been the star of concerts among much older contemporaries.
His latest, at Dewan Sri Pinang together with the Penang Symphony Orchestra, was no different.
The talented young musician charmed the crowd with a virtuoso performance — his first in Asia — and rightfully lapped up the appreciative applause that followed.
“I feel as if I can ‘sing’ with the violin, and I’m glad I was able to make people happy with the stories I tell through my music,” he said after the recent concert.
Born in Aachen, Germany, to parents with German, Spanish and Chinese heritage, the talented Moncado has racked up numerous prizes and awards in various violin competitions in his budding career.
His mother, formerly a student of the night’s conductor, music maestro Woon Wen Kin, also hails from Penang, but now lives and works in Germany.
As such, the family returns to the island at least once every year, though this trip bore extra significance as it was the first time Moncado showcased his talents in his mother’s hometown.
“It’s very exciting for me, as the audience and the venue are so different.
“But apart from that, I feel right at home, as music is a universal language that everyone understands,” added Moncado, who revealed a liking for belacan chicken and durians, among other things.
Woon expressed his delight that such a prodigious talent was able to perform in Penang, and was proud of the fact that the island is blessed with abundant musical talents who have since gone on to make a name for themselves overseas.
He stressed on the importance of musical appreciation if Penangites are to be seen as having a more refined and sophisticated standard of living, saying that in places like Europe, going to orchestral concerts was the norm.
“We have lots of raw talent in Asia, but nowadays, youngsters tend to look towards other things instead of spiritual and intellectual pursuits like music,” he said, calling on the government to do more in promoting a culture of music appreciation amongst locals.
The concert’s programme featured the Verdi’s Nabucco Overture, Max Bruch’s Concerto in G Minor Op.25 No.1 and Dvorak’s Symphony No.9 in E minor ‘From the New World’ Op.95.