Pop Culture

Violin virtuoso snaps his bow in the middle of a frantic solo, but never loses his composure

It only took 3 seconds for him to jump back into the piece.

stefan jackiw, violins,  bournemouth symphony orchestra

A beautiful photo of a violin

Breaking your bow in the middle of a solo with a full audience and symphony behind you sounds like a nightmare for a violinist. But it happened to American violinist Stefan Jackiw while on stage with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and he was as cool as Fonzie sipping on a chocolate malt.

“This past week I had the privilege of giving the UK premiere of Ukrainian-born composer Reinhold Glière’s gorgeous, forgotten violin concerto,” Jackiw wrote on Facebook after a May 10 performance. “As a half-Ukrainian, half-Korean musician, it was particularly meaningful for me to play this piece... conducted by my dear friend Kirill Karabits."

“About 1/3 of the way into the concerto, my trusty Voirin [François Nicolas Voirin, a violin maker], suddenly snapped in two! Obviously, I was totally unprepared for this disaster, but I grabbed the concertmaster’s bow and just kept going,” he continued.

After the bow snapped and shredded into a mess of frazzled hairs, Jackiw gave a puzzled look and Karabits momentarily stopped the performance.

Then, Jackiw grabbed a bow from concertmaster Amyn Merchant and got right back into his solo with the entire orchestra behind him. It’s impressive to see how he regained his concentration and composure after dealing with the failure of his trusty bow.

According to Classic FM, Jackiw’s bow is reportedly worth around $30,000 and he has played it for over 20 years. Fortunately, Jackiw says that the bow is repairable and he will be able to play with it at his next scheduled performance in New York City on May 20.

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