Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has released its latest episode of its ‘Inspiring Greatness’ film series. In the latest video, classical violinist Charlie Siem discusses the physical and mental challenges of performing some of the most famous, technically demanding and emotionally powerful music ever written.
Siem was born in London to a Norwegian father and British mother. He began learning the violin at just three years of age, after hearing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto played by the great Yehudi Menuhin. After being awarded a degree in music from the University of Cambridge, he then studied violin under Itzhak Rashkovsky at the Royal College of Music. As a highly sought-after soloist, teacher and recording artist, Siem has performed with leading orchestras and chamber ensembles all over the world.
The film explores how Siem seeks to connect with and personify music, transcending the physical act of playing his instrument to express the music directly. He also speaks reverently of his violin, the 1735 Guarneri del Gesù known as the ‘D’Egville’, which he refers to as ‘an extension of his body’. Perhaps less immediately well-known than their contemporaries made by Antonio Stradivari, Guarneri violins are equal in greatness, and even favoured by some performers, including Siem’s inspiration Yehudi Menuhin.
“It’s incredibly impressive and indulgent to be sitting in this luxurious cabin, hearing almost nothing, with all this power right in front of you,” he enthuses.
‘Inspiring Greatness’ is an exploratory series from Rolls-Royce to share a collection of aspirational stories from those who rewrite the boundaries of greatness. Previous episodes include Michelin-starred chef Tom Sellers, photographer and explorer Cory Richards and media artist Refik Anadol. Most recently the series featured British writer, photographer and explorer Levison Wood.
Watch the Charlie Siem video here: