And then? And then he schleps that fabulous fiddle all over
creation, suffers the gushing compliments of local classical-radio
personalities at CD signings in Borders stores - "Let's have a
question from some of the kids here today," he says politely
but pointedly at one Saturday-morning autograph fest - and
apologizes for wolfing down a very late lunch while trying to hold
a conversation. He's on stage in a few hours and hasn't eaten since
"Oh, I've given up on the art, didn't you know that?" He flashes a
smile, then buckles down: "Seriously? I don't actually mind this
other aspect that much. This job is full of things that aren't
musical. From just getting on the airplanes to redoing interviews
where the tape machine didn't work." He winks and smiles
indulgently at the recorder placed near him. It's working. But he's
learned to ask. He may look like a boy wonder, but the guy's a pro.
In the privacy of this quiet afternoon conversation, both a little
of his guard and the neck of that pullover have come down a bit: An
angry red splotch is visible near his left collarbone, the bite of
the violin's chin rest, below the corresponding rough patch of skin
on his left jawline. "I'm not the most efficient player," he
confesses. "I'm very physical. Not like [Jascha] Heifetz, my idol.
He was the most economical player. Not a single muscle moved that
didn't need to move. I tend to err on the other side, moving around
without thinking about it, getting into it physically.
"Of course, I don't practice a lot." He laughs cheerily. "I mean, I
don't do five hours a day and that kind of thing. I learned at an
early age, when I was also into sports, to get a lot done in a
short amount of practice time. Now, if I have three days off
between concerts, I'll take two of those days without touching the
instrument. I've just started doing yoga with a personal trainer.
Yoga may be my key for the next 30 years."