Young IPO violist Matan Noussimovitch shares his passion for music, connection to the IPO and how he has been spending his days in quarantine.
My name is Matan Noussimovitch and I started playing the violin at the age of 6. My grandfather used to buy me toys but there came a time when they no longer interested me, except for the toy violin he gave me. Apparently I really liked the toy violin and asked him if I could play a real violin. As fate would have it, there was a famous violin teacher living right above him and he was able to arrange lessons.
I must say that my grandfather was one of the main reasons I became a musician. For years, he used to sit with me every day when I practiced. He was an accordionist and enjoyed that I could also play an instrument. Years after he passed, my grandmother told me there was only one instrument he hadn’t wanted me to play and it was… the violin. At the age of 15, I started playing the viola through the Jerusalem Music Center’s excellence program and that is how I ended up a violist.
I got accepted to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra during my military service. At age 20, I was part of the army’s distinguished musicians program. Honestly, I didn’t expect to get the position since it was my first real audition to an orchestra outside of the academy. I aimed to pass the first round and get on the substitute list. Once I did, I wasn’t nervous at all for the second round and just enjoyed playing on the big stage. I was surprised and extremely happy to hear I won the job. It was very shocking because I planned to keep on studying. I came to an agreement with the Orchestra that I would skip one concert season to continue my studies. After that year, at the age of 22, I entered the official ranks of the orchestra while still aiming to finish my bachelor’s degree (which I have, with excellence). Today I’m completing my 8th season with the Orchestra.
Playing in the orchestra has developed me both as a musician and a person. Some of the best advice I received was from the former head cellist, Marcel Bergman. He saw me at music academy right after the audition, walked up to me and said “Are you the guy who won the audition? I heard you are a bit confused. Let me tell you something, what you will learn from playing in this orchestra you will never learn at any school.” He was so right!
As a young adult, I would be on stage with the greatest musicians in the world and hear them play. I would see my colleagues and how they maintained themselves throughout the years; it actually made me start going to the gym. And of course I could see the world while touring. I hope we will resume touring as soon as possible. We’ve already had a few tours cancelled and I am really starting to miss it, especially sampling the local food. If I had to choose one place I miss traveling to the most it would be Japan. I’ve only been there once with the Orchestra, but it was enough to fall in love with their unique culture and ramen!
For me this quarantine was also a gift. My first child, a son we named Adam, was born on February 1st. I ended up with paternity leave, which was much needed because my wife and I had our hands full with no help from our families due to the quarantine. But you won’t get any complaints from me as it gave me the opportunity to see my baby develop and grow each day and it’s absolutely amazing!
When the quarantine period ends, it will be a new life experience. Before, I was married with not many obligations in life, and now I am looking forward to finding out how to combine the Orchestra world and my new family status.
I wish everyone a happy, healthy and musically enriched life!