As a teen, a chance encounter with Isaac Stern set the Isreali violinist on the road to greatness. He shares his story.

In every life, there are a few pivotal events when things suddenly change forever; those “sliding doors” moments. For the Ukrainian-born Israeli violinist Vadim Gluzman, his watershed came at the age of 16. “I think I had only arrived in Jerusalem about two weeks prior, and I learned that Isaac Stern was listening to young kids in the music centre. Everyone else had an audition time arranged probably two years in advance, but I just barged in, announced myself and said I wanted to play for Stern,” Gluzman recalls. “Eventually, he came into the room and the receptionist explained to him there is a boy who came from Latvia, and he was kind enough to give me some time. A couple of hours later I came out of the music centre with a new violin, a scholarship, a stipend, and the understanding that I knew absolutely nothing about music, nor violin playing itself.”

In the space of an afternoon, Gluzman’s life in music had been set on an exciting new path. Under the...

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