Manchester-based Jewish violinist Esther Abrami gives us a sneak peek at her new album and tells the incredible story of her grandmother’s violin.
Despite being just 26 years old, Esther Abrami has already had quite the career. The violinist studied at
the Royal College of Music and completed her master’s degree at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, for which she received a full scholarship. In 2019, she became the first classical musician ever to win the ‘Social Media Superstar’ category at the Global Awards and in 2021 she was featured in Classic FM’s ‘30 under 30 Classical Artists to Watch’ series, curated by Julian Lloyd Webber and was listed as a ‘Rising Star’ by BBC Music Magazine. In 2021 she was signed to Sony Classical and made her Royal Albert Hall debut in 2022. In the UK, Esther Abrami is considered one of the most promising young classical artists of her generation and has been appointed Creative Partner and Artist in Residence by the English Symphony Orchestra.
With such an impressive list of accolades already, it’s no surprise that Esther started learning the violin from a young age, as she tells us: “My first introduction to the violin was through my grandmother, who was a violinist herself. She introduced me to it when I was three years old, using the violin that she used to play on. I didn’t start lessons until I was nine or 10 years old, when I expressed a real interest in lesson. I loved it straight away. I loved the sound of the violin. I remember going to a concert and I love the music and how free and full of life they were when they were playing.”
Esther still has her grandma’s violin, a family heirloom with a tremendous story behind it: “I can’t play the violin anymore because it’s kid sized, but it has a very special story. It survived the Second World War. My grandmother’s family lived in a village in the north of France. They escaped and left everything in the house, as you had to. When they came back, everything had been stolen. The only things that were still there was a turtle which had survived somehow by eating grass, and the violin, which no one had thought valuable enough to steal.”
Recently, Esther brought out a new album entitled Cinéma, which heavily features music from film and TV soundtracks: “You can find music from anime, music from big films, and smaller films, and quite a lot of French cinema. Each of them has a special meaning to me. As a classical musician I’m very passionate about trying to bring this genre to a wider audience and younger audience, and I find that lots of movie scores are composed in a classical way.”
Speaking of drawing in a younger audience, Esther has made a name for herself on TikTok, with over 415,000 followers, and uses the platform to highlight women in classical music: “That has a lot to do with my upbringing in that, during all my years of study, I never really had role models, and I want it to be different for the next generation. I think it’s mad that none of the composers we all play are women. All of that history of women composers has been completely erased, and I want to change that.”
You can follow Esther on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube @estherabrami and on Facebook @ estherabramiviolin