10 questions for Niek Baar

Door 24chambers

Tomorrow the next 24chamber edition will take place in Utrecht! Up-and-coming talent Niek Baar (1991), an absolute top violin talent, will play together with pianist Ben Kim. Together they are called the golden duo. Niek was the winner of the Dutch Violin Competition 2018, category Oskar Back. He is also the first participant in the talent program ‘AVROTROS Klassiek presenteert!’

Request an invitation for Niek’s concert at 24chambers here. 

1. At 24chambers you will play Schumann’s sonata No.2 and a Beethoven sonata. Which one are you going to play and why did you choose these sonatas?

The Second Sonata of Schumann is maybe my favourite piece for Violine and Piano, and Ben and I played it over the last few years and still every time find so many new things to work on. Its a very intense piece where both instruments can really show all possibilities. The Beethoven sonata is maybe his most known violin sonata and has the name: Spring Sonata. Its a very beautiful and positive piece that we thought would be a nice contrast with the stormy Schumann.

2. What made you choose the violin as an instrument and what got you hooked on your instrument?

I chose to play this instrument because I heard it when I was about 6 years old. I was with my family in an amusement park in holland where they played a classical piece on violins and I loved it from the beginning. When I was 8 years old I really started playing the violin and besides the beautiful sounds you can make on it, I love how the instrument looks!

3. If you would not be a musician, what would you be?

I cant really imagine anything else. But maybe I would start dealing violins haha! You can make much more money for sure as when you are playing on them..

4. How do you organise the day of a concert?

Well every time its different. And a lot of times there is a lot of travelling required. Also this time. I wake up around 8, practice a bit, then go to the airport ( Berlin – Amsterdam ) And from there we take a train to Utrecht and have a few hours to practice and mentally prepare. But ofcourse there are also concerts where you wake up in the same city as where you perform, and then I mostly sleep as long as I can, practice, eat, sometimes even do gym: Just try to have a normal day as much as possible.

5. With which composer would you drink your morning coffee?

Yeah still Schumann, even tho I can imagine he would be very moody in the morning. Maybe actually a morning coffee would be better with Vivaldi or something haha! Somehow I think he would be more relaxed.

6. How did your life change since you won the Oscar Back concours in 2018?

I think the competition did actually help me to get more concerts and especially more professional ones. I had management before doing the competition and I think that actually helped me the most, because already before the competition I got to play some really nice concerts with orchestras or in good halls, and then the competition was an extra boost on top of this, plus the management had the time to take as much as possible out of winning the Oskar Back.

7. What are you afraid of?

Actually I’m not afraid of many things, don’t mean I’m some kind of HULK, haha. But I have a way of thinking about life where I try to enjoy it as much as I can, but don’t really worry about when tomorrow it would be over. I’m sometimes maybe afraid of how people vote ( politically ) and how they don’t even see whats happening to our planet or to other people.

8. What is the best advice that you ever got as a violinist?

I think it’s not only advice given as a violinist but also as a person. Which is kind of the same thing: It was to do everything as good as you can and don’t go to fast. Have patience and work hard and then I’m sure you will end up where you belong.

9. What more do you have in store? What will the future bring?

Actually this year its kind of starting. I play as a soloist with a lot of great orchestras, will go on a tour to South America and record a cd! So i’m quite happy with this! And then I will just see what the future brings, If my future can continue in the way it is going at the moment, then I’m more than happy!

10. Do you have any tips for people who want to participate in the Oskar Back concours?

Prepare very well!! haha, sounds stupid but actually in competitions this is the most important. But also enjoy, try to learn something and don’t take it too serious. Its just a competition, and its not the only way to get where you want to be!

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