HHSOM guest artist preparing rare viola performance of difficult Paganini work

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The UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music is home to hundreds of one-of-a-kind students, but the School will soon host a guest artist performance that is one-of-a-kind in the truest sense of the phrase.

Violist Elias Goldstein will perform Paganini’s 24 Caprices in a free-to-attend recital in Ramsey Concert Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 2, at 6 p.m. 

Goldstein, assistant professor of viola at Louisiana State University, was the first violist to ever perform all 24 Caprices—originally written for violin—in a live recital.

“I resisted for several years in embarking on performing all 24 Caprices by Paganini on viola, largely because they are so difficult, and also because they require a certain chauvinistic self centered motivation to complete, and would break from an altruistic artistic rationale that I have tried to uphold,” said Goldstein.

Goldstein is aware that the potential for failure and doubters in such an ambitious endeavor is great, but he doesn’t take to heart the pressure of the task, saying of those who attend looking for a faceplant: “I hope not to disappoint.”

“If I were to take myself too seriously, it would prevent me from doing the unthinkable,” said Goldstein. “As George Mallory reasoned in 1924, he had to scale Mt. Everest because, ‘it was there.’”

Goldstein is a top prize-winner at the Primrose, Bashmet and Lionel Tertis International Viola Competitions. He has given master-classes and recitals at the most important music schools and venues in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit eliasgoldstein.com.

The UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music sponsors more than 350 performances each year. To view the performance calendar, subscribe to the weekly email concert listing or learn more about the School of Music, go to music.uga.edu.