It didn’t take long for renowned violinist, Karen Gomyo to understand her destiny. Growing up in Montreal, Karen began playing the instrument at a very young age becoming the first musician in her family. When she was just five years old, Gomyo saw the Japanese prodigy, Midori, in concert and was awestruck by the size of the symphony and a violin soloist who would immediately become her idol.
Gomyo’s own big break came six years later after a famous pedagogue, Dorothy Delay, then a professor at Juilliard, saw a video of Gomyo playing. Gomyo was asked to join the Juilliard pre-college program to study under Delay. The eleven year-old would then have to uproot her life and move to New York City with her mother in order to pursue her career as a musician.
Four years after Gomyo began her studies in New York, she nailed down her first professional gig at a barn in upstate New York. Since then she has performed with many of the biggest names in the industry on some of the most celebrated concert stages in the world. Gomyo remarks that life on the road can get lonely and that as a soloist “you have very little interaction with your fellow musicians… and when I do play with them, I am going to have my back turned to them,” adding that “at the end of the day, we are all in it for the music.”
A busy life on the road though it may be, Gomyo has still found time to pursue a hobby. She says dancing the Tango has always been something she’s wanted to do and notes the ubiquity of the dance: “You can find (evenings where tangos are danced) everywhere around the world and I thought it would be a really fun way for me to socialize on my trips.”
Karen Gomyo takes the stage with the Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera Saturday, October 8th at 8 p.m. at the Sacramento Community Center Theater. She will be playing Benjamin Britten’s Violin Concerto, Opus 15 on her 313 year-old Stradivarius violin.