Saturday, May 26, 2007

Classical Violin: Luellen Abdoo

Amazing Grace

For the purtists: A fast piece uncut (she pauses in the middle)

A fast piece edited (musical timing preserved)

Interview with Luellen Abdoo

Artist: Luellen Abdoo
Medium: Violin
Location: 42nd Street Grand Central by the L train

Luellen Abdoo is the Wedding Violinist. But I suppose that doesn’t tell you too much about her. She plays weddings, of course, but, along with Synergy String Quartet has played gigs, made CDs, worked with other famous artists and freelanced and worked with Music Underground in the subway.

Hailing from Clinton in upstate New York (that’s near Utica), Luellen went to school at SUNY Purchase where she studied under violin teacher affiliated with the school; including one former Concert Master of the NY Philharmonic. “Actually,” Luellen explains, “I wanted to play the cello but the violin teacher said ‘you’re too small to play the cello, why don’t you play the violin.” At 11 years old this might have been true but Luellen contends that his advice was because he was a violinist and needed violinists for his ensemble.

Now that she’s into violin, though, Luellen is hooked. “Once you get into the violin there’s no turning back.” It’s a very challenging instrument, she explains, and there’s so much music for it that you become caught up in it. True to her statement, Luellen works her violin in all forms of musical delight, usually playing classical but also throwing in ethnic music, some Beatles or a Hymn. The Amazing Grace featured, for example, was played in memorial to the Virginia Tech massacre.

Luellen plays with Music Underground an MTA program. She plays in the subway for exposure and the tips but also for the people. “The people are great, actually…usually. I mean, obviously a lot of them ignore you but when someone comes up and they really appreciate it, that makes it all worth while.” Luellen recounts that he has had a person come up with tears in their eye and say “you just made my day.”

The Wedding Violinist has a simple, message: Live music is really important. Luellen herself keeps is real by playing “au naturale” with no amplification and only a little stereo for backup.

Like what you hear? Book her or her entire quartet for a wedding, party or gig
Luellen – 917-593-1010


Steve said...

Great piece, too bad she's never on the shuttle platform at GCS when I'm there. Interesting comments about the violin and the cello - the late rock bassist Rick Grech (Family, Blind Faith, Traffic) could play both, and he learned them before learning bass.

Michael said...

Hi Luellen,

Didn't expect to find you in the subway. Hope that you are doing well,

Michael H.

MusicMan220 said...

Luellen, HI from Gary Schnitzer!

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