Jae-Won’s ambitions

Jae-Won is second violinist at the Concertgebouw Orchestra. She hopes the Concertgebouw Orchestra will keep listeners in touch with their feelings. Jae-Won has an instrument on loan thanks to a contribution from private donors.

Jae-Won’s ambitions
Jae-Won Lee (photo: Eduardus Lee)

Your own voice

Thanks to contributions from donors, Jae-Won plays a Jofredus Cappa violin from 1697. ‘First and foremost, instruments are our “tools” to create sound. But at the same time, it is also a companion who supports us and allows us to transfer our voice and our pallet of emotions. We need an instrument for this which gives us endless opportunities.

Modern string instruments can sound amazing, but wood is alive – it is impacted by temperature, drought and humidity - and the longer it lives, the richer and more versatile its sound. Many of us play old and valuable instruments, allowing us to express ourselves and contribute to the extraordinary richness of the sound of our orchestra.

Source of inspiration

To me, making music is like looking in a mirror. It reflects how I feel. I sometimes think I’m doing fine - nothing to worry about - but when I start playing the violin, I experience a different feeling. For example, I realise I don’t play as freely as I would like. It makes me realise I don’t feel completely free ‘in real life’; I’m not completely happy.

I wish for us to remain a source of inspiration. To touch people with our music.

As a human being, experiencing the freedom to express yourself is very important. Making music helps. As a musician, I want to get to the point where I can show myself, without a filter. This means fully accepting myself, including all my different layers and imperfections. We often work hard to deal with these issues. Which is good, but we really should focus on acceptance first. This will give room for change organically. Quite paradoxical.

To our listeners, the orchestra can be that mirror. I wish for us to remain a source of inspiration. To continue to transfer something which gets people in touch with their emotions, to touch them with our music. This does not happen automatically. We need to fight for this every time, during every concert.'