Have you heard the saying “The show must go on?” A very dedicated violinist, Ray Chen, has recently encapsulated the epitome of this statement. Known for his passion and energy, Chen turned what could have been a potential catastrophe into an enjoyable moment for everyone in the audience alongside the Seattle Symphony.
While onstage at Benaroya Hall performing his solo of Tchailkovsky’s Violin Concerto, one of his violin strings abruptly snapped. Chen’s facemask could not disguise his surprise when he unexpectedly broke his E-string with his zealous violin bow. This can be a stressful situation during any performance, but Chen continued to play momentarily and gave a quick look to conductor Ludovic Morlot, before seamlessly exchanging instruments with a nearby violin player.
Chen calmly played on as the audience applauded. Meanwhile, violinist Mae Lin, tended to his violin. During a pause in the soloist’s performance, Chen briskly walked across the stage to hand Lin an extra E-string he was carrying—the thinnest string with the highest tension.
Chen only had to use the alternate violin for one movement before he was reunited with his own Stradivarius violin to complete the rest of the concerto—thanks to Lin’s rapid onstage repair. Chen gave credit to conductor Morlot and members of the symphony orchestra for the ability to come together and keep the performance going without missing a beat.
“Welp. It happened again folks. Not really sure what I’ve done to anger the string-gods, but this was a spectacularly awkward, yet exciting moment to break an E-string! Special thanks to the quick thinking of Seattle Symphony, Ludovic Morlot and the Benaroya Hall,” said Chen.
Scroll down to watch Chen's performance where he awed the crowd when he broke his violin string in the middle of his solo.