Léonie Sonning Talent Prize 2017

Anna Egholm

The violin makes me happy - it's not just work

Anna Egholm is an unusually hard-working and talented young woman. 20 years' old and she is already well under way with her career as a violinist after a career as a figure skater and actress.

Just before Anna Agafia Svideniouk Egholm goes on stage at a concert, she thinks of her family. It is best if her younger brother Igor sends her a text message or if her mother, Zoia Svideniouk, is present.

I get a lot of energy from my family. It is easier for me to overcome things and it makes me feel safer if my mother is there, the always smiling Anna Egholm says. It puts things in perspective and reminds me that my performance is not the most important thing in my life. Because it actually isn't, and I then feel calmer. What also makes me very happy is to think about the music and wow! - now I'm going to play it... Anna Egholm says.

Her childhood was hard discipline and hard work. From the age of five, Anna played the violin at an advanced level and was at the same time an elite figure skater. The same goes for her brother Igor, who is two years younger and plays the cello. They have walked hand in hand all the way. And, besides these demanding interests, they have also participated in films and TV series.

Dropped figure skating

Anna dropped figure skating when she was 12. She had no energy left for her school work when she had to play the violin for a couple of hours every day and also do figure skating eight times a week. The violin was more important.

As mentioned, the family means a lot to Anna Egholm. Since Anna and her brother were seven and five, they have played both duets and trios together, and it seems that they never get tired of each other.

There is a big difference between practising alone and practising together. You get quite a unique relationship with music when playing it with someone you love. And I love my brother very much. He has always been good at changing the atmosphere in case of a conflict when practising either the two of us or in the trio with my good friend, Anna says, and explains that her brother has always made sure that conflicts were forgotten and that they had fun.

My relationship with music has therefore changed quite a lot over the years. Because Igor always reminds me that we are doing this because we want to and because it is wonderful and makes us happy. And not just because we have to work, Anna says.

Has always played the violin

Anna has no recollection of the time when she started playing the violin. She does not remember when she started.

I have always been playing the violin. And I have continued long enough to end up being quite good at it. I was told that my father wanted a daughter who could play the violin - and as I am his only daughter, that was me, Anna says, laughing heartily.

The discipline and hard work of her childhood are nothing compared to the challenges facing Anna when emigrating to Switzerland. When moving away from home six months ago, she moved to another country. Her description of the situation reminds you of a Kafka novel. Anna is still waiting for her residence permit, which should have been granted in October. The postal services are sending her one invoice after another - and she doesn't know why.

So I haven't been able to practise properly or relax and only focus on music. Actually, all the administrative matters in Switzerland and the fact that I don't know anybody who can help me have taken a lot of focus away from the violin, Anna says.

But she has no regrets about moving to Switzerland. Like her brother, she has gone to a French school and speaks four languages fluently.

French is the language I speak best, and Switzerland is a central European country with many nationalities speaking Italian, German and French. I really like that, Anna says, and she would like to stay.

Anna Egholm, violin

Born: 18 June 1996.

Studies with Alexander Zapolsky at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. Further studies under Svetlana Makarovaved Haute École de Musique in Lausanne, Switzerland. Winner of Øresunds Solist 2016.

Scholarship

To be spent on her studies in Switzerland, which is an expensive country to live in, and on maintaining her violin, a Gagliano from 1763 made available by the Augustinus Foundation.