Chicago Philharmonic Violinist Rika Seko

Rika SekoQ. What inspired you to pursue music as a career?

A. When I was 5 years old, my mother took me to my first violin lesson. She told the teacher that the whole purpose was to give me exposure to music for life enrichment; it was to be a pleasure activity. I remember feeling indignant, thinking “What is she saying? I am going to be a violinist!”. And a “violinist” meant the kind of violinist I saw on TV, a concertizing artist. Later in my adolescence, I went through the ritual of doubting everything that was presented to me, nonetheless I stayed with violin without trying much of anything else. I became a professional musician, either predestined or by default. I love music and I love playing violin, for the freedom it gives and discipline it demands. Through playing music in Japan, Colombia, Mexico, and now in the United States, I have had opportunities to connect to people I otherwise wouldn’t have, in a very unique and exquisite way.

Q. What do you like most about the CPO’s ensemble approach to creating music?
A. Since the Chicago Philharmonic offers opportunities to freelance musicians, it gives me the chance to make music with a wide variety of musicians which is refreshing because musical and personal dynamics are slightly different every time. Often those diverse experiences and perspectives from the musicians would serve as a stimulant, enhancing the music making experience. I can only assume that the audience is benefitting from this as well.

Q. What new endeavors would you like to see the CPO pursue in the future?
A. It would be nice to have an even larger audience,  a bigger season, and more outreach/ educational programs, and perhaps a Japan tour?!  It is a pleasure to be associated with such a high caliber arts organization such as the Chicago Philharmonic.

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