This one-armed violinist is an awesome inspiration

This one-armed violinist is an awesome inspiration


norman lebrecht

September 06, 2018

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  • Unicorda says:

    Bravo Mr. Lebrecht!!

  • Furtive Wangler says:

    If what I am seeing is correct, she is Manami Ito (伊藤真波 in Japanese) and is a paralympian swimmer.

  • VIolinaccordion says:

    Apart from the remarkable achievements, this is a lesson to all violinists and their teachers as to how redundant and unnecessary is the shoulder rest . Between her shoulder and head she has total security with no fear of dropping the instrument, even with her enormous disability.And more interesting is the chin rest on the opposite side
    I played almost all my life without shoulder rest or chin rest and not even a cloth or pad

    • M2N2K says:

      Human bodies are different and what is “redundant and unnecessary” for some may indeed be necessary and very helpful for others. It is the musical result that is important. This video is certainly an inspiration. Thanks for sharing, Norman!

  • Simon Scott says:


  • Robert Holmén says:

    Yes, it’s a lesson “to all violinists and their teachers” who want to look painfully hunched-over that a shoulder rest is “redundant and unnecessary”.

    And after you’ve paid $5 million for a violin it makes perfect sense to dampen the sound by clamping the back plate with your shoulder.

    I enjoyed her performance.

    The elbow of the mechanical arm is obviously doing some work there. How is that being controlled? I’m imagining some sort of foot pedal but we never see that much of her.

    • Simon Scott says:

      Shoulder rests. I think that they should be compulsory in most cases. People are now much taller than they were in the early days of the violin. Shoulder support is needed.
      IMO,it is a wonderful and practical invention.
      Almost all of the current soloists use some kind of support.
      Brave New world of going ‘restless’?

      • Simon Scott says:

        One other thing: IMO the violin sounds better with a shoulder rest and also reduces the risk of dropping it or it flying across the room.
        I have never ever seen eye to eye with this anti shoulder rest mania.
        Always best to concentrate on being comfortable and sounding well than pandering to prissy prejudices of others

    • Robert Holmén says:

      On re-watching I see that the the arm seems to be activated by a flexing motion of the shoulder.