Fancy playing the Bach double at the LA Phil?

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Los Angeles (March 22, 2019) – World-renowned violinist Ray Chen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic have announced the “Play with Ray” competition. The international skills-based talent search aims to find a violinist to perform Bach’s Double Concerto with Ray and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, led by Ben Gernon, at the iconic Hollywood Bowl, Thursday, August 8, 2019.

The idea for “Play with Ray” is one the recently turned 30-year-old has dreamed of for years.

“I want to provide people around the world a fun, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Chen. “People who have a dream to perform on stage, this project is for you. I couldn’t think of a better partnership to help realize everyone’s passion for music than the LA Phil at the Hollywood Bowl.”
Entrants can play alongside a video of Ray and the orchestra from the comfort of their own living room, then record and submit along with an essay. The top three finalists will be flown to Los Angeles to play violin with Ray in person on rare violins provided by Tarisio, the leading international establishment of fine instruments and bows. The finalists will also attend masterclasses and concerts in the days leading up to the concert. The grand-prize winner will join Ray and the LA Phil on stage at the Hollywood Bowl, performing the first movement of Bach’s Double Violin Concerto at the nearly-18,000-seat venue. The concert will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube.

Entry is open to non-professional violinists of all ages and is free.

For further information and to submit an application, please visit


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  • Did I see Tarisio described as “the leading establishment of violins and bows” ?
    They have come a long way in a few years. When they started didn’t they seem like a dodgy version of eBay ?

  • Sounds a great opportunity for someone. Unfortunately I can only make the sounds of a strangled cat when I play the fiddle.

    • I rather think he’d quip: “Das mach’ ich besser!”

      Yet: the Play-with-Ray gig will produce not only plenty of excitement, and, ultimately, a thrilled fiddle player who will have the life-changing experience of playing with Ray and the LAPhil in Hollywood Bowl, but also plenty of money.

      Which Mr Johann Sebastian Bach of Leipzig wouldn’t mind at all… 🙂

    • Poor Bach !! but he will survive mediocrities like Chen who use the art form as a stalking horse to
      fulfill their needs for fame and money . One is
      not too surprised to also see the name Tarisio.
      It goes with the territory………..

  • Yes, a fabulous opportunity for someone. The only caveat I can think of is that a non-experienced player may be completely over-awed by the experience. I’ve been lucky enough to play the ‘Bach Double’ on a few occasions but it would be another thing to play it under these circumstances.

    • Well, they will have to win a contest that includes playing the piece with the famous guy, so it’s not like they just pick some random violin-owner out of the audience and hope for the best.

  • Jack Benny played the first movement with Isaac Stern in a benefit concert at Carnegie Hall back in 1961. It can be seen on YT. He’s clearly nervous, but he does rather well all things considered. All Benny had ever wanted was to be a concert violinist and, though he didn’t have the stuff, as it were, he continued to practice every day.

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