Where’s Leo? He’s Playing for the Queen of Sweden

'He's the best violinist in Germany right now,' said Christoph Wynecken of Leo, age 15.

By Marcia E. Gawecki

When the 10 German students took a day off from their music lessons at Idyllwild Arts to swim at Laguna Beach on Sunday, someone was missing.

“Where’s Leo?” I asked Christoph Wynecken, who teaches violin and viola during the Summer Program.

Wynecken has been bringing his music students from Stuttgart, and other cities in Germany to Idyllwild to play in the Chamber Orchestra for eight years now.

Part of their California experience is going to the beach on Sundays.

Last year, Leo and the other German students went to Venice Beach to experience its zany characters and arts peddlers on the boardwalk (See ‘German Students See Sand and Surf,’ Idyllwild Me blog entry, dated Aug. 16.)

Leo was a typical 14-year-old, chatting incessantly in German, rough housing with his friends and taking pictures of everything. He even warmed up to the idea of going to the Armand Hammer Art museum after the beach.

“Why do we have to go?” Leo asked, sunburned and tired.

“Because there’s more to California than just beaches,” Christoph said. “There’s a lot of culture here.”

During the many orchestra and chamber concerts performed during the summer, Christoph gave Leo, the youngest violinist, a chance to play first chair.

“We are more casual about first chair, and second chair in Germany,” Christoph said later Sunday night at In-and-Out Burger in Moreno Valley. “But he did a fine job of leading the orchestra.”

So where is Leo, the violin prodigy?

“He’s playing for the Queen of Sweden,” Christoph said with a smile.

He didn’t elaborate on the details, but it sounded like Leo has already performed for the queen several times. Not a bad gig for a pre-teen.

(from L) Christoph gives instructions to German students at Venice Beach last year.

It stands to reason that Queen Silvia, who was born in Heidelberg, and married King Carl XVI  Gustaf of Sweden, after meeting him at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, would want to hear a promising young German violin player.

According to reports, the two “clicked” during the Summer Olympics and were married three months later. It was the first marriage of a reigning Swedish monarch since 1797.

All that royalty news aside, the fact remains that Leo isn’t coming back to the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program, or Christoph’s orchestra, for that matter.

“He’s the best violin player in Germany right now,” Christoph said definitively.

Did Christoph see it coming? Did he know that Leo was gifted in Idyllwild last summer?

“I could smell it,” Christoph said. “A musician like him comes along once every 50 years.”

He brushed aside any notion that he groomed Leo into the promising young violin player that he is today.

“He will likely have a great solo career,” Christoph predicted.

No agent to push him, Leo will likely finish high school, before starting his music career. But Christoph has some consiliation in losing Leo. His brother is also a gifted violin player, and he’s been teaching him the ropes.

Copyright 2011 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

Published on: Aug 15, 2011 @ 21:39

 


the attachments to this post:

(from L) Christoph gives instructions to German students at Venice Beach last year.
Germans instructions

'He's the best violinist in Germany right now,' said Christoph Wynecken of Leo, age 15.
Chamber Leo CU

(from L) Christolph gives instructions to German students last year at Venice Beach
Germans instructions

'Leo's the best violinist in Germany right now,' said Christolph.
Chamber Leo CU


Comments are closed.