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Eric Shackle Writes: Free Advice For A Famous Violinist

...I sneak up to the Opera House for that all-important photo before being chased away by security. Supper is a meat pie and, as I look across to the Harbour Bridge, it dawns on me that I've made it halfway round the world. It feels great...

Classical musician David Juritz went on a world tour, busking to raise money for charity. Here he tells Eric Shackle of some of his experiences.

For lots more stories do visit Eric's world-famous e-book www.bdb.co.za/shackle/

Seven years ago, famous British musician David Juritz was guest concertmaster with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. When he returned to Sydney a few weeks ago on a round-the-world tour as a busker playing a violin for a children's charity, a woman who heard him outside the ferry terminal at Manly offered him well-meant advice.

He was playing a fast classical piece when the woman exclaimed "Nah. You won't get any money like that! You've got to hold the notes longer."

Recalling the incident in his diary, Juritz wrote, "I start another piece with some occasional longer notes, but still predominately short, jerky ones. 'That's more like it. Nooo. Hold the note. Longer than that. That's right. No, no nah. Yeah. Like that. Yeah. Longer, no, no. You need to hold them... My Dad played the violin.'"

Juritz was disappointed that he failed to get permission to play his fiddle outside the Sydney Opera House because a youth orchestra was playing there over the weekend.

Undeterred, he drove to the Town Hall, picked up a busking licence, then went back to Circular Quay and began playing Bach to people hurrying past on their way to the nearby Opera House.

"It's freezing and it takes ages to get my fingers going," he wrote. "I make $A57 in about an hour and a half -- a sort of musical sympathy vote."

Here's a further extract from Juritz's's web diary:

The Aussies are friendly, appreciative and generous, and by Monday, I've amassed enough to buy my ticket to Melbourne plus three long-haul flights. Free violin lessons aren't the only examples of largesse. I'm invited to parties, given fruit and cookies, and several people put $A100 bills in my case.

I sneak up to the Opera House for that all-important photo before being chased away by security. Supper is a meat pie and, as I look across to the Harbour Bridge, it dawns on me that I've made it halfway round the world. It feels great.

He eventually returned to London. "It's been quite a journey, covering some 50 cities, 60,000 miles, and many more miles of violin bowing," Ed Pilkington wrote in The Guardian. "But now David Juritz's adventure busking on street corners from Berlin and Johannesburg to Beijing and Buenos Aires is coming to an end.

"On Tuesday he will fly from the last city on his Round the World and Bach trip, New York, and return to London, where he will resume his day job - leader of the Mozart Players.

"He will carry with him $50,000 (24,500) raised on behalf of the charity he set up, Musequality, to support music teaching for children in the developing world, as well as the satisfaction that he has fulfilled a youthful dream."

Juritz arrived back in London very early in the morning of Oct. 24, and performed his final busk on the steps of 10 Downing Street (the Prime Minister's official residence) at 10 a.m.

"While Downing Street is used to people asking to present petitions to the government on the steps of 10 Downing Street this was the first time something like this had happened there," his publicist, Joanna Biddolph, told us by email. "It was a wonderful finale and Downing Street had it on their website as one of their lead stories for over a week.

"The tour was not just about raising money, though of course that was a big part of it. David has made excellent connections along the way which will, we hope, turn into long term help/support for Musequality.

"This included three days in Venezuela being briefed on El Sistema, their state-run scheme which offers every willing child a musical instrument and lessons to learn how to play it, which was David's inspiration when setting up Musequality."

Footnote

Juritz enjoyed a two-day visit to South Korea during his world trip.

"I did a little busking (although with my violin case closed for contributions) in Insa-dong in Seoul," he told me from his London home.

"Koreans are famous for their interest in classical music but, even so, I was amazed by the response. It was the only time that I had a crowd of 20 people gathered before I'd even started playing! They were really appreciative, which was great.

"Later on in the evening I did risk a little 'open case' busking but was very swiftly accosted by a policeman and had a very tense 15 minutes while he and a colleague decided what to do with me. In the end, they let me off.

"I also had an interesting experience trying to get a haircut -- evidently those red and white barber's poles advertise a completely different kind of service there! I tried four different shops and eventually found a ladies' hairdresser instead."

Links

David Juritz's Web Diary http://www.davidjuritz.com/

Round the World Violinist entertains No. 10 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvCOimuEqcE

Musequality http://76.162.175.251/whatwedo.html


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