Violinist Vadim Gluzman recalls a critical life lesson: listen to the inner voice

A frequent performer at Orchestra Hall and on other leading stages worldwide, Israeli-born violinist Vadim Gluzman radiates confidence. But that wasn’t always the case.

“Looking back, I would tell myself to listen more to my inner voice,” said Gluzman in the Life Lessons feature in the Strad magazine. “The times when I did this were life-changing. My biggest obstacle was always myself. In the end, you are the one responsible for pulling through, and it depends on how much music means to you.”

Gluzman, who appears with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in concerts June 1-3 and 6, recalled an incident when he was studying with acclaimed instructor Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School. “I remember going to her and complaining that I was tired and stressed. She replied, ‘Sugarplum, if you think it’s too difficult, go work in a bank. You can go back home and forget about work.’ We don’t make music; we live it. You do it because you need to do it. Then any obstacle is solvable.”