Violinists share stage for Scandinavian celebration

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Lauren Welch will join her violin instructor Wai Mizutani for “A Nordic Dream” concert featuring Scandinavian composers at 7 p.m. Friday, June 7, at Flathead Valley Community College.

Twelve-year old Lauren Welch joins her teacher, world-renowned violinist Wai Mizutani, for this special performance and celebration of Scandinavian composers and culture.

Mizutani, a faculty member of FVCC, invited Lauren to study under him about three years ago. She had studied piano for about five years before she became interested in playing the violin.

“Lauren has such a serving heart for other people,” Mizutani said. “This is one of the reasons why I picked her as a student. “Her creativity in all aspects — drawing, dancing, art projects — is such a part of her nature. She’s able to take what she learns and make it personal. She’s also such a team worker and leader and always appreciates the other kids.”

Lauren spoke with the Daily Inter Lake last week on the day she graduated from seventh grade at St. Matthew’s School.

In 2018, she had the unique opportunity to travel to Mizutani’s native country China. Together they visited the Beijing conservatories and performance halls where he had once practiced and performed.

A devoted young student of music, Lauren listens almost exclusively to classical music and says classical pieces play in her head while she’s in the car.

“Unless my brothers are playing music,” she said. “They listen to pop.”

Her favorite composers are Italian violinist Paganini and Spanish violinist Pablo de Sarasate.

Lauren shares her talent with residents at nursing homes and the veterans home, and helps with fundraisers for such local organizations as the Sparrow’s Nest of Northwest Montana shelter for homeless teens.

“I just love making people happy and making people smile,” the young violinist says. “I love making God smile.”

Lauren will also be performing a Juilliard audition piece during the concert.

She would one day like to attend Juilliard and hopes to obtain a doctorate in music performance.

Of her plans for the future she says, “I want to be a solo violinist, travel the world and play with various orchestras.”

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