Living her dream

Acclaimed violinist Latica Honda-Rosenberg never misses an opportunity to come to Israel.

Latica Rosenberg 311 (photo credit: Maxim Reider)
Latica Rosenberg 311
(photo credit: Maxim Reider)
The 13th Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival takes place between August 31 – September 11. Founded by pianist Elena Bashkirova in 1998 to contribute to the city’s musical life, it hosts the world’s leading musicians, as well as promising young artists, both local and international.
A glance at the roster of participants reveals such names as pianist/conductor Daniel Barenboim, violinists Nikolaj Znaider and Guy Braunstein, cellists Kyril Zlotnikov, Zvi Plesser, Alisa Weilerstein, and pianists Kirill Gerstein and Matan Porat.
The main body of the festival is built around several themes. These include celebrating Pierre Boulez by performing some of his emblematic works, while “Brahms and 1900” highlights the composer’s influence on the music of the early 20th century.
“This festival is especially dear to me,” said the festival’s frequent guest violinist Latica Honda-Rosenberg in a phone interview with The Jerusalem Post. “Not only because this is an opportunity for me to come to the country that I love so much or because its artistic director, Elena Bashkirova, manages to bring together top-caliber artists but because of its very atmosphere unique. The audience is ultimately involved in the performance, yearning to understand what the musicians on the stage are trying to say.”
This must be important for Honda- Rosenberg, known for the high emotional charge and communicativeness of her performance.
“Right. Otherwise, there’s no reason to play in public – you can play for yourself in your living room. And, honestly, that is what I enjoy as much as playing in front of the audience. This is just another me.”
The only definite thing one can say about Rosenberg is that she is an extremely talented violinist and warm-hearted human being. The rest is all about dualities. Born to a Japanese father and a Croatian mother, she grew up in a little German town, where she felt like a stranger because of her appearance and her music – she started playing violin at a very early age. Later, in her teens, she revealed that her mother was actually Jewish and had been rescued by a gentile family during World War II. Since then, she dreamed of coming to Israel.
It was here that, for the first time, she felt accepted by kids her own age. From that time on, she has never missed an opportunity to come to Israel as a performer or a teacher. She learned Hebrew, and her identification with Israel has gone so far that she is now in a fulfilling relationship with an Israeli scientist who lives in Europe.
In her youth, Rosenberg was the student of a prominent Russian teacher, Zachar Bron, in Madrid. Her career received a significant push after she won the silver medal at the prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Today she lives in Berlin and divides her time between performing internationally and teaching at one of the Germany’s most prestigious music schools, Berlin University of the Arts.
“This is exactly what I wanted – bustling Berlin, a professorship… But there is another Latica, the hiding person. And now my dream has come true: I bought a tiny apartment in Croatia and I’m planning to escape there every now and then, even for a couple of days. The small town is situated on an island. A three-hour drive from Zagreb, it is the most beautiful place on Earth. Life is basic there; there’s not much culture around. I buy simple food at the grocery, the sea kisses my doorstep, and I have no obligations there. I bake a cake if I feel like it, and I play a lot of music. But somehow my students found out where I am and pop up even there!”
At the festival, Latica Honda- Rosenberg performs pieces by Brahms, Schumann and Israeli composer Muskal.
For the detailed program please visit Web site For reservations, call (02) 625-0444.