Jan Bislin – Canada

A miracle of timeless music flows from his hands and heart. Jan Bislin was four years old when he first saw a violin hanging in a music store and he broke down in tears, begging his mother for permission to play it. As his mother tried to browse through the piano sheet music, she kindly told her insistent son: “You are too young, Jan.”

David Voth, a violin teacher, happened to be in the store and overheard the conversation. After playing London Bridge is Falling Down for the youngster, Voth placed the violin in the boy’s hands. He quietly cradled the violin under his chin and started playing the instrument as naturally as if he’d been born with it in his hands. A musical prodigy was discovered. This event was the first of a series of miracles in his life as Voth took the child under his wings to start teaching him violin.

Jan, now 21, is recognized as a rare virtuoso on the violin and piano.
The Abbotsford native captivates and awes audiences as he gently, yet powerfully, creates a living, dynamic symphony of sound. “I just enjoy playing,” Jan said. “It is hard to explain, but I really feel the music when I play.” Already in his early performance career, he has played solo in Stuttgart, Germany; in Prague, Czech Republic at the Conservatory of Music; the University of Washington; and the Conservatory of Music in Victoria. Jan consistently earns first-class honors with distinction every year for violin and piano from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. He is a modest and likable with a warm smile.

The youngest of four children his life is the epitome of balance. He studies music theory or practices violin and piano for about an hour, then takes a short break by playing basketball or jogging, and then goes back to play more music, he said.  The lanky, young man tries to balance the intellectual demands he places on himself by doing physical activities. He has a passion for music, especially the Romantic era, and his technical playing abilities are exceptional.

Jan warms his listeners with renditions of timeless classics as he tries to follow in the footsteps of the heroes he reveres, such as: Joshua Bell, whom Jan met at his recent concert in Seattle, Iszhtak Pehrlman, Franz Liszt and Frederick Chopin.
Some of Jan’s favorite pieces at the moment include: Mendelssohn’s Concerto, Bartok Rhapsody Number One, Unaccompanied Bach and Beethoven’s Sonatas.
Jan said he is inspired by the performances of great musicians, especially if they play an impossible or showy piece of music. “That really impresses me and I hope to do something close to that.”