David Juritz was born in Cape Town, South Africa. He moved to Great Britain in the seventies to study at the Royal College of Music and since then has forged a successful international career in music. He founded Musequality to support musically gifted children in developing countries.
David, who supported you in your young musical career and what type of encouragement did they give?
My love of music definitely came from my father who, although he was a physics professor at the University of Cape Town, also played the bassoon, piano and harpsichord professionally as well. Dad used to subject me and my brother and sister to all sorts of tests as children to develop our ears and would also sit us down to listen to pieces of music. Of course none of that worked but, when dad wasn’t trying too hard, the house was always full of music; either him playing records or rehearsing with friends. It all seeped in gradually.
My first violin teacher, Noel Travers, was also very important to me. He had to be very patient sometimes but he managed to put up with me for 12 years!
Another very important person was a family friend, Bob, who was an amateur violinist. Although he was nearly fifty years older than me, he was a real soul-mate and I inherited, picked up, his passion for the violin.
Why did you choose your particular musical instrument?
When I was about three my brother and sister’s piano teacher offered to give me a few lessons after I’d been found picking out tunes on the piano. I hated it and halfway through the third lesson I told him that I knew he was only teaching me because he fancied my mother. That put a stop to that until, when I was five, I heard a radio comedy about a boy learning to play the violin and torturing his family with it. I quickly realised that this was the instrument for me and have never looked back since.
What is your relationship to music?
We all learn throughout our lives and I now know that I’m almost most content when I’m practising the violin, just figuring out how to do this or that. I haven’t had a lesson for a few years although I love to ask people about technique and get new ideas. It took me a long time to make the distinction between being taught and learning something. One doesn’t need a teacher to learn; you just have to have patience, work slowly and even more slowly after that. That way, you can work out most things.
Describe the inner drive that motivates you to continue on your musical path.
I love both the expressive and technical analytical sides of music. There is so much great music that I still haven’t played and so many kinds of music I hope I still have time to explore. I love discovering new (to me) music. Recently I took part in a performance of Lucian Berio’s Sinfonia. I felt like I was fifteen again I was so excited.
What draws you to participate in a composition workshop in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq.
I visited Erbil three years ago and had such a great time working with musicians who were so passionate about what they were doing. It’s very inspiring to meet young people with such dedication and they remind us that music matters perhaps more in places where there are greater challenges than we have in London. I hope I’m able to contribute something when I’m there – I know I will get back far more in return!
Find out more about David at busking trip around the world