There are child prodigies in chess, mathematics, and in music. In the latter category, it's the violin that seems to produce one or two sensational kids per decade. Most of the time, these miraculous kids are hardly 4 feet tall, can barely hold a sixteenth violin with their little fingers, and still they bring forth a kind of virtuosity that is simply gigantic. Axel Strauss, who was born in the Northern German city of Uelzen in 1974, was one of those children who had a head start. He started playing the violin at age four, won his first competition when he was eight, made his debut at Hamburg Music Hall at age 14 and appeared live on television with the Bukarest Philharmonic after winning a second prize at the International Enescu Competition in 1991. Impressive as it is, it might be just a bit slower than the career paths of Yehudi Menuhin or Anne-Sophie Mutter. Axel Strauss, however, has found another area of interest that he finds at least as fascinating as living out of a suit case. He teaches at the Juilliard School in New York, next to the famous teacher Dorothy DeLay. Strauss was only 20 when he started teaching at the Conservatory in the German city of Rostock. At Rostock, he was an assistant to his teacher Petru Munteanu whom he had met at the Conservatory in Luebeck. At Juilliard School, he was first Dorothy DeLay's student and then became her assistant. Georg Hirsch met with Axel Strauss in New York.
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