Classic Arts Features   Fiddlemeister
He's played the violin since age 11 and played with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra since 1977. He considers Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman to be close friends. Now, not only is he an established musician, he is one of the most esteemed violin teachers in the nation. Meet Jan Sloman, principal associate concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Playbill: When did you realize you had a passion for teaching?

Jan Sloman: I have taught for a long time, but until 15 years ago it was mostly professionals. Then a couple of young local talents came my way, then a few more, and the studio evolved. I realized that the passion and commitment were always there and it felt very natural to teach.

PB: What has been the most rewarding part of teaching? Playing with the DSO?

JS: I work with bright, talented kids. My students have won numerous awards and prizes, but they all have made playing the violin a part of their lives. The local and national recognition of the studio's success has also been very gratifying. The students, by and large, stay in touch — an ever-growing family...

The greatest reward of being a member of the DSO is the music. Our work is to illuminate and share the greatest music mankind has created. What greater joy could there be?

PB: Have you had the pleasure of working with or teaching any notable musicians?

JS: Most of the serious string players of my generation converged every summer at Meadowmount, Ivan Galamian's summer school in upstate New York. That's where I first met many players who have become lifelong friends — Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Ani and Ida Kavafian, and Young Uck Kim, among others. I even met my accountant, Ken Travis, there — he was a violinist before becoming a CPA!

PB: What are your other hobbies?

JS: My family is my favorite and first priority. I don't have much time for hobbies as such, but I do enjoy exercise and wine — always hoping one helps balance the other!

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