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Having already seduced half of Europe and South America, Vanessa-Mae, the 16-year-old rock/classical violinist, will try to charm America this month.
She'll appear on talk shows, play her classical-tinged techno-pop Friday at noon in New York's Times Square as well as the national anthem at Chicago's Wrigley Field July 30 and Comiskey Park July 31. None of these are music-friendly venues. "But the important thing is that people catch a glimpse of your music," she says.
Or a glimpse of her. Much of what's being sold is the image of the hip, sexy Singapore-born, London-raised prodigy who once played with the London Symphony Orchestra but now prefers the high-energy, four-piece band heard in her first U.S. release, The Violin Player.
Her punchy version of Bach's Toccata & Fugue charted on England's Top 40, thanks partly to an MTV-style video with her at the seashore, looking so sexually provocative that British journalists dubbed her "Lolita with a fiddle." "Those comments are totally valueless to me. I made the video when I was 15 and had a wonderful time. I don't know what a real Lolita should be like," she says.
Unlike conventional violinists, she moves, dances, while playing. "Many violinists grunt, heave and look like they're torturing themselves. But I have a very relaxed style. It's second nature. You go onstage to enjoy yourself."
It's tough in pop music for a non-singing instrumentalist to gain huge stardom and even Vanessa-Mae says, "We've had a lot of nice surprises so far. But then, I've always thought that the violin is the most similar to the voice."
Copyright 1995, USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co., Inc.


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