Comets in Our Twilight, 3—Geneva Lewis

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Sat, 2013-10-05 07:41

Fifteen-year-old Geneva Lewis, whose tennis ace father Chris wrote the Foreword to Total Passion for the Total Height, here plays the first movement of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, and demonstrates yet again that objectively, Rand to the contrary notwithstanding, Romantic music is the best — and she, Geneva, at so unbelievably young an age, is shaping up to be one of its best exponents. Here, if Objectivists but knew it, lies the answer to all the angst about wherein humanity's salvation lies on other threads right now; unfortunately, most "Objectivists" are, musically, as resolutely ignorant and cretinous as anyone else in our militantly nihilistic times. I feel like Dominique in posting this: sharing mindful beauty with brainless, soulless devotees of the ugly; at least I shan't put it up on Faecesbook (these remarks are mine alone, and have nothing to do with Geneva or Chris):

And again:

Lindsay Perigo's picture

As I've commented on YT: The rich, soaring clarity in Geneva's upper register is rare, and as good as you'll hear from anyone; the spirit and verve of her playing are astonishing in one so young. A refreshing antidote to the fashionable passionlessness of "cool." Beyond exceptional.


ding_an_sich's picture

While I disagree with Mr. Perigo's sentiments on the superiority of Romantic music, this piece is superb. Geneva has a very bright future ahead of her. Laughing out loud


ding_an_sich's picture

"Seems like there ought to be a way to combine this classical/symphony stuff with intricate, sophisticated, intelligent rock 'n' roll."

There are a few genres that already do this. You have prog rock, symphonic metal, and a whole slew of genres in between.


Chris Lewis's picture

Hi Tom,

Re Federer, no, I would be surprised to see him winning another Grand Slam. Can't see him winning seven consecutive best of five's over a fortnight.

I've watched Geneva

HWH's picture

both on the violin and piano, and she is astounding.

Last night I also attended the year-end concert of the "Gold Coast Youth Orchestra" to watch my daughter play the cello in the junior symphony orchestra, and I am as heartened by the rise of some incredible young musicians.

The world is still worth fighting for.

Pardon the broadside, but someone else who should IMO come to the attention of those who care insofar as "Total passion for the total height" is concerned is Karise Eden.

Whats even more surprising is that she was discovered on Australian Idol

and heres her first hit single


Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Seems like there ought to be a way to combine this classical/symphony stuff with intricate, sophisticated, intelligent rock 'n' roll.

Culture matters

Tom Burroughes's picture

Agreed, Lindsay. No-one commented on my review (sob!) but I put up a review the other day here about the motor racing biopic, Rush, as I thought it had some themes that Objectivists would like. I think that this is where issues are lost and won: in movies, in music, in books, quite as much as in the explicit field of policy.

By the way, my wife's country, Malta, now boasts one of the world's best tenors; he's not yet quite in the Pavarotti league, but he's close:

He gave a performance in London's Royal Festival Hall a few months ago and I was blown away.

Wow. That is one hell of a

Tom Burroughes's picture

Wow. That is one hell of a list. You must be so proud of them.

Changing the subject, Chris, may I ask whether you think Federer has another chance at winning a major? I'd love to see him do so.

Thank you..

Chris Lewis's picture

...Terry and Mark


Chris Lewis's picture

Linz, the repertoire is...

1. G.F. Telemann Fantasia for solo violin (No. 8, 9 or 10)
2. Wieniawski Etude-Caprice Op. 18 (No 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6)
3. Freestyle Improvisation of an American folksong: Candidates will be given a short phrase as the basis for a 3 minute freestyle improvisation
4. A newly commissioned work by an American Composer

5. One of the following:

- Mozart Adagio K.61
- Beethoven Romance in G major Op. 40
- Beethoven Romance in F major Op. 50

6. One of the following:

- Beethoven Sonata No. 1, 5 or 8
- Schubert Sonata in A major Op. 162
- Brahms Sonata No. 1 in G major Op. 78

7. Handel-Halvorsen Passacaglia

8. One of the following:

- P. Sarasate Zigeunerweisen
- Saint-Saens Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso
- Waxman Carmen Fantasy
- Wieniawski Polonaise Brillante No. 2 Op. 21

Heavenly Thread

Mark Hubbard's picture

What a family Chris.


tvr's picture


Geneva, the Saint Saen piece ... both so incredibly inspiring. Congratulations.


Fantastic news!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

And entirely unsurprising. Please pass on my congratulations and best wishes. What pieces will the contestants have to play?

Menuhin Competition

Chris Lewis's picture

Linz, it was just announced that Geneva is a finalist in the 2014 Menuhin Competition, the world's leading competition for young violinists. For the first time, the event will be held in the USA, in Austin, Texas, from Feb 22nd-March 2nd, 2014.


Wait! There's more!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

As I say, a miracle. In the rational sense of the term. Smiling

And as I say on YouTube: "I echo TheConsultingViolinist in saying, 'Brava!' This left me moist-eyed and open-mouthed. 'Magnificent' doesn't do it justice. I can't wait for the super-stellar career that clearly awaits, to unfold."

Wonderful Performances

Newberry's picture

And congrats to the Lewis girls. One thing I noticed in both is the beautiful sound.

Perfect trio...

Olivia's picture

Family occasions in the Lewis household must be something else entirely. Rochelle is very impressive also. Do the siblings play in trio together? I imagine that they would.

Wait! There are more Lewis geniuses!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Did I mention Geneva's prodigy-siblings, Rochelle (cello) and Nathan (violin and piano)? Here's Rochelle:

Yes, I'm Reading.

Michael Moeller's picture

And listening! Your daughter is full of bravura, and you should be very proud of nuturing such talent!


Lindsay Perigo's picture

Linz – Are you sure that a handful of such prodigies will not be able, in the long run, to turn the culture and the world around?

Au contraire, I have long argued—indeed, it's the reason SOLO is here—that aesthetics must be, if not at the forefront, then at least integral, to "turning the world around." I couldn't get Objectivists to take that idea seriously, if you recall. In aesthetics, music especially (the most important of the arts), most of them are Neanderthals (and that's being unkind to Neanderthals). "Just keep churnin' out dem arguments for a free market, son." Problem is, a free market when comprachicoed cretins preponderate will not be pretty (or long-lived). I have said repeatedly that SOLO is for those who take The Romantic Manifesto seriously, with the addendum that we can judge music as objectively as we can the other arts, Rand to the contrary notwithstanding. A culture in which prodigies such as Geneva were top of the pops, and rap-crap a marginal curiosity, would indeed turn the world around, or be testament that the world had already been turned around. At my most optimistic I'd say it will be touch and go. And our chances won't be improved by being in denial.

None of which should, or does, diminish our rapture at the spectacle of the magnificence of such as Geneva. "Total passion for the total height"!!!!

Thank you...

Chris Lewis's picture

...Olivia, Gregster, and Ed for the kind words you've had to say about Geneva. And Mr Moeller, if you're reading this, thank you for your praise of my "Chris Lewis Goes Viral" article that you referred to on Mr Hudgins' current thread. For what it's worth, I'm a huge fan of pretty much everything the four of you have had to say on, well, pretty much everything.


Ed Hudgins's picture

What an inspiration! And playing one of my top three violin concertos (Mendelssohn and Korngold are the other two). Congrats to her and the parents who brought up such a wonderful girl, who helped her to love beauty!

Linz – Are you sure that a handful of such prodigies will not be able, in the long run, to turn the culture and the world around?


gregster's picture

Last Sunday was sunny. I played this from the iPad for the group of four neighbours on our deck while we had a few drinks. Thanks for posting.

Oh my Galt.

Olivia's picture

She is amazing.... and what a cutie too! She strikes me as being in love with her violin and what she can make it do. Beautiful. Tchaikovsky himself would be thrilled.

I can only imagine what she would do with Tartini's Devil's Trill Sonata if she ever got her hands on it.

Linz, just sent you the link

Chris Lewis's picture

Linz, just sent you the link to the rest of it. And Mum's the word.

Ha, Chris!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Yes, I noticed the convention-breaking applause, and thought maybe Geneva performed only the first movement. Then she began the second. So where's the rest of it?! Eye

Wonderful and fully deserved plaudits from the critic. Yes, there's hope. Just don't tell Moeller I said that.

Re Dominique

Chris Lewis's picture

You'll be gratified to know, Linz, that as a counterbalance to the "soulless devotees of the ugly," Geneva's knowledgeable audience of classical music lovers broke protocol by giving her a lengthy standing ovation after the first movement. The second movement had many in tears and the third movement was breathtaking. This is what one reviewer had to say about her performance:

"Now, I have heard the Tchaikovsky played by two of the biggest of the big names among late-20th-century world-class violin soloists, and both might have learned, or at least recalled, a thing or two about how to perform the work had they heard the recent concerts given by the winsome and dextrous teenager. Frankly, I think fascination with such excellent playing by a youngster paled as, movement after movement, Lewis elicited from her violin what I can only describe as truth. Instead of hearing the violin soloist, one felt one was hearing the composer's very own ideas, coming forth afresh, as if never before heard."

There's hope for the world yet.

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