Igor Gruppman (59) is a violinist and a concertmaster of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. That means he is a talented musician, but he also knows a thing or two about leadership. Wednesday he will share his story ánd his music on campus during the Discover your talent-day of the Rotterdam Talent Week during a live on-stage interview. Here you can read a sneak preview.

How did you discover your talent?

“My parents were music lovers. At five years old, I started to play the piano. At seven, I played the violin for the first time and immediately felt that I could become an excellent violinist. The violin offered freedom to create my own sound, also because it is close to singing. It felt good.”

Why do you need to start at such an early age?

“That’s how much time it will take if you want to become an excellent musician. Your mental skills have to develop parallel to you emotional and spiritual skills. They need to click.”

How important is ambition, or is talent enough to become successful?

“I was never ambitious. I wasn’t auditioning for a job like this.  When the request came from the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra to become their concertmaster, I was surprised. For me it was a good example that if you do what you love and stand still, the future will find you. Of course I am ambitious to improve myself as a violinist and concertmaster.”

What can you teach us about leadership?

“As a concertmaster and as the leader of a company you need to have a broad understanding of the process. Moreover, you need to lead and follow at the same time. For us in the orchestra it is important to listen to each other, becauseyou can’t hide while making music. I can hear it when someone is having a bad day. These are skills leaders in companies also need to practice.”

Want to hear more from Igor Gruppman and get the unique chance to hear him play? Come to the Erasmus Pavilion on Wednesday 8 June at 15.45-16.30. He will be interviewed by Wieneke Gunneweg, editor-in-chief of Erasmus Magazine.