The Inner Violin is a guide to the mastery of violin technique and offers a path to the authenticity that all artists strive for. Hoppenot was the first to observe what she called le mal du violon (the violin disease). Very early on she understood that this problematic rapport with the instrument was a common condition of musicians who associate the violin with physical pain, anxiety, and frustration. This book demonstrates with acute clarity the connection between body and mind when playing the violin and interpreting music.
For three decades until her untimely death from cancer in 1983, Dominique Hoppenot was celebrated for her personal, original, and humane approach to violin teaching. The Inner Violin (Le violon intérieur), first published in 1981, is the culmination of her long experience as a violin pedagogue. A teacher of both professional instrumentalists and amateurs, Hoppenot challenged traditional academic teaching methods and her many workshops influenced a generation of string instrumentalists. A website (https://dominiquehoppenot.com) created by some of Hoppenot’s students is a testimony to her remarkable impact and legacy.
Anne Squire, who was a student of Dominique Hoppenot, is a graduate of New England Conservatory of Music with a master’s degree in violin performance. She has taught French at New England Conservatory and Berklee College of Music and worked as an editor at Houghton Mifflin Company and Heinle & Heinle.
Exquisite, profound, and true.
Fascinating. Not only are all the issues examined, but it is all treated with intelligence and depth. The Inner Violin goes far beyond a purely pedagogical treatise and becomes a lesson of life.
This remarkable and inspiring book is unique in the pedagogical literature of the violin. Beyond its practical virtues, Hoppenot’s invaluable insights on the instrumental gesture achieve what philosophies and religions seek: the union of body and soul.
Dominique Hoppenot kept saying she didn’t have a magic wand, but she gave me the immense joy of being at one with the instrument, of truly befriending my body in order to forget it at last and experience total freedom of expression.