We are mourning the passing of one of our long time faculty members, Norma Varga, who succumbed to cancer over Labor Day weekend. Norma was an active part of the BSM Violin Faculty since 2000 bringing her beautiful spirit, energy, and passion for music to her students and our community. Norma had a wonderful personality, always cheerful and laughing despite whatever the circumstances were. We will miss her dearly.
Playing violin seems to be in Norma Varga's DNA. "My entire family has played for five generations. It was inevitable that I would too." Born and raised in London, Norma moved to New York after getting married.
"I believe that almost everyone can learn to play violin, to a greater or lesser degree. Therefore a teacher must develop whatever talent is there, always focusing on the overall enjoyment of the experience," says Norma of her teaching philosophy.
Norma works with students from as young as four to adulthood. "I enjoy teaching younger children. Violin playing develops focus and can be made into fun. Small children need new pieces constantly, even if previous material has not been perfected." With adults, Norma chooses mature repertoire, "even if it is simple. Material suitable for beginner children is often not appropriate for adults."
Currently, Norma focuses her musical energies on pedagogy, but her past performing experience is extensive, including solo performances throughout western Europe and the eastern United States. Her favorite composers include Bach, Sibelius, Beethoven, and Bartok. Norma also admits that "folk music fascinates me." Norma includes Jascha Heifetz, David Oistrach, and Maria Callas as her musical influences but also counts dancers such as Margot Fonteyn, Alicia Markove, and Galina Ulanova and writers Keats, Shelley, and the Brontes, as artistic inspirations. When she is not spending time teaching her students, Norma enjoys going to the theater, ballet, and opera, and also pursues a strong passion for writing.