Like most of her peers Eugenie Lim, 15, of Kennesaw has a lot on her mind. Between classes as a rising junior at Harrison High School and a social life, the Cobb County teen has her hands full.
Yet she still manages to play the violin as the youngest member of the Franklin Pond Chamber Orchestra in Atlanta. Later this month, she will appear with her fellow orchestra mates at the Franklin Pond Chamber Music Competition and Awards Concert on May 29 at Clayton State University.
Inspired by her brother’s talent for the cello, at the age of 6 Lim was not yet aware of the skill she would cultivate as a violinist. Although she practiced piano throughout her childhood, there was something about the string instrument that she preferred.
“I switched over to the violin because I loved the way it sounded,” said Lim, recalling the beginning of her passion for violin. “It was so broad and real compared to the piano.”
Since the age of seven, she’s practiced and played in the Franklin Pond chamber as a violin prodigy. For the next nine years, Lim worked to master the instrument by setting goals.
“Establishing a routine that you tell yourself you’ll fulfill every day is really important, along with creating goals you can look forward to and work towards,” she said.
Her hard work landed her a spot in the Atlanta Youth Symphony, and her discipline led her to win several awards, including the American Protégé Competition in 2017 at only 11 years old.
“Sometimes it’s really intimidating because you’re surrounded by older people who you know are more experienced than you,” said Lim of her spot in the Franklin Pond chamber. “But it’s also really fun to be looking up to a lot of people and having a lot of role models.”
One of her biggest role models, aside from her fellow musicians, is her teacher at Franklin Pond Chamber Orchestra, Sonja Foster. Foster has taught Lim ever since she was 7 years old and became an idol for the young violinist.
“My teacher is somebody that I’ve always looked up to. She always knows what she’s going to talk about,” said Lim. “I want to be like her one day.”
Another motivator for Lim is her belief that music has an important value; she wants to make sure everyone across the globe can learn to appreciate it.
“Music is really special in the way that it’s a universal language that is everywhere, and understood by everyone,” she said. “I love how unifying it is, especially in times like this when there are so many things pulling people apart.”
In March, Lim displayed her appreciation for the unifying properties of music in a benefit concert where she played alongside members of her ensemble, the Ludimus Trio. Joining her were members of the Atlanta Symphony, the Atlanta Opera and the National Philharmonic of Ukraine. The event, Atlanta is United for Ukraine, was a charity concert that raised more than $20,000 for the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian group that helps families of war to rebuild their lives and overcome their trauma.
While simultaneously being a moving tribute to the struggles of the thousands of Ukrainians across the sea under the fear of Russian attacks, the concert was also attended by several Atlanta Ukrainians in person.
Alongside this heart-warming act of fundraising, Lim wants her future after majoring in music to reflect her love for charity and helping others.
“I want to join a major orchestra, like the Chicago Symphony, or maybe start my own group,” she said. “But I also want to hold concerts for people that don’t usually have access to it. I want to create my own studio to give children in hard areas a chance at learning what music can be.”
Lim’s upcoming concert will take place at Spivey Hall on the Clayton State University campus in Morrow on May 29. The competition will kick off at 11 a.m. with the awards concert at 4 p.m. To learn more about the Franklin Pond Chamber Orchestra, logon to franklinpond.org.
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