Carlo van Neste

My sister recently unearthed some photos from the 1950s.They reminded me how lucky I was to have happened upon Carlo as a violin teacher (once again thanks to Paul Martens).

Carlo and his wife

Carlo and his wife

Apart from being an inspirational teacher and performer he was generosity personified. I just took it for granted that I would stay for meals with the family after lessons (three beautiful daughters may have been the added attraction), would “borrow” his car (a “ Maigret” Citroen) to drive these daughters on social outings and, best of all, spend part of the summer holidays with the family at their villa on Lago d’Orta.

The van Neste family, Keith and Me in Rome

The van Neste family, Keith and me in Rome

One year Noel Travers (another South African pupil of his), Keith Lovell and I (all three “guests“ at the villa) followed the family down to Rome where Carlo was playing the Beethoven concerto outdoors in one of Rome’s ancient basilicas.

The performance of the Beethoven was memorable not only because of his magical playing but for the presence of a cricket who only stopped chirping, rather louder than the music, when mesmerised by Carlo’s playing of the cadenza, fell silent for the coda and slow movement that followed.

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Categories: Formative Years, Musicians

About the Author,

For more than 50 years Peter Carter played the violin professionally in string quartets, orchestras and as a soloist.


5 Responses to Carlo van Neste

  1. Paul Martens was my hero, – I remember when I first was interviewed by him my knees were shaking! He and Barbara Aitcheson had a private joke every time they played the Sabre Dance…Those were the good old days.

    • Moira – were you in the Durban orchestra? My ancient memory is letting me down.
      Paul was very charismatic and played a huge part in my life.
      I’m still in touch with his son Eric and even did a SA tour with him and his wife.

  2. I also can’t remember who was your competition in the Eisteddford – one of George Walker’s students against one of Paul Marten’s students – you!!!!!

  3. Hello Peter,
    I came across our early connection and would like to share something very personal with you. I also was playing in the “early” days with Roy Carter in the Art gallery. I still have a friendly connection with Rein Pirn – violin (an Estonian – student at the time at the Unversity – Architecture).
    My personal comment is – although I certainly don’t believe in “the stars” but the three men in my life all had birthdays next to each other….Paul Martens 19th Feb, Herbert Badstubner my husband 20th February and my father Richard Henry Williams 21. February…now if that isn’t an unusual co-incidence then what is?????

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