Play It Forward – Noah Carr

Music that inspires one of All Classical Portland’s Youth Artist Ambassadors, Noah Carr.

Noah Carr and his Violin

Meet Violinist Noah Carr, a 16 year old Grant High School Senior and one of All Classical Portland’s Youth Artist Ambassadors for 2022.
Recently we asked Noah what pieces of music have inspired him to become the musician he is today.
Here are a few of Noah’s selections.

Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, Itzhak Perlman~Movement I

“I first heard this concerto at a live Itzhak Perlman concert when I was about ten years old. I bought the CD of the album and I listened to it all the time. I’ve loved the concerto ever since, and it was a huge source of inspiration.”

Paganini Caprice #24, Augustin Hadelich 

“My mom showed me a video of Hillary Hahn playing Paganini’s 24th caprice when I was little, and I was really inspired. I tried to play it, but it was just slightly beyond my level as an eight-year-old still working through the Suzuki books. It helped motivate me to practice, with the hope that someday I would be able to play it.”

Bach Partita No. 2, Chaconne


“My mom bought me the book Violin Dreams, by Arnold Steinhardt when I was eight or so and she would read it to me as a bedtime story. It’s an autobiography of Arnold Steinhardt’s life, and I found it really inspiring to read about his childhood. It was the first peak I ever took at the personal life and story of a famous classical musician, and it provided a narrative I could look at for inspiration. Steinhardt discusses the Chaconne and his relationship with it in great detail, and I remember re-reading his analysis of the piece many times. I still haven’t learned the Chaconne, but it has awed and inspired me for many years.”

Across the Stars “Love Theme” from Star Wars, Arranged for Solo Violin and Orchestra by John Williams, Performed by Anne-Sophie Mutter

“I discovered this one earlier this year, and I found it to be incredibly beautiful. I love Anne-Sophie Mutter’s playing, and her tone is just perfect for this piece. When it comes to experimenting with tone and different colors I tend to listen to Mutter. And I also have a soft spot for Star Wars.” 

Dvorak Piano Quintet, Emmerson String Quartet, Movement I

“This is one of my favorite pieces of music. I finally heard it live at Meadowmount this summer, and it was incredible. Each of the movements captures different emotions so well that by the time it ends it’s covered just about everything. The first movement is passionate and beautiful, the second is introspective and tragic, the third is tense and anxious, and the fourth is majestic and powerful. It’s all tied together so well, and it’s incredibly melodic.”

Shostakovich String Quartet No. 8, Movement III

“I love this quartet so much. Shostakovich wrote this quartet for himself in 1960, as an autobiography of sorts. Dedicated to “the memory of the victims of Fascism and War,” this quartet has very little beauty until the fourth movement. Even then, the beauty is tainted by a deep sadness that I would attribute to the aftermath of war. It’s a piece with so many layers, and I’ll never tire of hearing it.”

About Noah

Noah plays his violin.

Noah Carr’s interest in violin began when he was two years old. Now a sophomore at Grant High School in Portland, OR Noah is a part of the Metropolitan Youth Symphony (MYS) and its MYSfits Ensemble. He studies violin with Tomás Cotik, Professor of Violin at Portland State University. This past year, he won second place in the Oregon ASTA competition and first place in MYS’ Concerto Competition. Since 2018, he has attended Sphinx Performance Academy every summer at The Juilliard School and Curtis Institute of Music. He will be attending Meadowmount School of Music in New York this summer. A passionate supporter of diversity and inclusion in classical music, Noah wrote two spoken word and musical programs in 2018 and 2020 documenting his experiences as a classical musician of color. After he graduates from high school, he plans to attend a music school and pursue violin professionally.

Hear Noah’s Episode of On Deck with Young Musicians from April 27th, 2019.