Bothell headlines the news lately with its award-winning designs for a revitalized downtown — an accomplishment most boast-worthy. Not only will Bothell’s new appearance sparkle, but the city’s cultural life will also shine brighter with the addition of a new neighbor.
Welcome to Bothell, Lenore Vardi, a renowned violinist who has performed at landmark New York City venues, played in chamber groups in Canada and London, recorded with Placido Domingo, jazz greats Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughn and Tony Bennett and world-famous violinist, Itzhak Perlman. Lenore is also known for creating chamber music festivals. She remembers sailing up New York’s Hudson River to the Westchester Chamber Music Festival that she founded.
“I played a Bach cello suite on the violin on the boat ride up the Hudson,” she said, adding, “I closed my eyes and I’d get seasick, then opened them to see the waves, which was disconcerting.”
Despite seasickness, or any butterflies experienced prior to her solo debut at New York’s Merkin Hall in 1982, The New York Post hailed Lenore as “A violinist of amazing elegance and musicianship … a natural performer.”
Coached by her late husband, viola virtuoso Emanuel Vardi, Lenore also became a viola soloist throughout Europe, Canada and the United States. Lenore’s artistry also includes painting, as well. You can see her abstract renditions of musicians and musical instruments in Revolution Gallery in Gilman Village, Issaquah; For Art Sake in Gig Harbor and The Laurel Tree Gallery in Duvall.
Lucky for us, Lenore has brought her many talents, musicianship and teaching expertise to Bothell.
Three years ago, King 5 TV ran a story on the Vardis. Watching the news that day, was Leslie Moffat, band director at Mill Creek’s Jackson High School, who quickly invited the musical duo to speak to her students who were headed for Carnegie Hall, a venue well known to the Vardis. Lenore learned during that experience, that there are many students in the Bothell and Everett area interested in playing violin and viola.
Lenore loves the central location of Bothell with easy access to Kirkland, Bellevue and Edmonds. She’s also taken with Bothell’s cozy downtown area, convenient shopping and her newly found apartment, which she describes as “near a salmon stream with beautiful views of incredible trees out every window.”
Lenore recognizes that students want to travel as little as possible, due to hectic schedules. The Bothell location provides that convenience for them.
She treats her violin students to a varied musical repertoire where they learn a composer’s background, musical style and history. Lenore enthusiastically creates an environment for the student, immersed not only in musical knowledge and technique, but also in the physical, mental and psychological aspects of performing. She encourages each student’s full musical artistic expression, instilling confidence and a sense of accomplishment in each individual.
Lenore Vardi teaches violin and viola to all ages — from the beginner to the expert. She teaches from her home studio here in Bothell and also at the Duvall Performing Arts in Duvall. We can also expect to see and hear her as I know she has a few ideas up her sleeve.
“I’m thinking of doing a holiday Baroque concert with violin and harpsichord; I also want to play chamber music, which is my love,” she says.
Lenore feels fortunate to have studied under the finest teachers in the world and says, “My husband, Manny, was, in my estimation the finest of the fine.”
The legacy of world-renown violist, Emanuel Vardi, lives on in Lenore’s teachings, which she graciously now shares with our Northshore music students.
Lenore’s move to Bothell adds to the prize awards already bestowed on our fair city and is definitely music to our ears.
Suzanne G. Beyer is a Bothell resident.