Holladay Artist of the Month and violinist Zeke Sokoloff has international aspirationsFeb 22, 2022 08:59PM ● By Sona Schmidt Harris
In some ways, the COVID-19 pandemic has helped Zeke Sokoloff focus more on his practicing. (Photo by Scott Epstein)
By Sona Schmidt-Harris | [email protected]
With a crown of blonde hair and brown eyes much wiser than his 16 years, Ezekiel (Zeke) Sokoloff softly and matter-of-factly answers questions about his remarkable life. He has been studying the violin since he was five years old.
Sokoloff has been studying at Utah’s Gifted Music School for six years and is home-schooled, which gives him more time to focus on his instrument. Currently, he is preparing for college auditions. “It’s so unpredictable, what happens,” he said. “It really surprises me. Sometimes the teacher you really want is just not at the audition. It’s a lot more subjective than you would think it would be.”
Honing his technique in part by playing Niccolo Paganini’s “Caprices” (difficult works written by Paganini for solo violin), Sokoloff is realistic about reaching emotional depths due to his young years. “It’s something I always work on every day,” he said. “And once your technique is good, then it frees you up so much to be able to play.”
Sokoloff further stated, “I like listening to other players and put in as much as I can right now. And obviously, that (emotional depths) will evolve over time.”
Beethoven is one of his favorite composers, and a portrait of the musical maestro dominates Sokoloff’s bedroom. “His music is so dynamic and dramatic,” Sokoloff said. “He has written pieces like your sonatas and his violin concertos.” Sokoloff favors Chopin as well.
In some ways, the COVID-19 pandemic has helped him focus more on his practicing, but he has not been able to perform live on a regular basis. “I think that I just try my best to connect with people through music as much as possible,” Sokoloff said.
Once he graduates college, he would like to start competing and performing internationally.
Life for Sokoloff is not all work and no play. He enjoys reading, playing videogames and basketball with friends.
He has given back to the community frequently by performing at live concerts.
If you would like to see Sokoloff perform, visit the following link to his YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/scottepdo
If you would like to nominate a Holladay resident for Artist of the Month, visit: www.holladayarts.org/suggest-an-artist