WHEN five-year-old Ellie Malonzo was given a pink ukulele she tucked it under her chin, grabbed a chopstick and played it like a violin.
Her guitar-playing father thought it was just a cute trick, but the Mt Pleasant youngster persevered with the chopstick. A year later her parents realised they had a budding Paganini on their hands and bought her a real violin.
Ellie, now 10, is set to perform her composition Concerto in G Minor with fellow violin students Tahnee Coates and Audrey Jarvis at the fundrasing concert Piranhas Don’t Eat Violins. The proceeds will pay for the girls to travel to Finland and play with the Helsinki Children’s Orchestra. Ellie says she’s been composing since she was six.
“When I’m going to sleep I think about composing and themes,” she says.
Ellie is the youngest violinist in the prestigious WA Youth Orchestra philharmonic, WAYO’s second-most senior ensemble, holding her own with students more than 10 years her senior.
Her Leederville violin teacher Margaret Blades organised the Helsinki trip.
“I have been studying their pedagogue methods – there are wonderful violin players coming out of Finland. I decide I would like my students to study with them.”
The trip culminates with a series of concerts in Germany. Piranhas Don’t Eat Violins (named after a painting by six-year-old student Lucas Coates) includes works by Bach, Vivaldi, Hubay – and Ellie.
Piranhas Don’t Eat Violins,
Church of the Resurrection, Swanbourne
Tix at eventbrite.com.au