Adrian Anantawan is a winner

Disabled musician performing and teaching at University of Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS — The University of Minnesota will host a series of events featuring a talented Canadian violinist. Adrian Anantawan, who lives in Toronto, was invited by a University of Minnesota instructor, who’s writing a book about disabled musicians. It hasn’t been released yet, but it’s called, Music Disability & Society.

“I’ve always felt the beauty within music is all in the details,” Anantawan said, who is a right-handed amputee. He was born with a congenital defect.

It took Anantawan about ten years to feel comfortable playing the violin. His journey was not an easy one.

“It gets better every year,” Anantawan said. “I don’t think you ever master the instrument, but there comes a point where you’re never second guessing yourself.”

Adrian took on the violin when he was a kid, even though he was a little different from the other kids in school.

“I play with my left hand and I play with my stump, as you would call it,” Anantawan said.

After hearing him play, it’s hard to label him as disabled.

“It’s a matter of adaptation, it was something that I didn’t feel was out of the ordinary,” Anantawan said.

He’s had to adapt to things in life, the rest of us take for granted.

“Learning to tie shoe laces for instance,” he said.

In a life full of challenges, Anantawan has learned to tune them out, and is teaching others in the disabled arts to do the same.

“Because I had grown up like that, it was simply another challenge, another thing to figure out in my
life,” Anantawan said. “The violin was one of them.”

Anantawan is visiting the University of Minnesota teaching a master violin class as well as performing for the public.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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