Who is Vanessa-Mae, what has she contributed to music?

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theyellowbookworm eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although born in Singapore, Vanessa-Mae Vanakorn Nicholson, known simply as Vanessa-Mae, is a British citizen and internationally acclaimed violinist. She is of Thai and Chinese descent and her music style has been described as a techno-acoustic fusion. Born October 27 1978, Vanessa-Mae was a child prodigy who, in 2006, became the wealthiest young entertainer in the United Kingdom. Also, at age 13, Vanessa-Mae became the youngest soloist to record both the Beethoven and Tchaikovsky violin concertos. Soon after, she broke from her classical conservatism and began recording pop albums; her first, The Violin Player, appeared in 1995. Additionally, Vanessa-Mae was featured on the Janet Jackson album, The Velvet Rope.

The violinist uses two types of instruments: a Guadagnini acoustic violin or a Zeta Jazz model electric violin. The Guadagnini, made in 1761, was purchased by Vanessa-Mae’s parents at an auction for £250,000 when she was ten. In addition, the musician uses one of two Zeta Jazz Model electric violins; one is white and the other features decals of the US flag.

She has contributed much to the classical world of music by infusing traditional style with a techno-flare that makes her sound unique.