“It’s like my rock:” Noa Suk finds stability in the violin



Sophomore Noa Suk has been playing the violin from the age of four. She recently won first place in the eastern division of Senior Districts.

This night meant everything to sophomore Noa Suk. All her hard work had led to this moment. She got up onto the stage, slowly sat down in her seat and looked out at the crowds of people watching. She locked eyes with her sister in the audience and they shared a nod. She took a deep breath, closed her eyes, placed the bow onto the strings and let herself go.

Noa Suk has been playing violin for 11 years. She is part of the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra (BYSO) and is concertmaster in the Brookline High School Orchestra (BHSO). Recently, she placed first in the eastern division of Senior Districts, a one-in-a-year opportunity to participate in a high-level ensemble orchestra once a year with a competitive audition process. Though hard work has gotten Noa Suk to where she is today, she still holds the intimate aspect of music close to her heart.

Noa Suk said she uses the violin as a way to escape and that, even though the music she plays was written by other people, she can interpret it in her own way.

Through hard work and many accomplishments, music has always provided an opportunity for Noa Suk to express emotion to others. (CONTRIBUTED BY NOA SUK)

“I can really send my unique message into the world,” Noa Suk said.

Noa Suk said if she could go back in time and tell her younger self one thing, she would tell herself to balance the enjoyment of what she’s doing with still working hard.

“I think (playing violin) is a personal thing in that you know you’re stressed about other things, but when you’re practicing you don’t think about it, and you can play and be in your own little world,” Noa Suk said.

Nina Bishop, orchestra teacher and Noa Suk’s mentor, said that it takes a long time to produce a good sound, even for the most gifted musicians—but that Noa Suk always dedicates herself to the violin, which shows through her playing.

“It takes a long time to learn to produce a good sound. She practices a lot. She’s well prepared. And she’s kind and respectful to me and to her peers. Those are important leadership qualities,” Bishop said.

Senior Lia Suk, Noa Suk’s sister, said Noa Suk has a lot of natural talent.

“She’s really precise and thorough about how her playing sounds,” Lia Suk said. “I think it brings out the best of her perfectionist side because, when she plays or when she practices, she works really hard.”

Noa Suk said she uses the violin to express her emotions to her audience.

“Violin gives me the opportunity to make other people feel something like I can. I can make other people experience something that they (otherwise) wouldn’t have,” Noa Suk said. “It’s very special, having that power.”

Noa Suk said the violin has been a constant throughout her whole life.

“It gave me something to hold on to in tough times. Like when I have other problems going on, it’s something that is always there for me to go to,” Noa Suk said. “It’s like my rock.”