Vanessa-Mae professional life

Performance

Vanessa-Mae became famous in the United Kingdom throughout her childhood making regular appearances on television (for example on Blue Peter) mostly involving classical music and conservative style. She made her international professional debut at the age of ten in 1988 at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Germany, and the same year made her concerto debut on stage with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. At the age of thirteen, she was the youngest soloist to record both the Beethoven and Tchaikovsky violin concertos, according to Guinness World Records.

On entering adolescence Vanessa-Mae broke away from her traditional classical influences and became known for her more distinct appearance, appearing in music videos in more stylised outfits. Her first pop-style album, The Violin Player, was released in 1995. She appeared on the 1997 Janet Jackson album The Velvet Rope playing a violin solo on the song "Velvet Rope"

Vanessa-Mae was managed by her mother, who owns a private recording label and music agency, until 1999, when Vanessa-Mae fired her as her manager.

In April 2006, Vanessa-Mae was ranked as the wealthiest young entertainer under 30 in the UK in the Sunday Times Rich List 2006,[4] having an estimated fortune of about £32 million stemming from concerts and record sales of over an estimated 10 million copies worldwide.

Vanessa-Mae announced in 2006 that she would be releasing a new album sometime between 2007 and 2008. The album was said to draw inspiration from classic ballets and opera themes. A new album was expected in 2009, but the year ended without the expected release.

Composition

Vanessa-Mae has occasionally recorded her own compositions. Her 1997 album China Girl: The Classical Album 2 included her Violin Fantasy on Puccini's 'Turandot' and Reunification Overture, marking the reunification of China and Hong Kong.

Controversies

In October 2011, Vanessa-Mae attended celebrations in Chechnya on the birthday of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov along with several other celebrities, playing excerpts from Vivaldi's Four Seasons,[7] reportedly receiving $500,000 for her performance.[8] Human rights groups, who had urged the celebrities to cancel their appearances because of human rights abuses carried out under Kadyrov, criticised the celebrities for attending the event.[9] Human Rights Watch released a statement which said, "Ramzan Kadyrov is linked to a litany of horrific human rights abuses. It's inappropriate for stars to get paid to party with him. It bolsters his image and legitimizes a brutal leader and his regime. And getting paid to be part of such a lavish show in Chechnya trivializes the suffering of countless victims of human rights abuses there."[10][11][12] Warnings from Human Rights Watch, the Human Rights Foundation, a Berlin based non-governmental European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights, and a call for the performers to return or donate their earnings from the event have drawn no response from Vanessa-Mae,[15] even though other performers have responded by apologizing and donating their fees to charity.

Other activities

In 2009 Vanessa-Mae took up residence in the Swiss alpine resort of Zermatt. A skier since the age of five, she plans to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics as a downhill skier, representing Thailand.

Violins
Vanessa-Mae most often uses one of two types of violins, a Guadagnini acoustic violin or a Zeta Jazz model electric violin. The Guadagnini was made in 1761, and was purchased by her parents at an auction for £250,000 when she was ten. It was stolen in January 1995, but was recovered by police two months later.

In addition, she uses one of two Zeta Jazz Model electric violins, one of which is white and the other one of which features decals of the US flag. She has also been using a silver-grey Zeta Jazz Model electric violin since 2001. In addition, she owns three Ted Brewer Violins, two of which she uses on stage (a Crossbow and a Vivo2 Clear) and in publicity material. In addition to these violins, she sometimes buys violins and resells them later, giving the proceeds to charity.