Rolls-Royce has released the latest episode from its ‘Inspiring Greatness’ series of films. In it, classical violinist Charlie Siem discusses the physical and mental challenges of performing some of the most famous, technically demanding and emotionally powerful music ever written. This is the third episode in Chapter Three of the series.
According to Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Rolls-Royce’s CEO, “the Rolls-Royce ‘Inspiring Greatness’ series shines a light on individuals at the pinnacle of their respective fields. At Rolls-Royce, we empathise with their dedication, courage, commitment and vision, and revel in the creative dialogue the series ignites.”
In Chapter One of the series, titled Masters Of Craft, we are introduced to “the rare, ambitious few who continually strive for perfection in their craft.” South African Dr Esther Mahlangu’s highly sought-after geometric artworks blend traditional Ndebele culture. Photographer and director Rankin, recognised as one of the greatest creatives of our time, has shaped modern culture in infinite ways. Refik Anadol creates bespoke, human-centric artworks that blur the line between man and machine. Michelin star chef Tom Sellers evokes the power of storytelling through cuisine. In the ’90 Pairs Of Hands’ episode, we are given a glimpse into the 600 hours of masterful artistry, of what it takes to design and construct each Rolls-Royce.
Chapter Two: The Final Challenge is dedicated dedicate to the Cullinan, Rolls-Royce’s ultra-SUV. Award-winning photographer and explorer Cory Richards takes the Cullinan on a journey through some of the most challenging terrains in the world to test both its ability and finesse. They begin by traversing the magnificent Scottish Highlands, followed by the intense temperatures and the unnerving dunes of UAE’s desert, and concluding in the American West – the place Richards calls home.
Chapter Three, titled Individuals Of Excellence, is dedicated to “those who break from the standard narrative and envision a new way forward.” In episode one, the spotlight falls on Levison Wood – author, photographer, filmmaker, and explorer – for whom “facing fear is the essence of life.” For world-champion boxer Gennadiy Golovkin, in episode two, “the difference between ‘good’ and ‘great’ is in the details.”
In Chapter Three Episode Three of the ‘Inspiring Greatness’ series, classical musician Charlie Siem posits: “Greatness, to me, is having moments of absolute clarity in who you are and how you express yourself.”
Born in London to a Norwegian father and British mother, Siem began learning the violin aged just three, after hearing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto played by the great Yehudi Menuhin. Having been awarded a degree in music from the University of Cambridge, he then studied violin under Itzhak Rashkovsky at the Royal College of Music. A highly sought-after soloist, teacher and recording artist, Siem has performed with leading orchestras and chamber ensembles around the world.
The film explores how Siem seeks to connect with and personify music, transcending the physical act of playing his instrument to express the music directly. Naturally, he speaks reverently of his violin – the 1735 Guarneri del Gesù known as the ‘D’Egville’ – which he refers to as ‘an extension of his body’. Though perhaps less immediately well-known than their contemporaries made by Antonio Stradivari, Guarneri violins are equal in greatness, even favoured by some performers, including Siem’s inspiration Yehudi Menuhin.
Later in the film, Siem encounters the excellence of Rolls-Royce, relishing the opportunity to experience what he calls the ‘majesty’ of Wraith on a drive through the British countryside. “It’s incredibly impressive and indulgent to be sitting in this luxurious cabin, hearing almost nothing, with all this power right in front of you,” he enthuses.
“Charlie Siem defines what it means to be a classical musician in the modern era. His sensibilities are founded in tradition by those who have inspired him – not least, by Yehudi Menuhin, yet his mastery and musical delivery engage new audiences – all of which we can relate to as a marque.”
The full series may be viewed at rolls-roycemotorcars.com