African-American Regina Carter began studying violin at the age of 4, but could play the piano by ear at the age of 2. She also studied tap and ballet.
As a teenager, she played in the youth division of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. In high school, Carter performed with the Detroit Civic Orchestra and played in a pop-funk group named Brainstorm.
In addition to taking violin lessons, she also took viola, oboe, and choir lessons.
In December 2001, Regina Carter became the first non-classical musician to play Niccolo Paganini’s highly guarded, handcrafted Guarneri violin , an instrument that dates back to 1743 and is counted among the most precious items in classical music history. Carter was invited to play after the incidents of the September 11 attacks as a gesture of solidarity.
She was both the first jazz musician and first African-American to play the instrument. She used…
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