Mercer Artist: Adriel Taslim, violinist

Adriel Taslim is a fifth-year senior at Mercer University, majoring in both violin performance and French. He comes from northern California with a lifestyle filled richly with music. Ever since he can remember, music has always been a part of his life. Taslim’s mother taught music to him and his siblings from a very young age. While learning how to read music, Taslim and his siblings were coincidentally exposed to the alphabet as well. It can be said that his mother killed two birds with one stone! Taslim stated that his mother drew inspiration from his aunts and cousins. Although there were no official musicians in Taslim’s family, his family always had a strong interest in music. He was first introduced to the violin at age five when he saw his cousin play. At age six, he began taking unofficial violin lessons from his cousin, who taught him the basics, such as how to hold the violin correctly and finger placement. Since then, he has had multiple violin teachers. He met his most influential teacher when he moved to Sacramento, Calif., at age 12. His teacher, Zaven Melikian, a professor, violinist and concertmaster of the San Francisco Opera, lived in the San Francisco area, which was about a two and a half hour drive from Taslim’s home. Despite this long distance, Taslim attended his lessons faithfully. Melikian is also the assistant concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony. In relation to Mercer, Melikian was the violin teacher of Amy Moretti, the director of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings. Taslim came in contact with the director and found out about Mercer all through Melikian. He continued his lessons with Melikian until he entered the Townsend School of Music at Mercer in 2009.

Taslim stated that music was and is his entire life. Music was part of his life growing up, and continues to be a big priority today. “Music is my medium of self-expression,” says Taslim. Without music, he wouldn’t have been able to meet many of the people he knows and nor would he have experienced many of his cherished musical memories. Music has taken him around the world, including places such as Helsinki, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, London, Rome and many cities across the United States, including Chicago and New York. He was able to have these opportunities to travel with various orchestras, music festivals and competitions. While in California, he participated in competitions held in Los Angeles. Overall, music has opened the doors to many new experiences for Taslim. It is also beneficial that his three other siblings are all involved in music as well. When asked about his plans or dreams for the future, Taslim stated, “Right now, there are many avenues that I could pursue…But I am choosing not to limit myself at the moment. We’ll see where life takes me.” Whether or not his life path will proceed to take him on the musical road, Taslim continues to express himself as a talented artist.