He covers Michael Jackson songs, and considers Mozart and Metallica equally influential—David Garrett is not your average classically trained violinist, but perhaps that’s why his self-titled debut has sat atop the classical crossover charts for three weeks. The German-born 28-year-old—who modeled on the side during his time at Juilliard—has been called the “David Beckham of classical music,” CNN reports—and he’s fast, too.
Garrett recently set a world record by playing 13 notes per second on his nearly 300-year-old Stradivarius. As for comparisons to Beckham, Garrett has a theory: “He kind of drew a new audience to football, OK mostly female, but that’s not a bad thing. I think that’s why people actually say that because they know I really try very hard to get new audiences for classical music.”