Health and Fitness

Gregory Harrington on striking the right note through clothes

“There’s something visually striking about the violin, with its hourglass shape and varnished wood,” explains Irish-born, New York-based violinist Gregory Harrington. “At each performance I try to complement that elegance and refinement.”

The award-winning soloist, whose prolonged record of achievements consists of being the primary Irish violinist to carry out a full-length debut solo recital at New York’s iconic Carnegie Hall, believes speaking by way of a efficiency requires a multilayered strategy. “It’s not just about the notes you play – they have to be impeccable – it’s about your posture, your demeanour and the air of confidence you bring to a venue. This comes from looking and feeling your best, and clothes are part of that.”

The classical crossover violinist, who has performed for presidents, politicians, dignitaries and celebrities, describes himself as having a “healthy narcissism”. “Whether I’m working on a Beethoven sonata or Johnny Cash song, I have to believe I can bring something definitive to that piece of music, and when I choose an outfit, I want to feel sure it’s exactly right for the delivery of that rendition.” For Harrington, music, venue and garments are all a part of the present.

For Gregory Harrington, style is about elegant simplicity. Photograph: Guss Hobbs
For Gregory Harrington, model is about elegant simplicity. Photograph: Guss Hobbs
Gregory Harrington. Photograph: Guss Hobbs
Gregory Harrington. Photograph: Guss Hobbs
Gregory Harrington: ‘When I choose an outfit, I want to feel sure it’s exactly right for the delivery of that rendition.’ Photograph: Lalo Torre
Gregory Harrington: ‘When I choose an outfit, I want to feel sure it’s precisely proper for the supply of that rendition.’ Photograph: Lalo Torre

For his Carnegie Hall efficiency, he selected a bespoke midnight-blue tuxedo by Alexander Nash. Given the grand environment he usually performs in – Harrington has performed on the Symphony Hall in Boston, the Oriental Arts Centre in Shanghai and Dublin’s National Concert Hall – he’s invested in a number of three-piece fits by Tom Ford and Charles Tyrwhitt.

Given that the violin is such an expressive instrument to play, silhouette and match are necessary to Harrington. “I need to be comfortable enough to move as the music demands, so fit is everything, and a sharp silhouette is key to ensuring that my image is consistent with my performance.”

Equally, he’s as able to don a sports activities sweatshirt if that’s what the venue and efficiency require. In 2017, for example, he performed the US nationwide anthem for the NFL Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field earlier than a crowd of 77,000 folks carrying the quantity 22 jersey. “It was another way of connecting with the audience,” he says.

Harrington speaks as articulately, and enthusiastically, about private model, picture and the artwork of communication as he does about music. When not rehearsing, recording, producing or performing to sold-out stadiums and theatres, Harrington is a keynote speaker and advisor to chief executives and politicians, serving to them to attach in a significant approach with their very own audiences.

“I love being on stage, whether that’s performing or speaking,” explains Harrington. “I offer creative problem-solving through a completely different lens. It’s bringing 25 years’ experience on global stages to the corporate world and using music as a metaphor for how to lead and motivate people.”

Gregory Harrington. Photograph: Guss Hobbs
Gregory Harrington. Photograph: Guss Hobbs
Gregory Harrington playing the US national anthem for the NFL Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field before a crowd of 77,000 in 2017
Gregory Harrington taking part in the US nationwide anthem for the NFL Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field earlier than a crowd of 77,000 in 2017

For these engagements, he explains, “I always want to look approachable and accessible. Clothes should never create a barrier between me and my audience.”

He usually opts for a lovely blazer, traditional white shirt, denims and nice sneakers. “It’s a relaxed but well-pulled-together look.”

Harrington enjoys shopping for traditional objects that can final the take a look at of time. He has two leather-based jackets, one from Reiss and the opposite from All Saints, which he purchased 10 years in the past and nonetheless reaches for usually.

Other notable objects in Harrington’s wardrobe embrace a Tag Heuer Monaco watch, sported by Steve McQueen within the 1971 American automotive racing drama Le Mans, and a Billy Reid peacoat; the identical one worn by Daniel Craig within the 2015 Bond film, Spectre.

Chatting with the 47-year-old over Zoom, I realise his anecdotes are simply as trendy as his without end items. He tells me of conversations with US president Joe Biden about Yeats, with novelist Salman Rushdie about Hemingway and with Françoise Gilot (Paloma Picasso’s mom) about artwork and music.

“After lunch with Françoise, I bought my father a gift of Paloma Picasso Tiffany cufflinks. He came on tour with me well into his 80s and he always wore them. Since he passed away I’ve worn them for every performance. They bring a positive energy to everything I do.”

While he clearly has some very particular, and costly, items in his wardrobe, Harrington’s model is about mixing excessive and low trend. “For me, it’s never about buying something expensive. It’s about making something look good by the manner in which you project yourself.”

When he returns to Dublin, he usually retailers in Jack & Jones. “Their clothes have a European feel, which I like; you can’t go wrong with a pair of jeans and a white T-shirt from there.” His favorite retailer in Dublin is Massimo on Dawson Street for informal blazers.

Harrington says he has turn into extra style-aware since dwelling in New York, and describes America as “a very visually aware culture”. While he attends New York Fashion Week (“it’s fun to go and there’s an interesting crowd”), he’s much less within the nuances of designer collections and extra involved with the attraction of particular person items. Harrington is a person who is aware of what he likes and needs, from selecting his first violin in McCullough Pigott on the age of 4 to these valuable heirloom cufflinks. For him, model is about elegant simplicity.

Gregory Harrington’s new album, a set of Irish songs, together with up to date anthems and conventional ballads, is due for launch in April.



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