It’s late on a cold winter’s night in Germany. Arabella Steinbacher has just put her three-year-old daughter to bed, but the day is not over. Now it’s time to field publicity phone calls for her forthcoming tour to Australia. 

“Hallo, this is Arabella.” 

Her cheery voice zooms across 10,000 miles, ready to talk about playing the violin, about long-haul travel, and about the challenges of learning new music. This German-born, part-Japanese violin virtuoso is much in demand around the world and now, with live performance springing back into action, her calendar is filling up fast. She hasn’t been to Australia since 2018, but before COVID she was a regular visitor, and with old friends and colleagues to visit in Sydney and Melbourne, she’s looking forward to her trip. 

Arabella Steinbacher

Arabella Steinbacher. Photo © Co Merz.

If Steinbacher is wearied by the round-the-clock demands on her time and the never-ending jet lag it doesn’t show. She speaks with the same glowing energy that she brings to her playing. Yes, she’s excited to be returning to Australia after three long years. Yes, she loves Sydney. Yes, she’s happy to be travelling again,...