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Violinist David Garrett Opposes German Trial of Four-Day Work Week

Garrett noted that the four-day work week is not well suited to music, saying that "career-wise, a work-life balance will never set you apart"


In the first half of 2024, Germany has been trialing the idea of a four-day work week, following lobbying from a number of organizations — including from IG Mettall, the country's largest trade union.

Not all are in favor of the idea, though, and recently violinist David Garrett made comments opposing the four-day work week — saying that it was incompatible with creative success, and warning that young musicians need to focus on discipline and hard work.

Garrett has a proven history of having put in such work from a very young age. By the time he was 7, he was studying at the Lübeck Conservatoire, at 11 he was loaned a Stradivarius violin, at 12 he began studying with Ida Haendel, and at the age of 13, he became the youngest-ever soloist to sign with Deutsche Grammophon.

"Career-wise, a work-life balance will never set you apart," Garrett said. "Having a work-life balance can help you live a pleasant life. But it won't grant you a remarkable career because of it."

"You can embrace a four-day week in life, [but it won't] bring you anything financially or career-wise."

Garrett described his childhood as "strict" and "severely disciplined," noting that he often practiced until midnight.

"That's the path the younger generation needs to take."

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