"Halfway along life’s path, I found myself at the Philharmonic Concert Hall in Verona, a stone’s throw from the Roman amphitheatre, the famous Arena. Just getting there on a late hot morning feels like the first daunting hurdle of the day. The second challenge was to interview the great violinist Stefan Milenkovich. He was in Italy for this Gala Concert and so it provided the opportunity to meet him. As I had grown up in the musical world of the Trento region, in north eastern Italy, where he had also lived, I’d already heard professionals enthusiastically singing his praises and the appreciative feedback on the character of the man himself; only recently his latest biographies stressed again not only his extraordinary talent but also his innate natural reserve. At the stage door, his agent is waiting for me, the final rehearsal is in progress, “The maestro is warming up”, the door to his dressing room opens and then every single note rings out to its full power. He welcomes me courteously with an old-style kiss on the hand, his manner in no way like some grand star but like a normal person with all the normal baggage of experiences and hard times that can sometimes weigh you down emotionally; then now and again a look escapes his controlled concentration that lets you see the vivaciousness of a young man."