Tell us about pursuing your violin studies.
I got to study in some incredible institutions: Royal Academy of Music Junior Department, Royal Academy of Music for Undergraduate studies and the Royal College of Music for my Postgraduate. I met a lot of the colleagues that I work with now during this time and got to play with some of the best musicians around the world – Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Colin Davis, Vladimir Jurowski to name a few.
What was your inspiration for founding the Gagliano Ensemble?
Programming in an interesting way was a major driving force in setting up the Gagliano Ensemble. The classical chamber music world is in need of people with fresh ideas. I like to have a flexible ensemble that is able to play a variety of pieces in one programme – String Quartets, Trios, Piano Quartets, Viola and Violin duets. It seems a real shame to limit oneself to one sound world in a concert. We pride ourselves in playing in front of different audiences from brand new Festivals, most recently Sonemus festival in Sarajevo to oldest chamber halls in the world like the Hollywell Music Room.
Please share your experiences performing in venues across Russia, America and India.
The Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai was a great experience. Such an exciting youthful vibe bursting with life. I also have a long history at the NCPA having led the SOI for many years, to come back and play with these musicians is pure joy, a feeling you get of meeting your old friends after not seeing them for years.
I recently had an experience playing incredibly complex contemporary music at a nightclub in Moscow. The audience were amazing, so different to a traditional setting. South America was also a vibrant experience. The passion for music out there is so intense and performing in Teatro Colón was particularly special.
What are your thoughts on where the classical music industry is headed in India?
I find India exciting as the audiences seem to get bigger every time I visit. Local musicians in Mumbai for example really didn’t take being a musician for granted and wanted to share it with people. I think it will survive and thrive here by individuals taking initiative and connecting with local audiences.
What is your advice for musicians in India?
No one has to be perfect, getting inspiration for playing doesn’t have to be just from music: be open to all art forms, go to a gallery, a walk in a park or a play… see how that makes you feel and then try and translate that feeling into your playing or singing.
Confidence is a fragile thing therefore surround yourself with positivity and musicians who still love this utterly brilliant craft of ours.