My love for the cello was born the moment I first held one.
That was when I was ten years old, at a music school open day.
Holding my father’s hand, I had already passed the violins (too high!), the accordeons (too many people!), the flutes (also too many people!) and – my father’s idea – the bassoons (too many bright red faces!).
I rejected them all.
And then we got to the room with the cello teacher.
And one student.
Lovely and quiet, I didn’t mind going in there.
I was given the cello to hold and I was sold. That sound! And that feeling of the bow on the strings… Eye witnesses report that I had a far away look in my eye and I was instantly carried away by the sound, although it can’t have been in tune.
Right away, I knew with great certainty: this is will be my future.
I worked hard, built up a flourishing programme of concerts and led the life of a successful musician: I won many prizes, took part in many beautiful projects – nationally and internationally – and made regular appearances on TV.
But something felt off.
I was usually happy with my cello, but on stage I did not feel entirely free. I was sometimes so nervous before a performance that I would tense up. When that happened, things I had spent so long practising would go wrong anyway. It was so frustrating.
In my search for freedom I discovered Alexander Technique. That helped a lot! I wanted to know all about it and – in between concerts – I studied to become a teacher.
But I still noticed that the pace and constrictions of life as a classical musician bothered me.
Until I suddenly became seriously ill in 2013.
Just like my mother – at exactly the same age – I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
For a moment, time stood still.
Thankfully, it was treatable and a few months later I was back on my feet and on stage.
But… something had shifted inside of me.
I suddenly realised that not everything I was doing inspired me anymore. I enjoyed my concerts a lot, often with lovely colleagues, but I felt a growing urge to break free of something.
It was as if there was a part of me that I was not doing justice to, as if there was a missing dimension. I wanted more space – for myself, my body, my feelings. I wanted it to be okay to be myself. Even on stage.
I did something radical.
I started taking acting lessons.
I felt a huge sense of release. Here playing really was play: I could indulge my imagination as much as I wanted. That was incredible!
More and more, I felt as if I had finally ‘arrived’ in my own body. I didn’t ever want to leave.
I still enjoy ‘ordinary concerts’, but I am a lot more selective and only take on what I genuinely enjoy and what gives me energy.
Now, I also do musical theatre.
Preferably work that is a little experimental.
My greatest and first love is still music and I enjoy seeking out the drama in the music that is begging to be told, translated and transferred.
I prefer to do this with other, like-minded artists and performers.
I don’t want to be hidden away behind my cello anymore or constricted by rigid structure. I love music, the world and the people. I want my audience to feel what I feel and to proclaim that love from the stage.
This is me. Come and watch and listen. Adventure is calling!