What do you need to feel at home whilst on tour? To feel at home while on tour is almost impossible, but there are things that make traveling and separation easier. I try to do the things I don't have time to do at home. I feel I have to make the most of this 'away' time so I don't miss my 3 children! I always bring along a bag full of vitamins, a yoga mat and a few different workout DVDs, I aim to do 1 hour a day – it also helps me and my back stay in shape on long rehearsal or travel days. Not to mention daily restaurant food and occasional drinking?!? I thank the 21st century for Skype, MMS and SMS to stay in touch with loved ones and I always bring a few books and films – you should try and lift my suitcase... I have to say I enjoy this glimpse back into a life I used to have pre-family. I even manage to read the paper at breakfast! And last but not least I'm happy to give undivided attention to my instrument and if I need to practice I can take the time I need without compromise. If I feel lonely, I can always call up a few colleagues and hang out together for a nice meal and quite honestly, the time passes so quickly!
The first piece of music you fell in love with: The piece that first made me dream was Smetana's “die Moldau” – it was on a tape in a collection by Deutsche Grammophon, read by Karl Böhm, about the 10 most famous composers. My parents offered it to me together with a tape recorder and I used to go to bed with it under my pillow and listen till late at night – this music just made me dream, I would listen to it over and over again... The fluidity, the sweeping melody, all the details, how all the instruments play together – looking back I think it already made me want to play orchestra, to be a small part of something big and create beautiful music.
What makes a “perfect” concert? A perfect concert is one where you're more energized at the end than at the beginning! I've had quite a few of those with MCO. I anyway most of the time look forward to the concert because having an audience there makes all the work worthwhile, everybody concentrates and is 'aware' and in the best case: takes risks together which can then create some really amazing results! When that happens, the concert becomes an adventure and it completely wakes you up! You just listen to each other and react and if the conductor is very inspired he will try and get more out of you than in any rehearsal, play softer or louder than you ever did, or faster – it can be so exhilarating that at the end you feel : "what already finished??!!" after those concerts, it's hard to calm down... You need a few hours to get out of this very positive energy! Lovely.
Which are your Desert Island Discs? To contradict what I said about my first influential piece of music, I have to say that... I don’t, as of today, listen to music anymore! Unless I go to a friends' concert of course or I have to learn a new piece or study any piece of repertoire I'm not very familiar with – then I buy the recording (I'm a big consumer on iTunes ) but otherwise, I have to admit that listening to music is not relaxing for me! It’s too intense! That is only since I became a performer... I would choose silence every time, even driving my car – that's the only way I can let my thoughts wander and nothing interferes. I find music in supermarkets annoying, restaurants and elevators likewise and on a desert island I would just listen to the sound of the sea and birds and wind in the trees – maybe I just like 'original sounds' and nothing from a box, however great the quality is today. Listening to a Bruckner 5 recording for example, after having played it with such amazing people this last summer in Lucerne seems a little bit crazy to me, I still remember this performance so clearly and especially the sound – I can't imagine wanting to hear a copy of that. It's all in my heart and in my mind ... sorry!
What’s the best thing about playing with the MCO? That's easy: it's a wonderful orchestra! Most of my colleagues will tell you that they love their orchestra and I think that's pretty rare... I think it's getting better and better on a musical level which makes me think I'm surrounded by intelligent and motivated people who play on a very high level and despite that, still want to improve. That is one of the greatest pleasures, being proud of your colleagues. To that you add the chemistry between the musicians – everybody is accepted however different the personalities are, there is space for everyone and I think there is a big tolerance towards each other. A little bit like in a family where you sometimes fight , but you know you are in this together and we all want the same thing, play great music – so that evens out most of the problems... and what is left is a great recipe. I can honestly say that this orchestra feels like a family to me and I am always happy to find it again after a small or longer break – I know most musicians for a long time, so we shared so many experiences! I also love the way we work, the traveling is difficult sometimes, but it also means we can all live in our home cities without having to give up playing in the MCO; being able to juggle other activities and/or family life whilst being a fulfilled musician.
BIOGRAPHY Béatrice Muthelet started studying the violin at the Versailles Conservatoire and only at age 19, after some time in Israel where she studied with Prof. Haim Taub, did she decide to concentrate on the viola. She received a scholarship to study in New York and went on to become the only violist in Pinchas Zukerman’s class at the Manhattan School of Music.
Back in Europe she joined the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic and became a member until 1999. She is now principal violist in the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and has been invited to lead in orchestras such as the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and the Gewandhaus Leipzig, she is also founding member of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA created by Claudio Abbado.
As a chamber musician, Béatrice attends many festivals such as Aix en Provence, Bel Air, Festival St Denis, Verbier, Berliner Festspiele, Heimbach, Luzern, Edinburgh, Schubertiade, Delft and Pisa and fellow musicians include Lars Vogt, Hélène Grimaud, Bruno Canino, Sarah Chang, Joshua Bell, Victoria Mullova, Isabelle van Keulen, Kolja Blacher, Gerard Caussé, Wolfram Christ, Emanuel Pahud, Paul Meyer, Steven Isserlis, Clemens Hagen and Alois Posch to name a few.
in 2001 she created a string quartet with Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Aki Saulière and has recorded the Carnaval des Animaux and Septet by Saint Saens for Virgin Classics with them. She also features on two EMI recordings, one of the Mozart String Quintet in G and the other of the Schoenberg Chamber Sympony with ChristianTetzlaff and Boris Pergamenchikov . In 2007 the Quartet recorded the Brahms Clarinet Quintet for EMI with clarinetist Paul Meyer. Since 2007 the Quartet has performed in halls such as the Salle Pleyel,Paris, Auditorio Reina Sofia in Madrid and the Musikverein Vienna.BÉATRICE'S PERFORMANCES WITH MAHLER CHAMBER SOLOISTS
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