RSS feed RSS Twitter Twitter Facebook Facebook 15 Questions 15 Questions

15 Questions to Normunds Šnē/Sinfonietta Riga

img  Tobias
Hi! How are you? Where are you?
Thank You, at this moment my life is really dynamic and interesting. Now I am in Riga, at Wagner hall which is home of Sinfonietta Riga. Here we hatch big future plans.

What’s on your schedule right now?

We just had a concert together with creative multiinstrumentalist Jimi Tenor, now we are rehearsing two brand-new latvian compositions for it’s premiere. After a week we will give a concert in XIV Early Music Festival at greatest building in Latvia – the Palace of Rundale.

Can you still remember the first time you heard a piece of classical music?
Classical music was around me already before my birth because bouth of my parents are musicians. My father still helps to take first steps for 6 years old children in playing violin and he is doing that with marvellous patience. It seems that my first wilful memories are about Bach Sonatas and Partitas for violin solo.

What was the deciding moment, which made you want to become an artist?
It was a moment when I wanted to finish with classical music, at least in professional level. I wanted to become a cinema operator, my interests were technology, electronics and radio. But then it happened – I found my real instrument – oboe. Then, again by accident, together with  my friends I created ensemble Riga Chamber Players. After a while by force of circumstances I stand in front of orchestra as conductor. And then I had no way back.

What’s the hardest part about being a musician and what’s the best?
This work never will be complete and finished. Always there will be a chance do things unless better then differently.

Do you consider it important that more young people care for classical music? If so, how, do you think, could this be achieved?
I think that everyone has his own way to reach real values and sometimes this way can be long and winding. When I was a teenager I was listening more Genesis, Yes a.o. than Beethoven or Wagner. In now days I like very coloured spectrum of music. But even in classical music there are many compositions which could be intriguing for young people and their life formation. Here I see my challenge and responsibility as conductor and artistic director of orchestra. The Orchestra has a possibility to influence cultural and social processes in Riga. In repertoire of our concertseason everyone can find suitable estethic resources. And more – our relations with audience is based on dialog.

How would you rate the importance of the internet and new media for classical music?

I hate mp3 and other compressed formats that builds up the basis of musical turnover on inernet. In the same time www has changed the business of music records so deep that there is no use to hope to get back the previous years of CD golden age. Of course, the internet has enlarged the availability of music and quantity of it’s users. Total tendency certainly is positive.

With so many different recordings of a particular piece available – how do you keep yours fresh and different?
I hope that the way how I read scores is creative and inspirating, I try to disassociate from clichees and weird traditions. Even before tenth performance of one score it’s always possible to notice something new. Sometimes it’s a surprise for myself :-)

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?

I try to forget the difficult rehearsal process and give the way for fantastic spell of music. Analysis on the stage destroys spontaneity and freshness of performance. My rule is detailed work before the concert – both in solitude, and with ensemble. Still not everything can be predictable – big orchestra, great musicians and not so simple individualities. It happens that the creative failure of one person strikes out efforts of all artistic association.

What does the word “interpretation” mean to you?
Craft to read that what is written in notation and don’t find that was isn’t there.

How do you balance the need to put your personal emotions into the music you play and the intentions of the composer?
This is the basis issue of performing arts and I’m sure there isn’t possible the absolute and ideal consensus. Your knowledges, talent, taste, experience and partners influences each interpretation of partiture. Firstly, I try to read the partiture very objective, later ideas are growing up – about tempo, sound balance, charachter of music, form a.o. This all is in responsibilty of interpreter.

What’s your view on the relationship between musical education and classical music?

In our country music lessons are not obligatory for elementary education. I’m of the opinion that young people souls are breaking in this way because music can excite for imaginations and fantasies that other arts haven’t.

You are given the position of artistic director of a concert hall. What would be on your program for this season?
I would like my concerthall to be the micromodel of music world at present. Experiment surround immense.

 How would you describe the relationship with your instrument?

I love it very much but it’s not always answering with the same. :-)

Have you ever tried playing a different instrument? If yes, how good were you at it?

As I told my father is violin teacher so, of course, I had to play the violin. After seven backbreaking years I understood that I don’t want to continue with it. As I liked music I made a decision to try something radicaly different. After a year friendship with oboe I wanted to develop this relationship. So it continues already 32 years and almost every day I find out something new about my capricious partner. In different my life periods I have played bass guitar and electric guitar, all oboe related instruments and big drums with cymbals in one string quartet premiere of one my radical colleague.

Pēteris Vasks: Pater noster. Dona nobis pacem. Missa (Ondine) 2007
Pēteris Vasks: Werke für Orchester (wergo) 2008

Normunds Šnē / Sinfonietta Riga

Related articles

Peteris Vasks: Composer and Sinfonietta Riga deplore destruction
The star of Latvian composer ...
Baiba Skride: Russian Souvenirs for Tchaikovsky
Latvian-born violinist Baiba Skride is ...
Interview with Lauma Skride
When "The Year" was released ...
CD Feature/ Lauma Skride: "Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel - The Year"
Lauma remains lucid and on ...
Right here, right now
Elina Garanca has found the ...
Interview with Baiba Skride
So welcome to the new ...
Discography: Baiba Skride
Violinist Baiba Skride likes to ...

Partner sites