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15 Questions to Tine Thing Helseth

img  Tobias
Hi! How are you? Where are you?
Hi! Right now I am great! The spring has come to Oslo, so I am enjoying the sun as much as I can in my breaks between practising.   

What’s on your schedule right now?
I have had a couple of weeks off from concerts. I still study for the bachelor degree at Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo, and it is good to have some school work done as well.  Also it was very nice to have some time off to look back on a very busy half year. It takes some time to digest everything, and now I am looking forward to start travelling again.

Can you still remember the first time you heard a piece of classical music?
Well, not the exact time. I come from a music family, but not classical in particular. So there has been a lot of different types of music for me from a very early age.

What was the deciding moment, which made you want to become an artist?

As long as I can remember I have wanted to be a musician. I started to play piano when I was 5 years old, and trumpet when I was around 7. Trumpet soon become my favourite. If you ask my friends they will say that I always have acted like I wanted to be a musician.

What’s the hardest part about being a musician and what’s the best?
The best part is definetly to be able to do what you love the most all the time! To play music, both alone and with others, and share so many special moments with other musicians and your audience. The hardest times is maybe some of the times when practising is not so much fun, but then you must think about all the wonderfull times and all the wonderfull music, and most of all how lucky you are that are able to travel around and share your music. 

Do you consider it important that more young people care for classical music? If so, how, do you think, could this be achieved?
Actually, I am the leader of the youth departement in a foundation in Norway called “the listeners of classical music foundation”. We work for many different things, most of all to make classical music more visible in our everyday life. But one of our main goals is to make young people discover and experience classical music. I think that by making it more accessible, and with that I am not thinking about making it cool for the sake of making it cool, but repertoire, the concertvenue, dresscode etc. is a thing we should think about. And I also think that it is important that the artists shows themselves also in a personal way, and meet the audience in person.

How would you rate the importance of the internet and new media for classical music?
The internet is definetely important nowadays, especially when it comes to younger people. Take f.ex. the wonderfull world of iTunes, wherever you live in the world you can now get almost whatever recording you like right down on your computer or ipod and listen to it straight away! And also you can follow up on what is happening with all the artists, orchestras etc., and the artists can through f.ex. their web-site connect with their audience all around the world.

With so many different recordings of a particular piece available – how do you keep yours fresh and different?
The most important thing with music is making it to your own, to have your own voice and really feel related to what you are performing. I just do it the way I feel like it should be, and how I want to express things. Everyday is different and so is it with my playing, and hopefully two concerts is never completely the same. When it comes to recordings I try not to think that I want to make the perfect version of a piece. I think more that I want to do this piece like I feel right now, “this is me today, but if I had recorded it next month with a different orchestra and conductor in a different hall with different producers the result would also have been different.”

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

The best time is when you forget time and place and just play. The audience is very important when it comes to live performances on stage, and I must say that it is the concerts I enjoy the most. That is why we practise, to share it with others. Nothing can compare to the joy you feel both during and especially after a great concert.

What does the word “interpretation” mean to you?

Take the score, follow it. Then let you own voice shine through. Work with the music, experiment, and never be afraid to try out new things. Try to look at it in different perspectives, and the most important, never stop the process. It is a journey that never ends.

How do you balance the need to to put your personal emotions into the music you play and the intentions of the composer?

This depends on the music and the composer. In some scores you can see that the composer has a very clear idea of how he/she want it to be, into every little detail. Others are more free. I think that a musicians job is to make the music better, remember that the score can not play for itself. And if you play from your heart, but at the same time think of the composers heart, then I think you have a good chance at success.

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

In Norway there is a need for better music education in regular school from an early age. And hopefully this will get better in the years to come. Personally I think that more music, drama and art in school from the very beginning would improve the skills of the students in all subjects. Because then you learn to use your imagination, your creativity, to stand in front of other people and express yourself.

You are given the position of artistic director of a concert hall. What would be on your program for this season?
That is a hard question. I think that I would think about what the “old” audience (that goes to concerts every week) and also the “new” audience would like to experience, but at the same time what I think they should have the opportunity to experience.  Top musical experiences to a good price and in a fantastic hall :-)

How would you describe the relationship with your instrument?

My trumpets are like my best friends. I miss them if I don’t have them around, and I get very moody if I don’t play on them. It’s very special, but they are one of the things I feel closest to.

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

I did play the piano, and I do sing. But I must admit that there is a good reason trumpet is my favorite...

Trumpet Concertos: Haydn/Albinoni/Neruda/Hummel (BIS) 2007

Tine Thing Helseth
Tine Thing Helseth at MySpace

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