“The Mannheim Rocket” will be performed on Feburary 25 for the 16th season of the Trio Fibonacci as a part of the festival Montréal en Lumière. I had the opportunity to learn a bit about the show and the violinist Julie-Anne Derome. An amazing artist who has been playing since before most people can walk, she convinced me that the show will be fantastic for both classic-music-buffs and casual fans like myself.
Robyn Homeniuk (RH): Let’s start by having you introduce yourself in a few sentences.
Julie-Anne Derome (JAD): I have been playing the violin since the age of three. After graduating from the Montreal Conservatoire, I went to study for four years in the UK and one year in the US. I lived in Belgium for 5 years, afterwards, performing all over Europe. I created my own piano trio in 1998. We traveled the world together, I love performing solo and on the viola, exploring new technologies as part of my recitals.
RH: When you first began to play music, what made you choose violin?
JAD: I didn’t chose violin because when I started at the age of three; I wasn’t aware of other possibilities. My mother played the piano and my older siblings also played the violin so it was natural for me to play as well. I never questioned nor regretted it afterwards!
RH: Have you ever wanted to stop playing? What about your music made you continue?
JAB: Can a bird say in the morning when it wakes up: Now today, I don’t feel like signing? Music is a necessity for me and my muscles start to ache if I don’t practice for a few days. Music has to live and there are still things I want to express with my sound.
Trio Fibonacci, Violinist Julie-Anne Derome with cellist Gabriel Prynn and pianist Wonny Song. Photo by Caroline Bergeron
RH: What has been your favorite location to play (country and/or venue) and why?
JAB: I love playing in Germany because one feels that classical music is part of people’s life and the public is so attentive. Some of the greatest composers come from there, so there is a strong tradition. I really enjoyed performing at the Berlin Philarmonie and at the Theatro Farnese in Italy because of the wonderful acoustic of these halls. But my most special experience was playing in India. The public was so curious and open-minded. I had people sitting next to my feet in some venues. The atmosphere was electrical!
RH: What is the most important thing that music has taught you?
JAB: The art of listening. Listening to others, musicians, people I encounter in my life. Compassion. And patience, I would say. It takes so many years to master the violin. One has to be so patient and persistent. It goes against the modern pace of life, where everything has to be achieve as quickly as possible.
RH: What do you love about playing in Montreal?
JAB: Montreal has such a vibrant cultural scene and we have worked really hard to build a faithful public that knows us. It is a unique experience for me.
RH: Can you speak about “The Mannheim rocket” and what makes it special?
JAB: The Mannheim rocket (a rising motif sounding like a rocket taking off) was one of several innovations by the Mannheim Orchestra. As a chamber musician what fascinates me is its symbolical importance. The great thinkers of the 18th century – Kant, Rousseau – thought pure instrumental music, without a voice and therefore without a text, was simple entertainment, not art. After the triumphs of the Mannheim Orchestra in Paris in the 1770’s, particularly playing Haydn’s music, everyone had to rethink their opinion …
RH: What have you been listening to lately? ( top five artists or songs)
JAB: Kodo, which is a Taiko drumming group, my toddler loves it! Julia Fisher, a violinist to whom I feel musically very close and admire. Sviatoslav Richter, a musician who is of great inspiration to me, who performs without compromise. Caruso, because of the nostalgia.
The program of the Mannheim Rocket is as follows: Joseph Haydn — Trio Hoboken XV/27 (1797) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart — Trio K. 542 (1788) Ludwig van Beethoven — Trio in B flat major, Op. 97 “Archduke” (1811).
The Mannheim Rocket will be performed on Wednesday, February 25 2015 at 7:30pm at Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur (100 Sherbrooke East). Tickets are on sale at the door the evening of the concert and at www.accesculture.com. $20 (regular), $15 (seniors), $10 (students).