Interview with Tafelmusik’s Patricia Ahern

How old were you when you began playing your instrument?

Seven years old.

What led you specialise in historical music?

It was a fluke, really. I was at Indiana University doing my Master’s degree and there was an orchestra requirement… every day for 2 years. I had heard that the conductors there were terrible, and I was dreading the experience. A new friend said, “How about baroque orchestra instead? There is NO CONDUCTOR!” I was reluctant, but after spending 3 minutes with the new instrument (baroque violin) playing some solo Bach, I was hooked for life.

Do you play contemporary music?

A bit. I’d like to do more.

The program is played entirely from memory. What effect does this have on the performance?

The players are much more engaged, having fun, watching each other, dancing together while playing. We know the music inside out, and this creates a very dynamic interpretation.

What was the first record you ever bought?

The Wallets…a local band in Minneapolis that I used to go see as a teen.

What are you listening to at the moment?

I’m listening to the House of Dreams CD over and over and playing along…learning the next Tafelmusik program for memory!

Which living artist do you admire most and why?

There are too many to mention. I feel incredibly lucky to be in Tafelmusik, and I never cease to be amazed when I see my colleagues perform.

Tafelmusik has toured all over the world. What is your favourite destination?

I’d have to say it’s a tie between Spain and Italy.

What can Australian audiences expect from The Galileo Project?

They can expect to see something truly unique, a wonderful blend of beautiful images, historical context, great stories by an amazing actor, and Tafelmusik musicians playing their hearts out.

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About Musica Viva Australia

Welcome to Musica Viva’s International Concert Season blog. Here you can follow and read more about our wonderful touring artists.

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