Tamsin Waley-Cohen on the Tricycle’s Classical Music Series

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012 by Tricycle

Tamsin Waley-CohenTamsin Waley-Cohen is the Artistic Director of the Honeymead Ensemble, who have been delighting audiences with their Classical Music Series since last autumn. Their next concert, this Sunday (20 May), will feature two of the most revered quartets from the Russian Romantic movement, by Arensky and Tchaikovsky. Click here for more information.

When did you first become interested in music and what inspired you to pick up a violin?
I have been interested in music since before I can remember! I remember asking and asking for lessons when I was very little, and I remember my first violin lesson very clearly – the story goes that I saw a televised prom, aged 2, and become totally transfixed but the violin. And I still am!

How did the Honeymead Ensemble begin?
We began 6 years ago now on Exmoor, as week of intense work and exploration of the great chamber music works. The idea was to have a week away from the usual distractions of life, living and working together, with a big programme to explore, and then three concerts to bring it all to life at the end of it.

There is so much fantastic classical music, how do you decide what to programme each month?
That is a very good question! We are spoiled for choice. I try to combine the great works with some lesser known pieces, and to give each concert a theme or connecting thread, so that each work relates to the other. I have tried to create programmes that are profoundly powerful and yet give great joy to the listener, that are challenging yet rewarding, and to keep as much variety as possible within the series – we have travelled from Schubert to Schoenberg, to Glass and Janacek, Ravel and Beethoven to Tchaikovsky and Strauss.

What has been the highlight of the Tricycle’s Classical Music Series so far & what are you most looking forward to in the upcoming concerts?
Each concert has been so different, and the whole series such an exciting journey that it is very hard to pick one! I think that part of what is so special is that each concert is absolutely different from all the others, so there is never any sense of monotony. I am really looking forward to the gorgeous French programme that seems so ideal for a summer evening, and I am extremely excited about the new quartet that Joseph Phibbs is writing for us. We are playing it alongside two of the great quartets int eh repertoire by Schubert and Britten. It is a great honour to give a world premier for such a fantastic composer, and to have the chance to work alongside him in interpreting his work. To play something for the first time ever is not an everyday occurrence, and I’m sure it’ll be quite an occasion.

Tamsin Waley-Cohen and the Honeymead Ensemble continue the Classical Music Series this Sunday (20 May) at 7pm in the Tricycle Theatre. Click here for more information and to book tickets.