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Five Minutes with: Marta Gardolińska

Posted on 11 March 2020

Ahead of conducting Royal Northern Sinfonia in a programme of Beethoven Symphony No.2 and Symphony No.5, we caught up with young conductor Marta Gardolińska to ask her all about what Beethoven means to her, and why he is still relevant today.

Marta is currently Young Conductor in Association at the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and will make her debut with Royal Northern Sinfonia in St Cuthbert’s Church, Carlisle, on Wednesday 18 March. The concert will be repeated in Middlesbrough Town Hall on Thursday 19 March.

These concerts form part of Beethoven 2020: The Next Generation, a series supported by Classical Futures Europe and the Creative European Programme of the European Union.

What are you looking forward to about the concerts?

I have been enjoying re-exploring the world of Beethoven’s symphonies in preparation to this concert very much. Being able to dive into his language, trace how it was developing from early signs of strong musical character in the 2nd symphony to revolutionising dramatism of the 5th is a fascinating experience that I can’t wait to share with the orchestra and audiences of our concerts.

What do you love about Beethoven and his music?

Beethoven was a bold and unapologetic composer, a volcano of creative energy. I think juxtaposing his music, all too familiar by now, with a fresh composition by a young composer from Lithuania who drew inspiration from Beethoven’s composing techniques will shine a new light at the symphonies. Needless to say that experiencing a premiere of a brand new piece of music is an extraordinary privilege every time as it invites us to listen in a different, unbiased way.

Why is Beethoven still relevant today?

Beethoven is relevant today because of the universality of his ideas. He strived for creative and social freedom and was unapologetic about it. He composed from a place of great integrity and faithfulness to his ideals and highest ethical standards always wanting to innovate and explore. In the 21st century we have understood and put a lot of weight on the importance of being creative for individuals as well as for societies. Beethoven as a composer is a role model for anyone wanting to be creative. (his personal life and life-style are a different story.

Who or what are the most significant influences on your musical life?

First it was my mother. She introduced me to music, helped me practice the piano, gave her opinions on my performances, shaped my musical taste (she is not a professional musician by the way). Many more came after that, many teachers and mentors and I think it is too difficult to choose which one is more significant than the other. I keep on trying to learn and develop every day and let myself be influenced at every occasion.

As a musician, what is your definition of success?

Being able to realise projects that I’m passionate about at a level that satisfies me and my musicians.