The heroine of classical music and one of the best violinists in Europe, Simone Lamsma, is a Dutch artist who will visit the European Capital of Culture this weekend. As part of the ‘Vila’ festival, which will be held from 3 to 5 June in the heart of the oldest national park Fruška Gora, in Vrdnik, violinist Simone Lamsma will perform the first evening at 7.30 p.m., accompanied by the city orchestra Camerata Academica Novi Sad.
Simone Lamsma was born in the Netherlands, and she started playing the violin at the age of five, before moving to Great Britain at the age of eleven to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School with Professor Hu Kun. She graduated from the Royal Academy and won several academic awards. She performs a wide repertoire of over 60 violin concertos, ranging from Mozart to Shostakovich. Her performances are described as ‘absolutely stunning’ (Chicago Tribune), and we invite you to enjoy her art in the magical ambience of Fruška Gora on June 3 at 7.30 p.m.
On the eve of the concert, we used the opportunity to talk about the performance she prepared for our audience, but also who the heroines of today are for her.
You are coming to the European Capital of Culture for the first time, and you will perform at the ‘Vila’ festival as part of the Heroines programme. We assume that preparations are underway, so we are interested in what kind of repertoire you are preparing for the Novi Sad audience? For the first time, this type of programme is held in the Fruška Gora National Park. Do you draw additional inspiration from the environment in which you perform?
I am really looking forward to being a part of your events. I’ve chosen Vivaldi’s Four Seasons because of the special location where the concert will take place. This is music inspired by nature, which provokes many visions, colours and imagination, and which place is better for playing this music than Fruška Gora National Park?! I think this will be a beautiful and inspiring combination of nature and music.
The ‘Heroines’ programme deals with women’s creativity and the promotion of women’s art. In your opinion, how much do female artists support each other nowadays, both professionally and privately? What is the role of art in this?
Art makes people aware of so many things and helps us in our human development. The world, including arts and culture, is still men dominated. I think we are making progress but need to keep raising awareness of the equality of all people, including men and women. We are all humans and therefore deserve the same attention and respect in life and art. Especially in our profession, we can make a strong case for this, music is a strong power that lets men and women FEEL that everyone is the same, without needing words. By showing and uniting in women’s art and culture, and creating as much visibility as possible, we’ll help to find more understanding for each other, and for equality in life! We women are as free to be who we want to be as men! Mankind can and should always grow and we should develop a better understanding of each other and of more and more things in life, and therefore hopefully make the world a better place for everyone.
You have collaborated with numerous musical names and orchestras and won many awards. How much do these successes encourage you to continue to prove yourself?
Of course, achievements help us gain self-confidence. However, I feel that true inner self-confidence, strength, and happiness are within ourselves, not in our achievements. Personal development and development in music are endless, and I try to learn from all my experiences and continue to develop constantly.
Who are the heroines of today for you and whose work inspires you in particular? Who were your heroines at the time you started your career?
My role models have always been people who dared to be themselves, people that live with integrity and are involved and kind to other people. Of course, I also have listened to many great musicians of the past and the present, which are inspirations for sure. I was also inspired by other arts and nature. All these influences shape you as a person and as an artist.
Have you always known what you want to do and what influenced you to become a violinist?
Music and violin have always been a part of me and my life. For me, making music is as natural as breathing, and I couldn’t live without it. I was always convinced that I would make music.
When you look at your life from this point of view, what have you given up during your career in order to achieve success?
Since I love making music from the bottom of my heart, I don’t feel like I had to give up on anything. Life is made up of making choices, and in order to achieve something, you have to make certain choices and make decisions. I am grateful for my upbringing and musical life.
Author: Anđela Dalmacija
Photo: Otto van den Toorn