How did you come to join QUO?
In 2014, QUO was searching for a new Artistic Director, so I applied and came to audition. The first round was a meeting with the search committee, and the second round was a rehearsal with the orchestra. I immediately felt a strong connection with the group, both humanly and musically, and I am so glad they felt the same way! This was two years ago. I am now starting my third season with QUO and am thrilled about every minute I spend working, developing, and making music with such a talented and generous group!
What is your favorite place to take friends visiting NYC?
It’s hard to just pick one!… I would say the Chelsea Market then the High Line for a nice walk in the afternoon and then Lincoln Center for a world-class performance in the evening.
What musical symbol best defines you and why?
I would say con spirito. It means “with spirit”, (but not in a religious way). I love to exercise my spirit, imagery and sense of humor in rehearsal in order for all the musicians to really get how to play the music that we are working on. And I also very much enjoy surrounding myself with people who approach life “con spirito”!
How long have you been playing trumpet and conducting?
I have been playing the cornet and the trumpet since I was 8 years old, and I have been conducting since I was 17 years old. So quiet a while ago!… I chose the trumpet not even knowing what it was! I just liked the name (in French, “trompette” sounds fun for an eight years old!…). I am the first musician in my family, so I was discovering every single thing about music by myself. I am really happy that I chose so well! I completely fell in love with the brass sound. But then in my teens, I felt I needed to express myself differently, by having access to all the timbres of the orchestra, like a painter would have access to all the colors of the rainbow in order to fully express his or her creativity; so conducting came organically and it really allows me to be myself and share everything that I can share musically.
Question from Vasanth: If you were to choose just one of the following words (artistic, intellectual, emotional, spiritual) to describe how you feel about classical music and conducting, which one would it be and why?
It is a very good question! I feel that Classical music (as well as music from other eras) constantly moves between all those categories, and often uses them simultaneously in order to express something of great value. I enjoy recognizing that flow of the music and working on expressing it to the best of my capability.