Lorenza Borrani didn’t set out to become a violinist – or a musician at all, really.
But for the leader of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, lauded by some composers as the finest orchestra going round, it’s worked out alright.
Growing up just outside Florence, in northern Italy, her house was five minutes from the Scuola di Musica di Fiesola. She started her first music lessons at age “three or four” simply the school was near.
When asked to choose she nominated the trumpet – but was told she was too small.
“On the wall there was a painting of a violin … so I looked up for an answer and I found an answer. I said ‘the violin’ even though it was not really my wish.”
Not to worry. The scoula had been founded “with this high ideal of chamber music as the main path”. As soon as students could play a few notes they were playing in groups.
“The violin let me immediately play with other children … it was allowing me the best playful things to do. My friends were other players, and I never questioned whether this is what I wanted to do with my life. But I loved to do what I was doing and it was working very well.
“By age 22 I decided this is what I would do. But I want to do music in 360 degrees – not just a soloist, a chamber musician, in an orchestra, a teacher. I want to do all. So I am doing what I was doing when I was nine, really. “
Borrani will lead the Australian Chamber Orchestra in Wollongong next week, the finale of the ACO’s Beethoven series.
Speaking to the Mercury after arriving in Sydney to start rehearsals with the ACO, Borrani said chamber music was by its nature social.
“On piano you can play the big sonatas … but for the violin you really need the others to do the most beautiful path in music,” she said.
”The challenge and the most beautiful thing is that you do it with some company. And when you have a fixed group is [you need to share] a common sensitivity.
“We say music is a universal language but everyone can see a text of music in a completely different way to someone else. So it is universal only at a certain level. When you go deeper it is not so universal – everyone has a strong opinion about it.
“So it is important to build with the other players a common approach. You mirror your ideas with the minds of other people and it makes you stronger.”
We say music is a universal language but everyone can see a text of music in a completely different way- Lorenza Borrani
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