PATRON’S AWARD WINNER 2017 – DENISE MUBIN
Day 1 (21st July)
On the first day, I had a meeting in Maestro Raphael Oleg’s studio with the other members. Before I went in, most of the students were already there. I was feeling excited and nervous. There was no class on the first day so I went back and practice for tomorrow’s class. After lunch, we had a chamber meeting with our own chamber group. We introduced ourselves to each other and they were all really nice. Overall, the meeting has gone surprisingly well. I was really lucky that the people there were nice to me and was willing to help me.
Day 2 (22nd July)
Today, I was having my first class with Maestro Raphael. I told him that I want to have more tone colors in my playing, and we worked on the vibrato and the bow hand. He gave me some useful advice that I could work on. He said that different speed of bow and vibrato affects our own playing, also the pressure we apply on both hands is a very important factor of having different colors in our playing and more. So, after class, I went back and experiment on different vibratos to get the sound and colors I want.
Day 3 (23rd July)
After breakfast, I met up with my chamber group and had our first rehearsal and then chamber music class. We worked on the little details that we missed out. It was a good lesson for all of us, as we were trying to work together as one in chamber music playing. After practicing, I went to watch a faculties performance. The performance has inspired some ideas for me to improve my tone colors in playing.
Day 4 (24th July)
In class today, I played the Vieuxtemps Violin Concerto No. 5 for Maestro Raphael. He gave me feedback on tone colors or phrasing I could improve. He also helped me improve my intonation a bit better. Then, I had rehearsal with my chamber group. We tried to have more communication between us and also tried different interpretations of the music. Compared to our first rehearsal, we started to sound more like a chamber group.
Day 5 (25th July)
This morning, I had chamber music class, and we have a different teacher for each class to teach us chamber music. For this class, it was a soprano who taught us. In this class, she taught us about the silence of music and the importance of having the silence in music. Since our tempo was not stable sometimes, she said that to always have the pulse in our hearts when playing. After that, I went to listen to the Elmire Quartet perform. They have a great teamwork and sounded together as one. It was a great exposure to see them perform.
Day 6 (26th July)
Today is another day of class with Maestro Raphael. First, we did a simple scale with vibrato. It was really hard to keep it constant and narrow, but it felt easier compared to our recent classes. After that, we spent some time on the violin concerto. He gave me ideas as to have the colors in my head before I play, and to always have a color dream in order to produce good tone colors. After class, my brother and I had lunch with his teacher, Madam Vinciane. She was very kind and gave us advice on how to practice with efficiency and she also shared some stories when she was in conservatory.
Day 7 (27th July)
Another day started with chamber music classes. Classes today was taught by a cellist named Eric Levionnois. We worked on the style and interpretation with him and how the piece should sound like in a very Mozart style as we were playing Mozart quintet. The quintet was not commonly seen because it is a horn quintet with two violas. So instead of two violins, Mozart wrote it for two violas. In this class, he told us about the background of the music and helped us refined our playing even more. It was a really great learning process.
Day 8 (28th July)
Today was my last class with Maestro Raphael. We started slow with some warming up scales, and then I run through the whole violin concerto with him. We worked on some minor details and he gave me his opinion on some styles of interpretation. Later, we had lunch together with other students in his studio since it was the last class. I am very grateful for all the things that I have learned from Mr. Raphael and it was a great opportunity to learn from him.
Day 9 (29th July)
Today was the start of the rehearsal for the Academy Orchestra. This orchestra consists of the students who participate in the festival, and it was conducted by Maestro Raphael Oleg. We played repertoires by Mozart, Haydn and Bartok. After rehearsals, I went back to get ready for the Academy Concert which our chamber group was performing. We had a full audience for that concert, and I was quite nervous when I performed. Despite that, I enjoyed myself playing chamber music with my group members.
Day 10 (30th July)
It was another day of rehearsals with the Academy Orchestra. I was playing in the first violin section, and it was a very fun and enjoyable experience. My desk partner was a cheerful person, and we talked about the pieces we played and exchange some opinions with each other. After the long rehearsal, I decided to take a short break to walk around and admire the mountain views since it was our second last day there.
Day 11 (31st July)
This is my last day at the Festival des Arcs. I had a dress rehearsal with the Academy Orchestra, and Maestro Raphael talked about some small details to improve our overall performance. After that, we were free to do anything until the concert starts. The concert was at 9pm and it was to celebrate the 50th year anniversary of Les Arcs. Before I knew it, the concert was over. Then, we had a small celebration party with the students who participate in the festival.
In this trip to France, I have learned a lot to improve my playing. I also want to thank Euroasia, because without their help, I would not have the opportunity to participate in this festival and made such good memories in my life.