Interviews with three musicians from the orchestra

Alexandra Conunova, violin, Hanover

First and foremost the human experience…

I left my native country Moldavia at the age of 14 to study in Rostock in Germany. I have recently moved to Hanover where I am studying at the University of Music, Drama and Media.

I am 22 years old and what I love above all in an orchestra is to be able, through music, to share with a soloist and other musicians, an exceptional human experience which bridges our differences and brings together our ways of thinking and outlook on life.

This is what I am always on the lookout for, in particular when I play with L’Orchestre International de Genève, where the musicians, young and experienced, from so many countries, come to meet in Geneva. It is this human adventure, with no barriers, that I so enjoy, and it is marvellous also to be able to share this with the audience during the concert.aa

Christophe Sturzenegger, French horn, Switzerland

Enthusiasm against routine..!

After my studies at the Music Conservatory of Geneva, I joined the Zurich Opera House Orchestra Academy and then the Basel Orchestra. After four years in this ensemble I decided to leave.

I play the French horn and also the piano. Above all I am a multi-disciplinary musician who likes to create all kinds of projects—I currently lead a festival in Geneva dedicated to brass instruments.

In this regard, participating in L’Orchestre International de Genève concerts is exactly what I love doing. These are important single concerts, where musicians meet with a desire to play together, and with a freshness, that in an institutional ensemble would tend to erode over the seasons. Of course we can argue that what forges the sound of an orchestra is to constantly play together. Well, for me, this is not what is the most important. The enthusiasm we all feel when we meet occasionally, rather than regularly, allows us to express things that are just as interesting, if not more so, and it is this capability of music which I find to be so essential, and valued. 

In l’Orchestre International de Genève the musicians come from very different situations, and practically everyone has personal projects like me, in addition to the orchestras they play in. We talk about them, exchange our experiences and our ideals, and we live music differently.

This may be a new concept, but the world of music is changing so rapidly that it is not surprising to find it elsewhere. In Paris, for example, next to the prestigious national institutions, certain orchestras get together for single projects (classical, baroque and other) and unleash great much enthusiasm.

We are at a crossroads. We cannot miss the opportunity, and this is what attracts me about the experience of L’Orchestre International de Genève .

Annie Guenette, violin, Canada

When Quebec gets involved…!

I studied at McGill University in Montreal and the University of Michigan in the United States.

I have played several times at the Verbier Festival, and being a part of L’Orchestre International de Genève in Oman in November 2010 was an unforgettable experience. All the musicians were at such a high level, and came from such different places, that it brought an incredible richness to the ensemble. The strings were composed of young musicians who really wanted to excel. The winds were already more advanced in their careers.

Personal transcendence and generosity are the hallmarks of this orchestra. They are necessary qualities since the musicians come together for single projects in defined time periods, and we know that we will have to be professional at all times and maintain a permanent state of concentration and exceptional creativity. It is this aspect of the work, this urgency, which makes each concert a special event. The audiences are always very sensitive to this.

In a permanent orchestra, we can quickly tell what will happen, it is so much more predictable. At L’Orchestre International de Genève it is always a challenge, and it is precisely this challenge which, paradoxically, creates the orchestra’s cohesion, coherence and consistency. A musician who is not motivated by these values is in the wrong place!

And, in an orchestra that only meets from time to time, there is no room for disputes like there are in ensembles which meet every day! It is not insignificant that we all come together L’Orchestre International de Genève, in beautiful harmony!