An interview with Miki Tsunoda, guest violinist
You've been playing string quartets since you were 16 - what is so special about this combination?
Its repertoire is incredibly rich and there are so many great works written for String Quartet! I think many composers felt a close affinity when writing for a SQ which perhaps inspired them to freely express their deepest emotions through their compositions.
Who led you to discover string quartets?
When I was a student at VCASS, my teacher Marco van Pagee put his students into chamber groups and I happened to be allocated to a String Quartet at the age of 16. I remember that I saw it as time spent playing with good friends from my class, exchanging ideas, chatting a bit and trying to breath and feel the music together. It was fascinating and more fun than practicing on my own.
What's your favorite recording of the Beethoven quartets?
The Borodin String Quartet (with Kopelman and Shebalin) always has a special place in my heart.
What are you looking forward to the most in the upcoming Flinders concerts?
I am revisiting string quartet for the first time since many years and I'm excited to be working together with dear friends.
It's a first collaboration and it will be interesting to bring all of our ideas together to see how it will evolve.
You split your time between Australia and Antwerp - do you feel equally "at home" in both places?
Having moved so much throughout my life, one of the things instilled in me is the art of creating "my space and comfort" wherever I go. It's a great asset when splitting time between two very different cultures.
Having said that, the feeling of truly coming home when I land at Melbourne Airport only happens there, and arriving into Brussels Airport is more like revisiting a familiar environment.
What's the one thing you miss about Australia when you're away?
Its difficult to say one thing, there are many things I miss.
I miss family, familiar circle of friends and network of people who I have known for many decades.
The blue sky and the sense of humor is greatly missed.
What's the one thing you miss about Antwerp when you're away?
The ease of getting around the city. I can bike to work in 18 minutes, in fact I mostly bike or walk everywhere and it's fantastic.
I also miss my local bakery, Domestic. I do believe their croissants, pistachio eclairs are number one in the world!!
Tell us one of the best things you've learned in your music studies.
You have to play the instrument like a singer. Breath.
What are you reading at the moment?
"Chess" by Stefan Zweig
Since 2008, Miki has held the position of Principal Second Violin with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, and in addition performs with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta and Australian World Orchestra. In 2018, Miki joins Flinders Quartet as guest violinist for their February/March tour and 2018 composer development project.