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Our musicians

It’s not really a job, because I love it so much!

Published Saturday 11 July 2020

Roberto Ruisi, violin

When did you start to play your instrument? I first picked up the violin just before my third birthday – my older brothers were already playing music, and I suppose I wanted to join in!

Do you play any other instrument? I played the piano as much as I played the violin until the age of around 14, but I was never very good at it. Looking back, I’m happy I stuck with it for a while. I definitely appreciate being able to sit at a piano now and string a few notes together!

Where did you study? I studied at the Royal College of Music in London.

When did you first play with Sinfonia Cymru? My first experience of Sinfonia Cymru was the Aberfan 50th Anniversary Memorial Concert, back in 2016. It was a very special concert, and I was proud to be part of such an important occasion.

What do you like about working with Sinfonia Cymru? It is, unequivocally, one of the friendliest atmospheres to work in, from rehearsals all the way to the concert stage. It’s infectious, and as a result I always look forward to playing with SC.

What is your favourite Sinfonia Cymru moment? Last year, the orchestra went to Abu Dhabi for a unique concert, where we played Puccini’s Tosca. Playing Tosca was a dream for me, it’s one of my favourite operas. On top of that, being able to explore Abu Dhabi with incredible colleagues and friends…it was a wonderful week!

What is your favourite musical moment elsewhere? I really don’t know! There are so many wonderful things to look back on. One of the strangest musical moments I’ve experienced is away from the violin: having to perform a keyboard duo with Max Richter in front of thousands of people at Montreux Festival in Switzerland. And I barely knew where middle C was.

What do you most like about being a professional musician? I’m not sure I love being a ‘professional’ musician. Just a musician! It’s not really a job, because I love it so much. And the beautiful thing about music is that it’s always evolving. It really is a partner for life.

When you’re not playing with Sinfonia Cymru what other orchestras, ensembles or projects are you involved with? At the moment, I’m working a lot with my recital partner, Sten Heinoja: we’re making a CD at the end of this year. I’m based in London, and very fortunate to work with groups such as 12 Ensemble, Aurora Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia. I also have a Piano Trio to keep me busy!

What are your three favourite pieces of music, and why?

It changes every day, but today it’s this:

  1. Berio: Sequenza VIII
  2. Haydn: String Quartet in Eb, Opus 33 No. 1
  3. Jorja Smith: Blue Lights

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