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Our musicians

Performing to a live audience again made me feel so alive!

Published Saturday 6 February 2021

Elen Roberts, Double Bass 

When did you start to play the double bass? I started learning the double bass when I was eight.

Do you play any other instruments? I learnt to play the piano before I started learning the double bass.

Where did you study? I studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London for both my undergraduate and postgraduate degree’s.

When did you first play with Sinfonia Cymru? After auditioning for the extra list in May 2018, I was invited to play with the orchestra in February 2019 for Karl Jenkins’s 75th birthday concert at St Davids Hall, Cardiff. Little did I know, after years of playing Palladio at school, that one day I would get to perform Palladio with Karl Jenkins himself conducting! It was a very special concert and I was proud to be a part of it.

What do you like about working with Sinfonia Cymru? I always look forward to working with Sinfonia Cymru, I enjoy being able to perform back at my hometown, Cardiff and performing with so many fantastic young musicians. I love the variety of projects Sinfonia Cymru offers and each project spans so many different genres and musical styles.

What is your favourite Sinfonia Cymru moment? My favourite Sinfonia Cymru moment is definitely performing Richard Strauss Septet version of Metamorphosen in November 2020 at the RWCMD. Its such a beautiful piece and I remember feeling so excited to perform it! It’s what I’ve missed so much over the last year, and performing to a live audience again made me feel so alive!

What is your favourite musical moment elsewhere? There’s so many to choose from, but one of my favourite musical highlights would be performing Mahler 2 at Festival Hall with Seymon Bychkov with the Royal Academy Music Symphony Orchestra. It’s such an epic symphony, and I love big orchestral works that include chorus and organ. The atmosphere at the Festival Hall that evening was absolute electric and its definitely one of the best gigs I’ve ever done, I wish I could go back and do it all over again!

What do you most like about being a professional musician? I always feel so lucky that I’m able to do a ‘job’ I love. I’ve been able to travel to new places and perform in some of the most beautiful concert venues in the U.K and beyond. I feel so lucky to work with so many fantastic musicians that inspire me endlessly.I also of course love the variety and no gig is ever the same! I am so ready and looking forward to hopefully perform and play again post pandemic!

When you’re not playing with Sinfonia Cymru what other orchestras, ensembles or projects are you involved with? I freelance with different orchestras including, BBC NOW, RPO, LPO and I’m currently on trial for the Sub Principal double bass position at the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

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

It’s always changing but my top three today would have to be….

Amy Winehouse – Valerie

Prokofiev Symphony No.5 , 2nd movement

Walton Symphony No.1, 2nd movement

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