Today we are delighted to interview Mavroudes Troullos. After his performance with Antwerpen Camerata at the Citizens’ Garden Concerts of the European Parliament in Brussels on the 1st of September, Mavroudes and the orchestra are happy to announce their collaboration.
JOURNALIST: Good afternoon and welcome to NEWSTIMES London.
Today we are interviewing the 29-year-old Greek-Cypriot bassoonist Mavroudes Troullos to find out more about his artistic practice and his upcoming residency with Antwerpen Camerata for the 2021/22 season.
So, I’m going to ask Mavroudes some questions.
Mavroudes, we would like to know more about how you got involved with classical music and, more specifically, with the bassoon, so can you tell us a little bit about it?
MAVROUDES: Sure. I got involved with classical music at a very young age. I guess even before I was born, as I am a child of two musicians. My mother is a piano teacher and my father a composer. So classical music was always present in our home. As for how I chose my instrument, there is no impressive story to tell. In fact, I did not choose it myself, my father did, or anyway he suggested what I should choose. I guess he likes it because it is a rather unusual instrument.
J: And can you tell us something about your studies and how you ended up in Brussels?
M: After my first bassoon lessons in Cyprus, I moved to Athens, where I studied at the Conservatory and obtained my Diploma. A few years later I continued my studies in Leipzig, where the hard work began. It was tough but, in my opinion, crucial for my future development. There I received my bachelor’s in music. Before moving to Brussels for my master’s degree, I spent a few months in Vienna, where I attended lessons with the principal bassoonist of the Vienna Philharmonic. Now I am a PhD Researcher in the Arts at the LUCA School of Arts in Leuven focusing on the contemporary music for bassoon.
J: How did your collaboration with Antwerpen Camerata come to life?
M: After I moved to Belgium, I was invited by the conductor Dimitris Spouras to join the orchestra as a principal bassoonist. Antwerpen Camerata is an ensemble consisting mainly of string players. The general ambience and the energy of each musician and the conductor allow to the music to be fresh, passionate, and flexible. That is how I also approach music, so it felt very natural for me to be an Artist-in-Residence with this beautiful ensemble.
J: Could you explain to us your project “Vibes in d”?
M: Sure. Although I would like to use the words of the conductor Dimitris Spouras, as he is the creator of the concept:
“Difficult times have always been part of society, and they always will be. Each and every time, humanity deals with it as it can, depending on the historic moment. Unfortunately, right now, we are in the middle of a huge crisis —a crisis that affects all of us economically, socially, and culturally. Our generation is inextricably linked to technology and the social media. Everything seems wonderful and everyone appears to be happy, optimistic, successful. But life has another side as well, and by now, we all know that side very well. This other side consists of hard times, failure, disappointment and, inevitably, death. Modern society needs to face this side; try to deal with it rather than ignore it. “Vibes in d” comprises three pieces that all share the common element of death and sadness. The pieces were written in different periods and express these fundamental human emotions reflecting those different times. We believe that hope comes from action. A project that touches people from all over the world, looking for hope while coming out of a catastrophe.”
J: What are the works included in this project and where will you be presenting them with Antwerpen Camerata?
M: The project consists of the Concerto for Bassoon in D minor by Antonio Vivaldi, followed by the contemporary work for String Orchestra Was birgst du so bang dein Gesicht? by Carlos Brito Dias. After the intermission comes the beloved String Quartet in D minor D.810 Der Tod und das Mädchen by Franz Schubert, arranged for string orchestra. We are happy to have the opportunity to present this programme in four different cities in Belgium, first at the Citizens’ Garden Concerts of the European Parliament in Brussels on the 1st of September, then at the Pulcheria Concerts in Leuven and at Wandelconcerten van Antwerpen on the 6th and 7th of October accordingly, and finally at Klassiek in de Kapel in Tienen on the 20th of January 2022.
J: It sounds very interesting. We wish you all the best for this beautiful project and thank you for your time.
M: Thank you for having me!