Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra

Eugene Bold, concertmaster at the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra interview

Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra

Did you always want to be part of an orchestra? How early on did you realise it was what you wanted to do?
As a child I thought an orchestra was a place where lots of people playing a range of different instruments came together to try to play the same tune. As I grew up, my outlook on orchestras changed and I started to see the orchestra as a huge but singular instrument, and that was the thing that captivated me the most: how all the individual musicians and their instruments actually become one voice during a musical event. This happens in very good performances, when all the 100 plus members are totally involved and create the music together so that it can be heard and even felt by the public. It is not only the sound, it is something else as well, something magical. I think this is why I wanted to be an orchestra player, I wanted to be a part of this extraordinary process.

So once you decided you wanted to join an orchestra, how did you go about making that dream come true?
It all started with my father who passed on to me a passion for the violin. He just decided to start playing the violin and taught himself by just listening again and again as a child to a recording of Beethoven’s violin concerto played by Kreisler. Later on he went to a music academy and subsequently became leader in the best orchestra in Romania. When he started teaching first my sister and then me, I remember being so excited about it that I couldn’t wait for the next lesson and to play. My father would compose little pieces for me to play on a daily basis. The music would be written for three violins and I loved playing with them, discovering the notes and how they translated into music, it was absolutely thrilling. That was the beginning of playing in a group, which today translates as an orchestra.

Your role as the QPO’s new concertmaster must be an exciting one but what exactly do you get up to on a day-to-day basis?
As concertmaster I have the role of leading the sections of instruments in the orchestra while, at the same time, being the conductor’s “right hand” in order to understand and follow the conductor’s musical intentions. This all takes practice and so, every day, I work individually in getting to grips with all of this by practicing the violin, preparing the musical parts, listening to various interpretations etc, and also take part in group work during the rehearsals with the full orchestra.

How are you getting on in Doha, do you like living here?
I only arrived in Qatar a couple of months ago and so it’s all very new to me and I am still finding my way around. Doha is a city that is experiencing enormous change and extremely rapid growth so it is a very exciting time to be here and in order to get to grips with life here I will have to spend a bit of time getting to know how things work and where things are. There is so much that I have to learn about and find out about here and I very much look forward to doing that.

Where else, aside from Bucharest, have you lived?
I have actually lived in Sao Paulo (Brasil), New York (USA), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Valencia (Spain).

Which city did you most enjoy living in?
I would have to say Kuala Lumpur because of its cultural and ethnic diversity. Living in KL felt a bit like living in lots of countries at one time. I have actually started having the same feelings about living in Doha because I will have the chance to learn about the fascinating Arab culture.

So, now you’re the concertmaster, what can we expect from the QPO?
Inspired solos and quality performances of the orchestra and, as I said in the beginning, the magic of recreating the music on stage as an entity and to find our own sound.

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