Marta Gardolinska

A chamber musician with a baton, Marta Gardolinksa has a broad repertoire that encompasses from Pergolesi to Pärt and feels equally at home conducting orchestras or choirs. Her interest in collaborating with other musicians makes her a naturally gifted accompanist to instrumentalists and singers in solo or opera repertoire, while also being able to shift to symphonic repertoire with ease.

We all know HELLO STAGE’s favorite color! What’s yours?

All my life my favorite color was blue, but lately I'm discovering wine-red.

What was the best advice a teacher ever gave you?

1. If you interrupt an ensemble in the middle of a run-through – better have a really important reason to do so.
2. Never forget to shake hands with the concertmaster.

How has your practice changed with time?

As a student, just beginning to study conducting in Warsaw, I used to practice in front of a mirror a lot – it was more about getting to know my body and facial expressions and modeling them accordingly to the sound and emotion I wanted to transmit. I would learn pieces by heart very quickly, but also very superficially for that simple reason, that the only chance I had to “perform” them was with 2 pianos and I didn't lead a single rehearsal until my 3rd year of studies - I simply didn't know what it meant to know a score. My teacher was also giving me quite a lot of repertoire at the time – I had 2 weeks to learn a symphony by heart, at most. During my time at the Vienna Music University I had to learn to play every piece we were studying on the piano. So, I would spend 99% of my time practicing the piano, because I came to Vienna as a flutist...at the same time I started learning the Saito-technique which required a lot of work with the metronome, repeating particular gestures and tapping with my fingers on the table. After graduating I made my own synthesis of practice methods. I like to use piano for harmonic analysis, I have my own very precise (and colorful) way of marking the scores. After the basic work is done I start going for long walks with the score in my hand to learn the music by heart. At that same stage the time comes for solving some “choreographical” issues for tricky cues or transitions. That's why for those walks I try to choose paths where I'm sure I won't meet many people.

What do you think is the most important trait of a successful artist in today’s modern world?

Honesty. If you're honest, you know who you are. And this is an absolute condition for transmitting something valuable through your art. Audiences can recognize fake acts and they don't like being lied to. A good marketing strategy can provide quick success, but it will never be enough for a life long career. 
I have to add that in my opinion, honesty should ideally be accompanied by a strong sense of ethics because classical music is not seen as 'cool' nowadays. For that reason we make big efforts to present it in new ways and make it more approachable, which is very good because we need audiences, but without a strong moral and aesthetic basis we run the risk of losing our artistic integrity.

How much time do you spend every day on Facebook, twitter, and which other ways do you use to promote yourself?

I mostly use Facebook and spend probably even too much time there. I check Twitter occasionally, mostly at the beginning of a new project. HELLO STAGE (Marta Gardolinska) is currently a substitute for my personal website so I regularly take care of my profile there. Before any of my concerts in Vienna, I always get in touch with the Polish Institute and some journalists and bloggers that I already know.

Marta, what do you enjoy most about being a conductor?

Inspiring good musicians to do their best and seeing them happy about it. I carry deep respect for the members of orchestras that I conduct and know for a fact, that every musician wants to play as well as he/she possibly can. I see my task in helping them feel inspired but also safe and confident to do their best. If it works and I see smiling faces in the ensemble – that's my reward. I also have to confess that it's a great feeling when my interpretation shows to be strong and interesting enough that great professionals (still in most cases more experienced and older than I am) start believing in it and following it with trust.

Tell us more about your upcoming concerts!

My nearest engagement is a german tournee with the operetta “Die Fledermaus” (The Bat). I will be performing everyday from the 02.01.15 until 09.01.15 and from the 26.01.15 until 06.02.15. All the venues and times are listed on my HelloStage Profile. I have to admit that I am very excited about this project – Fledermaus is one of the mile stones for a conductor. It's undoubtedly the best piece in the genre and also one of the most challenging ones. I'm working with a marvelous cast of great singers. They not only have fantastic voices, but are also great actors, so I am laughing any time I have a break between music numbers and get to watch the scene. Everybody else in the production has performed the piece many times already – it's an Austrian performing company, so it's a challenge for me as I find myself in a double role where on one hand I have to be in charge, because I'm the conductor, but on the other I should also learn about performance practice from the cast, which is crucial to Strauss's music. Once I'm back in Vienna I will start working with the AOV orchestra. This is one of the best ensembles in the Viennese amateur music scene and I'm very glad that I managed to organize my winter so that after the effort of intense touring I get to work with this great group of musicians. What I like most about this orchestra is that they not only play their instruments very well, they do it solely for the love of it. Brahms' 1st Symphony is on the program of our concert on the 26th of March in the Konzerthaus is along with Mozart's KV 414 Piano Concerto – we will perform with a great young musician, Vincent Gatke. The concert will be opened by Richard Strauss' Serenade for 13 wind instruments.
Follow and keep up with Marta on HELLO STAGE!
Author: Nina (c) HELLO STAGE
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