Victoria Teo on stage in the 2017 Sydney Eisteddfod. Photo: WinkiPoP Media
Victoria Teo, finalist in the Sydney Eisteddfod Alf & Pearl Pollard Memorial Instrumental Awards for Performance Excellence (11-15 Years), talks about what inspired her to start playing the violin, who her musical idols are and what she learnt from her Sydney Eisteddfod experience.
Victoria also won the Violin (12 & Under) event in 2017 which earned her a place in the instrumental awards.
Why do you love playing the violin?
Violin is the instrument that is closest to human voice, I can express myself like as if I'm singing or telling a story. It is also one of the most difficult instrument with endless technical challenges.
What inspired you to start playing the violin?
When I was three years old, I saw a girl playing violin with Dorothy the Dinosaur from The Wiggles and I really wanted to be like her. My mother then took me to a piano teacher, the teacher said my hands were too small to start piano, but suggested me to start learning Suzuki Method for Violin. I was lucky to join Mr. Nakamura's group lessons, all the children there and Mr. Nakamura inspired me.
You chose to perform Pablo de Sarasate's Malagueña, Op 21 No 1 Danza Española, tell us about this piece.
This Malagueña is in the first of four Spanish Dance books that Sarasate wrote. It is like a flamenco with lots of conversation between a man and a woman. It is very expressive with it's Spanish melody and virtuoso elaboration.
Which other performers do you most like to listen to, and why?
My favourite performer is Itzhak Perlman, I love his interpretation of Sarasate and other virtuoso pieces - he makes everything look so easy! I also love Hilary Hahn, I love the way she plays Bach. She plays Bach clean, clear and how I imagine it would sound if he played himself.
What have you learnt from your Sydney Eisteddfod experience?
Sydney Eisteddfod has always been very competitive, I have learnt so much by watching the other performers and reading the detailed comments by adjudicators. Every time I prepare for Sydney Eisteddfod, I need to polish my piece to the 'ready to perform' level. Through this preparation, my technique and performance ability always improves.
What would you tell someone that was thinking about entering Sydney Eisteddfod?
Be prepared, do your best and enjoy.
What do you hope to achieve next?
I will continue to improve my technique and performance skills. I hope to perform with a live orchestra in the near future.