Anna da Silva Chen
Alumna Anna da Silva Chen and The Metropolitan Orchestra received a “heart-warming” standing ovation after recent collaboration for the Sibelius Violin Concerto at the Eugene Goossens Hall.
“Collaborating with TMO and Sarah-Grace Williams was a wonderful privilege and great success,” she said.
Anna won both the NSW Doctors Orchestra Sydney Eisteddfod Instrumental Scholarship (2013) and the Sydney Eisteddfod Alf & Pearl Pollard Memorial Awards for Performance Excellence (2010).
She said the Sibelius piece would continue to be the one of the most challenging works she has studied for many years to come.
“Since learning it at fifteen years old I have revisited it a few times and the more I play it, the more I feel I have to explore and discover. Something as seemingly minuscule as the violinist's opening note, emerging from an off-beat and hauntingly beautiful in its dissonance, can eat away at my mind for weeks. I still play it differently every time,” she said.
Anna is currently continuing her studies with the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and will be playing the first movement of Brahms' Violin Concerto for violinist Pinchas Zukerman in masterclass at the Musica Viva Festival.
Later in the year she will present Beethoven's Triple Concerto with pianist Paul Cheung, cellist Vincent Lo and NSW Youth Orchestra.
Artistic director of TMO and Chief Conductor Sarah-Grace Williams admired your “passion and energy” as a player. Where does the passion and the energy come from?
I have always had an affinity with playing the violin and its incredible expressive capabilities; however, my passion is fuelled simply by my love for making music. I commenced studies on the violin at the age of eight and often wish I started beforehand; but am grateful that a deep affection for music was instilled in me prior to my learning; it has since sustained my work and driven me to achieve as much as I can.
How did this experience compare to playing Sibelius Violin Concerto with the NSW Youth Orchestra last year?
NSWYO were a delight to work with. Their geniality and eagerness encouraged me to play creatively and with much more bravery than expected.
My recent performance with TMO was particularly special. Sarah-Grace Williams is a brilliant conductor whom I’m endlessly inspired by. As a young woman who has studied and grown up in a musical world that is still very much male-dominated, I find her to be an extraordinary role model.