Q & A with Simone Lamsma


Fanfare Cincinnati: What is your experience with Bernstein’s Serenade? How do you approach this work? 

Simone Lamsma: It is a very exciting work to perform, and I have played it on quite a few occasions. I am very happy to bring it to Cincinnati in this Bernstein anniversary year!

In principle, my approach to each work is always quite similar, meaning to really study the score well, to study the composer’s background and to think about what the composer may have intended. Bernstein based this work on Plato’s Symposium, a Symposium where seven speakers speak about love. It is not literal, but the work very clearly evokes the many feelings that love can embody. So, of course, this is very much in my heart and mind when playing this music.


FC: Do you have any favorite works or composers you like
to perform?

SL: As a violinist I am so blessed that such a huge amount of repertoire has been written for the instrument. For me Beethoven’s Violin Concerto will remain the greatest ever written; this music is so genial and stirs up the deepest feelings. But I also very much love concertos by Schubert, Bach, and early 20th-century composers such as Shostakovich and Britten. Ah, too much to mention really!


FC: The CSO’s mission statement is “To seek and share inspiration.” Where do you seek and find inspiration, musically and otherwise? How do you think you’ve inspired others along the way?

SL: Inspiration for me comes from all of my life experiences, the people around me, the world around me, music itself. when you truly open your eyes and ears, inspiration is everywhere.

I find it most important in life to be a good, honest and sharing person, and people who live their lives that way really inspire me the most.

To me, of course, music is of such great importance in my life. I can’t live without it, and from the music itself I get such great inspiration. I hope that through my music-making, other people might also feel inspired, moved or enriched by this great music.


FC: What is coming up on the horizon for you?

SL: I am grateful to have lots of exciting concert tours with orchestras coming up—a great mix of debuts and returns. I love to form relationships with orchestras. When we rehearse and perform we are communicating. It is also great to get to know the musicians and staff. Next season I will debut with the New York Philharmonic under Maestro van Zweden, so of course that will be a great honor for me.