Interview Erika Waardenburg

Erika Waardenburg: “Try it anyway!”
Erika Waardenburg, a versatile musician, has an active career both as a soloist and chamber music player and spends a regular part of her schedule teaching. She is the founder and artistic director of the Academy of Musical Talent. Next competition, Erika will again be present as one of our judges.

Why a resounding “yes” to judging with us?
“I am a great advocate of chamber music. If you are going to study music, chamber music is an incredibly important part. Why? Because you open your ears and eyes to others and that’s a form of making music which is not reflected in an orchestra. In an orchestra, you are focused on the conductor, your own part and maybe your immediate surroundings. If you play solo, then you are only dealing with yourself. But chamber music, and especially if you play with more than three musicians, is quite an art in its own right. So young people, around 10/12 years old, who are already doing this: hats off. The fact that the competition gives this opportunity is fantastic, which is why I’m happy to come and judge again. I look back fondly on the last time judging.”

What is the art of chamber music?
“Making sure the first note is right, and the last one too, but above all: breathing. To breathe is to find each other. It starts with the first breath together before the first note. And then you move on, trying to find and feel each other again and again. Making music together is breathing together.”

Why should musicians sign up?
“You learn so much from it. You lift yourself to a higher level. So I always say: join, don’t wait until next year, go for it now. Try it! It is a busy period for many now because of (final) exams, so I can imagine someone thinking: I don’t have time. But I then say again: try it anyway! Get out there and challenge yourself.”

Do you have any tips for ensembles already signed up?
“Study. A lot of studying. Don’t let a day go by so that you are really good at your instrument and familiar with the music you are going to play.”