Musician of the Month: Agata Darashkaite
The opening concert of Firebird’s 2017-18 season saw violinist Agata Daraskaite’s debut appearance as leader of the Orchestra. In this newsletter we find out more about her musical life…
Let’s start by hearing about your musical training and professional development…
Having moved to the UK at the age of 14 and studied at both the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Royal College of Music in London, I feel like I’ve spent the best part of my musical training in this country. I discovered my love for chamber music while at school and also pursued some studies in baroque violin during my master’s degree. This both broadened my understanding of music and widened my instrumental skills at the same time.
How long have you been involved with Firebird and what other chamber and orchestral groups are you involved with?
I originally played with the London Firebird Orchestra at the start of my studies at the Royal College. During my undergraduate studies I auditioned for the Kremerata Baltica, which I joined as a permanent member in 2014 so I’ve spent the last couple of years traveling the world and exploring lots of chamber orchestra repertoire. It’s been a real pleasure to come and play with the London Firebird Orchestra as leader and to tackle some of the amazing orchestral repertoire together.
Tell us one of the highlights of your career to date…
I am absolutely delighted that my string quartet – the Consone Quartet – has been doing so well recently. What makes us a little bit different is that we play repertoire of the classical and romantic eras on gut strings and using bows of the period. We were the ensemble prize winners at the ROSL competition last year and are recording our first CD on the French Ambronay label next year.
Hear the Consonne Quartet perfoming music by Haydn and Schubert:
And what about your ambitions for the future?
I really enjoy traveling and playing music which has included performing in Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, North and South Americas. It’s not an easy lifestyle but I count myself lucky to be able to earn money doing what I love doing most! I hope to be able to carry on making music and sharing it with audiences around the world – and perhaps one day start a little music and arts festival too!
Finally, what do you see as the value of an organisation like London Firebird to younger professional musicians like yourself?
London Firebird Orchestra provides the younger musicians a possibility to learn new orchestral repertoire, to meet fellow musicians, build contacts and to work with so many different artists including some great soloists and conductors.