When and where was your first concert with the MCO? My first concert with the new official MCO was in Landshut, with Ivan Fisher, playing Bartók’s Divertimento and Prokofiev’s Symphonie Classique. I remember well the excitement I felt being part of a new orchestra, and at the same time still having the feeling of being warmly connected to all the help and the organisational experience from GMJO. And, of course I already knew almost all my new colleagues from GMJO!
What is your most memorable moment with the orchestra? Difficult to choose just one! There has not been a single MCO concert that hasn’t fulfillled me greatly! Perhaps because it happened in summertime I have a particularly special memory of playing operas in Aix: Prokofiev’s Three Oranges, Mozart's Don Giovanni and Tchaikovsky’s Eugen Onegin. During one rehearsal, Daniel Harding took lead of the second violins (with questionable experience) under the baton of Claudio Abbado. The concert was outdoors, under a sky full of stars, in Aix-en-Provence. Very memorable!
Can you tell us something about your instrument? Oh, I really love my violin… My violin is miraculous. It has so many different facets – it’s strong, yet very sensitive. It has such a deep beautiful sound! It never gets boring to hear my violin. It is unusually big – bigger than normal violins – so I had to have a special case made. Here is a very striking detail about my violin: the Italian man who built it, Alessandro Gagliano, started to make violins because he had to leave his city and flee into the woods after fighting a duel that was fatal for his opponent. In the woods he learned how to work with wood, and ended up in Cremona where he apprenticed, and later worked, in the Amati workshop with Stradivarius.
How do you spend your free time? I love to swim and take long walks, spend time with friends and family and practice Buddhist meditation.
The first piece of music you fell in love with:
Chopin’s Etudes for Piano Opus 10 Nr 1 and Opus 25 Nr 1. My father is a pianist. I used to really love to lie under the grand piano and listen to him playing Chopin. I was overwhelmed by all the magical sounds. I was really small, and hadn’t encountered string quartet music yet.
Cindy Albracht, born in 1975 in Geneva, studied at the Amsterdam Conservatory with Jan Repko, Davina van Wely and Else Krieg, and with Gerhard Schulz at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna. She graduated with the highest distinction for both her Bachelor’s and Master’s exams. Cindy took masterclasses and additional studies with Herman Krebbers, Denes Zsigmondy, Victor Liberman, Thomas Brandis and others.
As first violinist of the Romeo Quartet, Cindy worked intensively with a range of musicians, including members of the Amadeus Quartet, the Alban Berg Quartett and the Borodin Quartet. She also played with Isaac Stern, György Kurtág and Andreas Rainer. Her passion for chamber music is evident in her collaborations with musicians such as Janine Jansen and the Faust Quartett.
She has won awards in several competitions, with and without her string quartet, including the Dutch national violin competition, Oscar Back, and the Vriendenkrans Competition of the Concertgebouw Amsterdam.
Since 2007 she has combined her work with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra with a part time role as lead of the second violin group in the Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra. She also freelance in the same position for other orchestras in the Netherlands.
Cindy plays on an instrument built in 1705 by Alessandro Gagliano.