What’s the best thing about playing with the MCO? The best thing has to be the total fulfillment of being able to be, express, and feel myself completely as a whole being on my instrument, not only musically, but spiritually, humanly and universally.
And then being allowed to share that in an expectant, concentrated environment with tens of thousands of people every year, all over the world. Not over the Internet or in virtual reality, but live, in real authentic reality, with all its electricity and emotion and tension.
What CDs would you want with you on a desert island? This is of course a hugely difficult question but I will give it a go. I tend to be in love with the music I am playing in the moment, so I would have to include all the five Beethoven piano concertos.
Holst’s Planets Suite is one of the first pieces of classical music I ever heard and still has such a profound effect on me, especially the movements Neptune the mystic, Saturn the bringer of old age, Venus the bringer of piece.
To these I would add Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture and Scottish Symphony No. 3, Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite, especially the last movement, "La jardin feerique", Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, particularly the last movement, Mozart’s Ave Maria, and Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem.
What do you do before a performance? Being mostly on tour makes it difficult to keep a solid routine before concerts. Things to be included however are a nap, a small snack, a shower and a good amount of time alone in a room with my instrument. I also prefer to get to the hall early and enjoy soaking up the atmosphere of the stage before the audience arrives.
What is the best thing about being a musician? For me – and this is a very personal thing – I find the catharsis or relieving of emotions offered by music the most rewarding and powerful aspect of being a musician. Selfish, I guess.
What makes a “perfect” concert? Thankfully, there is no such thing as a perfect concert.
Yannick Dondelinger was born in London in 1971. After exploring the piano, violin, viola, percussion, both composing and conducting, he entered the London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1989 on the viola, and graduated in 1993.
From 1994 till 1997 he was a member of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester and went on to become a founding member of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, which he has been with now for about 20 years.
Since 2012 Yannick has held also the permanent position of assistant solo viola of the Helsingborgs Symphony Orchestra in Sweden. He lives in Malmö with his wife Anna, daughter Alice and son Oliver.