BAIBA SKRIDE IN THE MIRROR:  Always put the music first, not yourself

Photo: Marco Borggreve

Today’s guest of Montenegro magazin’s rubric ,,In the mirror” is one of the most sought-after violin soloists Baiba Skride.
She is also a guest of the ,,Mediterranean Notes Festival”, which is held in Tivat by June 29th. At the opening, on the World music day, June 21st, she performed the works of Mendelssohn, Schubert and Tchaikovsky at Cultural centre of Tivat. Tomorrow, on June 24th, she will be joined on the stage of ,,Chedi hotel” at Luštica Bay, by art director of this Festival, violist Ivan Vukčević and cellist Pablo de  Naverán. They will play works of Schubert, Kodály and Dohnány.
As experts say, her natural approach and passionate interpretations have endeared her to some of the world’s most prolific conductors and orchestras. The list of prestigious ensembles with whom she has worked include; the Berliner Philharmoniker, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Boston and Chicago Symphony Orches-tras, the New York Philharmonic and the Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Baiba – as a chamber musician – is also in high demand. In 2019 she is to perform with the Skride Quartet at the Schubertiade, the Wigmore Hall in London, the Louvre Paris, and the Muziekgebouw Eindhoven; as well as in tours to the USA and Australia.
Skride’s prolific discography is vast, having recorded for Sony Music and the Orfeo labels. Many of her recordings have since become modern bench-marks of the violin repertoire.
Skride was born into a family of musicians in Riga (Latvia), where she began her studies, before completing them at the Conservatory of Music in Rostock. In 2001 she won the 1st prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition.
She associates childhood with summer spent in a summer house with her sisters, but also travels with and her parents from one concert to the next all over her native Latvia.
Her advice, work related, is that you always put music first, not yourself, be the most passionate about what you are playing, make the audience love music and bring them to a different place for a moment.
She singles out a trip  around Malaysia and Taiwan, where she, as a teenager, with he sisters brought classical music to tribes that had never heard of our instruments or our music.

What do you associate your childhood with?
– I remember summers together with my sisters in a summer house. We used to live somewhere on the country side in Latvia.  We would run around all day in the gardens and forests, collect berries or mushrooms, build treehouses, go to the sea, but also I remember being on the road a  lot to play concerts from very early on, all three of us and my parents in the car, going from one to the next concert all over the country.

Do you remember your first earnings (concert cahet)? How did you spend it?

– I remember very well the first time I got to keep some of the earnings we made from playing concerts together. It was 5 Lats ( the currency at that time in Latvia) and the first thing I did was get an ice cream. The rest I put aside to buy shoes later on.

Foto: Keith Saunders

What do you strive for in your work?

– Respect what the composer has written, but always look at it as through new perspectives, try to find something new you can bring to the music, always put the music first, not yourself, but most importantly, be the most passionate about what you are playing, make the the audience love the music, bring them to a different place for a moment.

What book/film would you recommend?

– I am a big series watcher, more than movies. One of the best series lately was Stranger Things.

My favorite book is Love in times of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

What is your favorite dish?

– Mashed potatoes with sour cream and meat balls.

What is essential for real love (what is the prerequisite/necessary ingredient for real love)?

– True acceptance of the other person, good and bad, the wish to help and support the other one even when it’s hard for one self. Give the feeling that one can rely on you even if one  makes a mistake. Inspire  each other to  want to be the best version of you.
Which artist would you raise from the dead and why?

– I think waking up someone like Mozart and Michael Jackson would be quite cool, put them together in a room and see what they come up with.

Trip you remember?

– I am so fortunate to travel so much in my life, so there are many trips which were special. One I would mention was as a teenager traveling all around Malaysia and Taiwan, bringing classical music to tribes that had never heard of our instruments or our music. We had a van, inside of it was a little piano and my sisters and I we were taken all over the jungle to play.

What is the song of your life?

– Really don’t have one!

Photo: Private archive