Quentin Crida talks strings and bows

You started playing the violin at the age of 7. Do you come from a musical family?

Although my father was a fitter and turner, he used to sing for extra money(!) in the first tenors of the CAPAB Chorus – he was quite a good singer. My mother used to play the piano many years ago. As a result my brother Robert and I were exposed to classical music (although we weren’t particularly interested!) from an early age.

After completing your studies you spent several years in the UK. There you freelanced as classical musician, but also as a session player for pop, soundtrack recordings etc. Do you enjoy playing in a variety of genres, although I take it your passion lies in classical music? Or not?

Yes I do enjoy playing in multiple genres, but I would say that “classical” is the most satisfying and challenging to play. (However I do count the concerts with Eric Clapton in London as a career highlight!)

What made you return to South Africa in 1999?

Freelancing is a tough life in London, and I was offered a position in the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. I was homesick and looking for an excuse to come home!

Apart from being a musician you are also a Life Coach. How did this come about?

Tough to answer this one, but I used to have a sangoma living up the road from me who I used to visit on a regular basis. He really helped me see certain things clearly and gave me sound advice. At one point I was looking for something new as well as fulfilling – he suggested a Life Coaching course which I duly investigated. It interested me and I decided to take a chance. It was all part time so I could do as much or as little as I had the time for.

Do you think that musicians who play in orchestras permanently stagnate to a certain extent?

Yes I do. As with any career choice, if one doesn’t keep the career and other spheres of life close to balance, frustrations can build up.

You founded Camerata Tinta Barocca in 2004. The ensemble consists of dynamic players who are all active practising musicians. As you are not a permanent ensemble, how often do you practice together?

Generally we have monthly concerts and have three rehearsals per concert.

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