Playlist Focus: Lerida Delbridge

9 March 2016 | 11:20 am | Artist Submission

"I listen to as much jazz and pop as I do classical."

Get to know the members of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at an intimate series entitled Playlist. The informal concerts will be personally curated by members of the orchestra, taking the audience through the music that has inspired them and become the soundtrack to key moments throughout their life and careers.

We spoke to Assistant Concertmaster Lerida Delbridge about her life and its accompanying playlist, which will be heard at City Recital Hall on 15 Mar. 

When and why did you first fall in love with classical music? I don't feel as though I 'fell in love' with classical music. I was surrounded by it as a child but my musical tastes are very eclectic. The minute I get up in the morning and the minute I am home from work, I put on music — but I listen to as much jazz and pop as I do classical. I always have triple j on in the car and the only show I would ever tune into on the ABC was Jazz Tracks!

Is the music on your 'Playlist' going to be all in the classical genre? What can we expect to hear? Yes, it is all classical and mostly for a smaller orchestra than the usual SSO that graces the stage of the Opera House! I am a keen chamber musician, outside of SSO I am a member of the Tinalley String Quartet, so working in smaller size ensembles is very close to my heart, hence my choice of repertoire for the playlist. It is an interesting mix of music by Mendelssohn, Copland, Vaughan Williams, Faure, Mahler and Bach... there really is something for everybody!

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

What inspired you to become a professional violinist? When I was at school music had always been a massive part of my life, but I was reluctant to forge a career as a violinist despite all of the amazing opportunities I had before me. I was always drawn to working with animals, having grown up on a farm, and when I finished Year 12, we were asked to describe our career aspirations for the valedictory book. I remember writing 'zoologist' and the minute I had written it, I realised that actually, I loved playing the violin, loved being a musician and that was ultimately what I dreamt of becoming. That was a turning point for me... suddenly, the future was very clear!

What do you love about your job? I love when we are in the midst of a concert, and you look out at the audience and see people's reactions. The emotions an audience feels in a performance is palpable on stage, and to think that I am creating a memory for an audience member is very special. I also love the teamwork — working with inspiring professionals who are concentrating on executing a single outcome... making music. It is powerful and exhilarating to be a part of the life-force of an orchestra. Plus, I have to admit that catching the ferry to work in this magnificent city and working every day in one of the most iconic venues in the world is a real buzz!

If you had to pick a song/piece of music as the 'soundtrack to your life' what would it be and why? That is a tough question... But I think a Beethoven String Quartet or Beethoven Symphony. Beethoven's works are such a journey. As a listener and performer, in the space of 30-50 minutes you are transported; the music has anguish, desolation, loneliness, jubilance, humour, peace, contentedness, restlessness and love. Beethoven laid his soul bare as a composer, and I believe that as a performer, you do the same when you play his music.