Anna McMichael is an Australian born violinist who returned to live in Australia in 2010 after 17 years in Europe performing in many of the major ensembles and orchestras.
Anna has performed at many European music festivals with a number of Dutch chamber ensembles and toured extensively with groups such as the London Sinfonietta, Amsterdam Sinfonietta Chamber Orchestra, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Modern, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, as guest assistant concert master and principle second of the Netherlands Ballet Orchestra (Holland Symfonia) and recorded for a number of European labels.
In Australia, Anna has performed at 4 Canberra International Music Festivals as guest artist, been a soloist and member of Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, guest Associate Concertmaster of Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Concertmaster of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Concertmaster of both Orchestra Victoria and Auckland Philharmonia.
Anna has performed with Ensemble Offspring, Pinchgut Opera, Omega Ensemble and is a member of Ironwood. She has been invited to perform concerts with the pianist, Daniel de Borah, for Recitals Australia in Melba Hall lunch concerts, Recitals Australia and for Sunday Live ABCfm. Anna has tutored at ANAM, the Canberra School of Music and appeared with the Australian World Orchestra since 2011. She has recorded old and newly written Lullabies for the Tall Poppies label together with pianist Tamara Anna Cislowska which have been performed at the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, Mona Foma Festival and was Cd of the week on ABC Classic FM. Anna is Co-Director of the Tyalgum Music Festival.
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We asked Anna a few questions
- How old were you when you decided to be a musician and what led you the instrument(s) you now play? I was 4 1/2 when I started Suzuki method violin while we were living in the US. I was very keen from the start and loved the social aspect of group Suzuki classes too. Having female violin teachers I loved spending time with as a child helped along the way, especially once we moved back to Adelaide. The violin school in Adelaide was very strong and a very high level at that time so I was lucky to be a part of that era.
- When you’re not rehearsing/performing/teaching, where are you most likely to be? I run Tyalgum Music Festival in northern NSW and have a number of my own projects so am often busy arranging many aspects of a freelance career. Otherwise I love spending time with my kids, swimming, the nature around our neighbourhood keeps me happy too with long walks etc.
- If there weren’t external factors involved, how long do you think a concert should go for? I’m keen on both concerts with interval that are a little longer and also hour long concerts with no interval. I do like the social aspect of concerts and that people have time to say hi and chat about what they thought of the concert and a general chat. Having a drink with friends after the concert is an integral part for most musicians! Feeling that you’ve had a great night and your life enhanced is what it is all about..
- When should we clap? I’m never that bothered if people clap between movements as the spontaneity keeps things alive. I don’t do it myself as I’m part of the tradition and have grown up with that. I do like the idea of a rowdy audience with opinions and expressing enthusiasm as is historically often quoted. I played in a concert once in Paris when a couple of audience members got into an exchange mid-concert and I remember being thrilled after having heard stories of cushions being thrown at the premiere of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring”. Not that I’m encouraging that 🙂
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