Kieran Welch is a violist, curator, event producer, DJ, teacher and writer. Regularly performing across Australia as part of the indie-chamber septet Nonsemble, Kieran also curates the Brisbane-based concert series ‘Dots+Loops’, exploring the spaces in between a classical concert and a club gig.
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How old were you when you decided to be a musician and what led you the instrument(s) you now play?
I started playing violin when I was nine, and it quickly became an important part of my life. I was always pretty committed to it, but I properly decided I wanted to be a musician halfway through my final year of school, when I realised that I would probably be a pretty bad doctor (my alternative career path up until then). I started playing viola around this point too, and switched to it full time very quickly—it just seemed to fit and suit me so much better than violin.
When you’re not rehearsing/performing/teaching, where are you most likely to be?
Hanging out with friends at a new coffee shop or bar! I’m still working on finding a good work-life balance (with things currently strongly skewed towards the former), but I always make time for friends and family, and good coffee! But when I do have a proper day off, I love to get out of the city and go hiking, or head down to Brisbane’s fantastic Gallery of Modern Art.
After you finish a concert, what is the first drink you want to have in your hand?
If money wasn’t a factor, it would be an Old Fashioned made with Lagavulin. But as a musician, I normally end up opting for a more cost-effective beer or red wine.
If there weren’t external factors involved, how long do you think a concert should go for?
I’m a big fan of cohesive, concise programs, and quality over quantity. Some of the best concerts I’ve seen have featured barely an hour of live music, but are programmed in such a way to really take you on a journey, and performed with obvious attention to every measure.
When should we clap?
When we want! Applause is sometimes the only way an audience can become actively involved in the live performance process, and I’m never going to tell off someone for expressing their approval at something I’m playing.